VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Emmitt’s Finally Gets Opening Date


Posted on: February 12, 2024, 05:13h. 

Last updated on: February 12, 2024, 05:13h.

After two years of delays, the highly anticipated steakhouse from football giant Emmitt Smith will finally open on Feb. 26.

Former Dallas Cowboys running back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will finally open his Las Vegas Strip steakhouse later this month. (Image: Emmitt’s Las Vegas; inset:

Emmitt’s Las Vegas, a modern steakhouse with Southern influences, will occupy the 30,000 square-foot, multi-story former Sugar Factory space at the Fashion Show mall on the Strip.

“Our vision for Emmitt’s Vegas is to create a space where guests can indulge in exceptional service, savoring the best of New American classics with a touch of regional flair,” Smith said in a press release.

The restaurant will be serve from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The delays were caused by a messy lawsuit we told you about last year, in which originally announced chef Rainer Schwarz filed suit against some of his former business partners in the project.

Though Schwarz’s lawsuit sought a court-ordered motion to prevent its defendants from opening or operating Emmitt’s without Schwarz, two new chefs, Steve Mannino and executive chef Antwan Ellis, have now been announced as running the kitchen.

The restaurant’s website,, still contains the following information: “Despite a few unnecessary distractions and delays, Trilogy Group F&B, LLC (Trilogy) continues to move forward with our restaurant concept as helmed by the vision of award-winning Chef Rainer Schwarz.” It also states that “no other operators have any viable claim to this restaurant venture.”

Happy Camper Vegas, built in the former Stripburger and Chicken joint, features a retractable roof and great people-watching. (Image: Happy Camper Vegas)

Dining Ins & Outs

Happy Camper, a pizzeria with four locations in Chicago and one in Denver, is now open outside the Fashion Show mall on the Strip, in the space formerly occupied by Stripburger and Chicken, which closed last March after 16 years.

Last summer, the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group abruptly closed Lupo at Mandalay Bay, the Italian eatery Puck opened there in 1999. Last week, the space reopened as Caramá, another Puck take on Italian food.

Our tip also correctly reported, at the time, that Puck planned to bestow Lupo’s name and menu on the Wolfgang Puck Players Locker, which also closed last summer at the Downtown Summerlin shopping mall. Those plans have since been scrapped, however. A spokesperson for Puck told Eater Vegas that construction and building costs were to blame.

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