a culinary tradition
Ever sensitive to Las Vegas tradition, Golden Gate also preserved its famous shrimp cocktail that was introduced to the casino scene in 1959 courtesy of Mark’s stepfather and Golden Gate founding partner, Italo Ghelfi.
“He was such a fan of the shrimp cocktail served at Fisherman’s Wharf that he thought it would be a nice addition to the dining options here,” says Brandenburg. Seems Ghelfi’s nod to the San Francisco-styled appetizer was on target since the Golden Gate alone has served more than 40 million crustaceans packed into tulip sundae glasses since it launched the tradition that’s been adopted throughout the destination.
Ghelfi wasn’t the only Golden Gate partner with an enduring culinary concept. In 1955, Golden Gate founding partner and restaurateur, Tiny Naylor, brought his special brand of home cooking to the Golden Gate with Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery. Today, Tiny’s son, Biff, serves classic recipes around the clock including what Esquire magazine has touted as the “Best Pancakes in America,” blue plate specials that change daily and comfort foods like chicken pot pie. It’s also a temporary home for shrimp cocktail service while the property’s Shrimp Bar & Deli continues its remodel.
While Prohibition put a kink in alcohol sales from 1919 to 1933, Golden Gate continues to make up for lost time with libations at a trio of bars. At the casino’s speakeasy-style Main Bar, thirsty folks can drink in the same spot frequented by those Rat Packers while tuning in to the dancing dealers and HDTV.
Outside directly on the Fremont Street Experience are Golden Gate’s Flair Bar where libation bottles fly and One Bar with bikini-clad bartenders serving up draft beer and a dozen different frozen concoctions from its daiquiri bar. As a bonus, Fremont Street Experience’s Main Street Stage is literally at the Golden Gate’s door.
“You can be gaming inside our casino and then be outside for the Fremont Street Experience light show within 30 seconds,” says Brandenburg. “Downtown is so convenient since you don’t have to walk really far or hop in a taxi to experience the area. It’s a high energy party experience from start to finish with no time out.”
Dominating this five-neon-block complex is Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen that measures a massive 1,500-ft.-long by 90-ft. wide and is suspended 90 ft. above the urban pedestrian mall. Custom productions are synced to smash hits by some of rock’s most legendary bands via 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Rounding out the nightly action are free concerts and entertainment on three stages.
We catch legend Carl Ferris whaling away on his sax in the Casino Center area and Don McLean’s American Pie in the arched canopy above via Viva Vision. Ferris is a fan favorite, which explains why he’s the longest continuously running act on Fremont Street.
Since everything is close within this scene that’s wall-to-wall with casinos, eateries and retail, fans of fun have more time to literally dance in the street. And serving as the granddaddy of this Glitter Gulch neighborhood is Golden Gate.
Hotel room rates range from $109-$149 nightly for a suite depending on the day of the week, and standard room rates range from $29-$89 nightly depending on the season and/or events in town. Additionally, in order for travel agents to see the newly renovated property, the hotel will provide a discount on deluxe rooms and suites to qualified agents, as business permits. The amount of the discount depends on travel dates as well as the hotel occupancy.