Nobu expands brand beyond restaurants to open his first hotel in Vegas

Feb 04, 2013 12:08 am

Skift Take

Despite the brand’s fierce following and strong backing from investors like Robert DeNiro, the step from restaurant to hotel is a doozy.

— Samantha Shankman

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InterContinental Hong Kong  / Flickr

Nobu Matsuhisa at his restaurant inside the InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong. InterContinental Hong Kong / Flickr

With fewer than 12 hours to go to meet their 11:59 p.m. Friday deadline, construction workers at the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant inside Caesars Palace had their work cut out for them.

At 12:30 p.m., electrical outlets remained unfinished, floors were missing tile, and dust covered touch-screen elevator controls.

The first hotel to carry the name of renowned Japanese chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa is scheduled to open Feb. 4. General Manager Gigi Vega is confident all will go smoothly when it does.

At the 325-seat Nobu restaurant, a sushi bar will greet people, and a large circular 15-person bar will divide the lounge from the main dining area. A chef’s table with seating for 16 to 20 people will sit in front of two open kitchens, and passersby will be able to see the chefs in action.

“Chef Nobu is very proud of the skills behind the food he is serving, so he wanted it open,” Vega said.

Two teppanyaki grilling tables, the first to be offered at a Nobu restaurant in the United States, will have seating for about eight.

The 181-room Nobu hotel will take over Caesars’ former Centurian Tower, which dates back to 1970 but was gutted and rebuilt for the new project. The former Cleopatra Way is now Nobu Way.

Food from the Nobu restaurant will be available to hotel guests 24 hours a day. Among the options will be breakfast.

“Nobu has never done breakfast before, so he had to create a complete menu from scratch,” Vega said.

Ten days before opening, there was still much work to be done. Furniture for the hotel had yet to be delivered. Television and audio hookups were still being tested, as were electrical outlets. Plumbing and carpet was still being installed.

“We still have to make sure we have enough pillows,” Vega said.

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