15 Fall Openings in Las Vegas to Get Excited About

Sin City is only getting better.

Photo by Jesse Hudson, courtesy of Peyote

Remember the beginning of the year? There was optimism in the air and we couldn't wait to put 2020 behind us. Well, 2021 has been a little more challenging than expected, but Las Vegas is weathering the storm with new hotels like Resorts World and Virgin Hotels, a wave of new restaurants and a few oddball attractions like Meow Wolf's Omega Mart. You'd think Las Vegas would want to slow down, but this city doesn't rest. As we look ahead to the remaining months of 2021, there's even more to come. So get ready. Some of these new places may require proof of vaccination to enter (a trend that's only grown in recent days). So, yeah… you know what to do.

cocktail glass
Photo courtesy of Star Piano Cocktail Lounge

Star Piano Cocktail Lounge

Industrial Corridor
Opening date: August, 30, 2021
Get ready for a new cocktail lounge by the team behind The Garden in the Arts District. Star Piano Cocktail Lounge is just west of the Strip (near Resorts World and Fashion Show Mall), taking over the space once home to Sunny's Saloon & Casino. The bar has been totally revamped with a dark hallway of Edison light bulbs opening up into a moody, but stylish photo-ready room with a stage for live music and red baby grand piano. Much of the decor will pay tribute to Las Vegas celebrity culture with a focus on Mumm champagne and inventive cocktails. A soft opening begins August 30, followed by a higher-profile grand opening in September.

Sugar Factory outside view
Photo courtesy of Sugar Factory American Brasserie

Sugar Factory American Brasserie

The Strip
Opening date: September 1, 2021
The Sugar Factory got its start in Las Vegas before going international—and is expanding its local presence with yet another concept. The Sugar Factory American Brasserie opens at Harmon Center (across the street from the Cosmopolitan). The three-level restaurant will have a full menu with a 230-seat dining room, multiple bars, and an outdoor patio with fire pits and Strip views. A goblet bar will be accessible from the pedestrian bridge, while more adventurous patrons may want a turn on a rock climbing wall modeled after candy dots. Take home a few sugar-filled treats from the on-site candy store.

New tenants at the Container Park

Downtown
Opening date: August-September 2021
The Downtown Container Park—built from old cargo shipping containers—is welcoming ten new tenants throughout August and September, giving the outdoor shopping plaza its most dramatic makeover since opening back in 2013. Some of the newcomers that we’re excited about include House of 1000 Pins (pop culture pins and custom designs by local artists), Shades Deluxe (a boutique for sunglasses), Segway Las Vegas (tours of Downtown), Get Married Vegas (eclectic wedding packages), Mob Pie (criminally good stone-baked pizza), The Olive Branch (olive oil and balsamic vinegars), and Sinsational (charcuterie, caviar, and desserts).

FlyOver Las Vegas view
Photo courtesy of FlyOver Las Vegas by Pursuit

FlyOver Las Vegas

The Strip
Opening date: September 1, 2021
The old UA Showcase movie theater has been torn apart and replaced with FlyOver Las Vegas. Think of it as a super-upgraded version of Soarin' at Disneyland. There's even some of the same creators involved. Participants take "flight" via simulated hang-gliding in front of a towering video screen with images that exceed 8K clarity. The journey covers the western United States with an emphasis on the great outdoors, lasting nearly ten minutes, with scents, air bursts, and mist to help create a totally immersive, interactive experience. When it's over, unwind with a drink in the lobby bar.

Superfrisco show
Photo by Mathias Claimer, courtesy of Superfrisco

Superfrico

The Cosmopolitan
Opening date: September 24, 2021
Spiegelworld is responsible for some of our favorite shows in Las Vegas: Absinthe, Atomic Saloon, and Opium. So why not a late-night restaurant too? This September, the entertainment company is opening Superfrico at the Cosmopolitan, taking over the restaurant component of what was formerly Rose.Rabbit.Lie. (while Opium continues to perform inside the next-door entertainment space). Superfrico is promising a "psychedelic" take on classic Italian-American cuisine with the menu under the direction of Executive Chef Mitch Emge and pizzaiolo Anthony Falco. Expect a house party vibe with eclectic artwork, interactions with the Opium cast, and a heavy focus on cocktails, some of which are available to go from the on-site Bottle-O retail shop.

Casa Playa

Wynn
Opening date: September 2021
It was a bummer to see Elio open and close so quickly at the Wynn earlier this year. Now the resort is giving upscale Mexican cuisine another shot, transforming the space into Casa Playa. Executive chef Sarah Thompson is returning to run the kitchen, while property mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini is putting together inventive margaritas and other cocktails for the drink list. Casa Playa opens in September, but the Mayan artwork near the front entrance is already making an impression.

Peyote sunset view
Photo courtesy of Peyote

Peyote

Downtown
Opening date: Late September 2021
Peyote is a true collaborative effort, bringing together creative minds from Corner Bar Management (Commonwealth, Park on Fremont), Main St. Provisions, and the Vegas Test Kitchen for a new dining concept at Fergusons Downtown. You'll enjoy an elevated take on a wide variety of American cuisine and a strong focus on cocktails in an eclectic environment that includes an outdoor terrace and desert garden with 3D-mapped LED light designs. Peyote plans to stay open late until 2 am Wednesday-Sunday, with brunch service offered on weekends.

The Sand Dollar Downtown

Downtown
Opening date: Fall 2021
The Sand Dollar Lounge has a legacy that dates back to 1976 and to this day, remains a top spot for cocktails and live music on the edge of Chinatown. This fall, a second location opens Downtown at the Plaza hotel. The new 5,000-square foot space may focus less on blues than the original, while welcoming a greater variety of local acts and national headliners on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Food from the Plaza's Pop Up Pizza will be available to order.

smoothies
Photo courtesy of Plant Power Fast Food

Plant Power Fast Food

Northwest
Opening date: October 2021
Plant Power Fast Food expands outside Southern California for the first time with a new location in Las Vegas. Located near Craig and Highway 95, the meat-free burger joint has a sleek mid-century modern design with tall, angled windows and a drive-thru window. The plant-based menu includes the Big Zac double burger (made with vegetable patties), soy-based milkshakes, and breakfast items prepared with JUST Egg substitute.

Mama Bird Southern Kitchen's Bourbon Bar

Southern Highlands
Opening date: Fall/Winter 2021
Since opening in 2018, Mama Bird Southern Kitchen has earned a reputation for fried chicken, waffles, barbecue, hickory-smoked wings, and other forms of classic comfort food, not to mention the kick of jalapenos in the cornbread, deviled eggs, and house-made ginger beer. The restaurant is more than doubling its size by taking over the space next door, adding a full bar with an emphasis on whiskey and bourbon while shifting its model from counter service to something more formal. Don't be suprised to see fun stuff like a brisket burger and shrimp po' boy added to the menu. Further details have yet to be released, but the revamped venture is sure to be a busy destination in the fast-growing Southern Highlands community.

AREA15 aerial view
Photo courtesy of AREA15

New attractions at AREA15

Off the Strip
Opening date: Fall/Winter 2021
AREA15 just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The mixed-use entertainment space is growing beyond its initial warehouse-like location with new attractions popping up on the surrounding property. Lost Spirits is already open, combining a distillery tour and spirits tastings with hologram performers and other theme park-inspired fun. It will add more components in the months ahead, including a unique, intimate dinner experience. Meanwhile, AREA15 is preparing to introduce The Grounds (a four-acre outdoor event space) and RISE—an elevated bar experience. The seven-minute ride lifts guests more than 130 feet in the air to enjoy the view with a drink of choice from a full-service bar. Its gondola holds 16 people and rotates 360 degrees. Try not to spill.

Vanderpump à Paris outdoor
Photo courtesy of Vanderpump à Paris

Vanderpump à Paris

Paris Las Vegas
Opening date: Fall/Winter 2021
Restaurateur and "Real Housewife" Lisa Vanderpump is opening her second Las Vegas lounge this winter at the Paris casino. Look for it next to the check-in lobby, where foot traffic is heavy. The new spot will have cocktails and wine (with Vanderpump brands featured of course) with light bites and inspiration from the reality TV star's own days living in France. Does that mean there's a chance for some authenticity here? Maybe. But if the new joint is anything like Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace, it will be a busy spot for photographs and invest heavily in a stylish interior design. Vanderpump à Paris is already planning awnings, light fixtures, and statues inspired by the City of Light.

Carversteak lounge
Photo courtesy of Carversteak

New Food and Entertainment at Resorts World

Resorts World
Opening date: Fall/Winter 2021
Resorts World already has plenty of perks, but the new Strip hotel and casino has more fun on the way in 2021. The hotel finally introduces a steakhouse—Carversteak—in December featuring the cuisine of Executive Chef Daniel Ontivero, formerly of Scotch 80 Prime and T-Bones Chophouse. In the months ahead, Resorts World will also welcome Bar Zazu (European tapas by Nicole Brisson of Brezza), Eight Cigar Lounge, Mulberry Street Pizzeria, Tacos El Cabrón, and Tiger Sugar (for Taiwainese bubble tea at Famous Food Street Eats). However, the biggest excitement is reserved for the new 5,000-seat theater, featuring residencies by Celine Dion (beginning November 5), Carrie Underwood (December 1), Katy Perry (December 29), and Luke Bryan (February 11). The venue is designed to have all seats within 150 feet of the stage, with a state-of-the-art sound system by L-Acoustics and discreet VIP lounges for meet-and-greets. If that's not enough, Zouk Nightclub opens September 17 with a performance by Tiesto.

Noodle Den
Photo Courtesy of Noodle Den

New Dining Options at the Sahara

Sahara
Opening date: Fall/Winter 2021
The legacy of the Sahara in Las Vegas dates back to 1952, but after a few ownership changes, the hotel has gone through so many recent renovations, it almost feels brand new again. The Azilo Ultra Pool remains a work in progress, but a few new restaurants are quickly taking shape. The first and only West Coast location for Philadelphia's Chickie's & Pete's is getting ready to serve cheesesteaks and crabfries in September, while Chef Guoming Xin's Noodle Den opens its doors in October for Peking Duck and hand-pulled noodles. Shawn McClain's Italian restaurant Ballo has been pushed back until at least winter. Kill the time by checking out a performance of Magic Mike Live, which debuts August 27.

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas skyline view
Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Room Renovations at the Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria
Opening date: Winter 2021
A few years ago, the Mandarin Oriental was rebranded as the Waldorf Astoria and the property is now going through a full-scale two-year multi-million dollar renovation. The first phase, which covers rooms, suites, and meeting spaces will be done by the end of the year. Expect to see much of the resort's Asian decor dropped in favor of designs and motifs reflective of the surrounding Nevada desert. The hotel remains casino-free and ultra-sophisticated with the Tea Lounge and SkyBar (one of the best places in Vegas for views and cocktails) continuing to welcome guests. Twist is gone for good, but new dining concepts will be introduced with the second phase of renovations in 2022.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's vaccinated and ready to check out all the cool stuff happening in Las Vegas. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.