Rumor: Another Todd English Restaurant to Close, The Beast at Area 15
Todd English has apparently been shown the door by Las Vegas, again.
As previously announced, his Olives restaurant is set to close at Virgin Las Vegas on June 4, 2023.
We’ve also learned the chef’s restaurant at Area 15 (an off-Strip interactive mall), The Beast, is rumored to be closing June 1, 2023. Employees at The Beast were notified on May 25, 2023, we’re told.
The recent closures have echoes of when English was abruptly booted from two MGM Resorts casinos, Bellagio (Olives) and Aria (Todd English P.U.B.), fallout from his sexual harassment controversy, we believe.
The Beast never got much buzz, but has decent reviews on Yelp.
Word is Area 15 is methodically taking back its spaces from third parties (basically buying out or not renewing leases) to make it easier to coordinate corporate events and buy-outs. For example, while not reported elsewhere, we recently learned Ryan Doherty no longer operates Oddwood, a popular bar in the middle of Area 15.
We suspect Olives at Virgin closed for a different reason, a lack of viability. If true, that may not have been the fault of the restaurant, as Virgin hasn’t delivered the promised foot traffic to its restaurant partners, we understand.
A source says of the recent restaurant closures, “There was zero statement to the staff of The Beast and Olives from EHG in regards to the closure.” Choose one: 1) Uncool. 2) Shocker.
EHG is English Hospitality Group.
English Hospitality Group is also presumably involved with the English Hotel downtown. We have heard Todd English isn’t involved with the hotel’s Pepper Club restaurant anymore, but the hotel claims the rumors are unfounded.
The owner of the English Hotel, Weina Zhang, provided this statement, “I am unaware of the source of any rumor that implies that this property has cut ties with Todd English. The English Hotel and its restaurant, The Pepper Club by Todd English, have always been and continues to operate in affiliation with the celebrity chef. The property was designed to deliver an exceptional experience based on chef’s personal style, culinary mastery and appreciation for the Las Vegas Arts District. We are thrilled to see firsthand what the brand has already contributed to our Las Vegas neighborhood and look forward to continued success at The English Hotel property.”
Yes, the owner is a woman. Short memories abound in Las Vegas. As does compartmentalization, especially when money is involved.
We have not heard of Todd English being seen at the English Hotel since it opened. As with most celebrity chef deals, the chef gets a cut of gross revenue and is obligated to show up once a year for photo ops.
Whatever the situation at the English Hotel, noted asshat Todd English’s presence in Las Vegas has dramatically decreased recently, and we’re a big fan of these developments.
We reached out to English Hospitality Group and Area 15 for comment, but haven’t heard back yet. Watch for the Las Vegas Review-Journal to exclusively break this story soon. The over-under is mid-June, following some world-class confirming.
Update (6/1/23): Area 15 provided the following statement, “The Beast by Todd English remains open seven days a week at Area 15. The full-service restaurant remains a cornerstone of the immersive entertainment district’s unique food and beverage offerings. While daily operations have undergone recent changes, Todd English will continue to provide his culinary direction with respect to The Beast’s menu, recipes and food preparation.” We’re as confused as you are. Apparently, operations changes means staff is being let go, but officials claim the restaurant won’t close.
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