Wolfgang Puck sees opportunity in Spago’s move to Bellagio

Wolfgang Puck said Tuesday the Bellagio is the perfect location for him to move his landmark restaurant Spago.

“A lot of people came to us over the years and said ‘Why don’t you put Spago in my hotel?’ ” Puck said, a day after the news broke that the restaurant would move from The Forum Shops at Caesars, where it opened in 1992. (The Puck organization is working to secure a new lease at The Forum Shops that would allow it to develop a new, casual concept in a portion of the current Spago location.)

“We heard that many times. (But) it had to be the right partnership. We already work with MGM (Resorts International) at MGM Grand and at Mandalay Bay. And we know all the people who run the company. So it makes it an easy choice for us to be in their No. 1 property.”

The new Spago is expected to open next spring in the current location of Todd English’s Olives, which Puck described as “a great space.”

“You’re not in the casino,” he said of the location in the shopping promenade at Bellagio. “We’ve always said you have to get interested in the community where you are if you want the community to get interested in you. So there is valet parking right outside of our restaurant, on the side (of the hotel) so you don’t have to come through the casino. Then, we sit right above the lagoon, with the water (show) there. So to me, it’s really an iconic place at the Bellagio.”

At the same time, Spago will be part of Bellagio’s restaurant portfolio, which will give him a level of access to hotel guests he didn’t receive at the Forum Shops, which are separate from Caesars Palace.

“Caesars is different,” he explained, “because they have their restaurants in their hotel. So it’s not very often, almost never, that a Caesars host is going to bring a high roller to Spago. They bring them to their restaurants.”

Puck said he’s not worried about competing with the Bellagio’s all-star roster of chefs. “Our brand, Spago, is known worldwide. Julian (Serrano) and Jean-Georges (Vongerichten) are very talented chefs. But their brands are not known as well as ours. … So we’re not going in and saying ‘OK, we are the little brother.’ I feel we are at the same level they are as far as quality and service. And on top of that, we are better known.”

Over 25 years in Las Vegas, Spago has changed with the times while never forgetting its roots. Puck said he’ll continue that at the new locale.

“There will be tradition and innovation,” he said of the menu in the earliest stages of planning. “There will be some of the traditional dishes, just like in Beverly Hills. We actually have Wienerschnitzel still on the menu (there). We make our smoked salmon pizza and our truffle pizza. And then, we’re also going to have newer things.”

Puck said he’ll miss regularly serving Caesars Palace headliners such as Celine Dion and Elton John, before joking, “Well, I see them in L.A., so it’s OK,” and noting that “Bellagio always gets celebrities to stay and to gamble there.”

He got a bit more serious, however, as he reflected on the place the Forum Shops location has played in Las Vegas history.

“We’re going to miss it,” he said. “We were the first really iconic place in Vegas. We always had the big customers. I remember when we started out, Frank Sinatra used to play there and we used to send him bread and charcuterie up to his room, because we were the only ones that had the good bread.”

Nonetheless, he says he learned one important lesson 20 years ago, when he moved L.A.’s Spago from West Hollywood to Beverly Hills: “Change is good.”

Contact Al Mancini at amancini @reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like