George Lopez is bringing the authentic Mexican hospitality, and Kiss is serving the rock ‘n’ brew in The Strat’s latest revitalization.
Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen is set to open at the hotel by December. Rock & Brews, a partnership of legendary Kiss co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, opens in late 2023. Both venues are near L.A. Comedy Club’s recently relocated location off the casino floor.
Chingon Kitchen was founded in 2017 by Lopez and his restaurateur partner Michael Zislis. The Strat outpost is the duo’s first sit-down restaurant. Lopez is in partnership at six other venues, including a Chingon Kitchen spot at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in Highland, Calif., the sister property to the Palms and owned by San Manuel Indian Tribe.
Lopez brings valuable name recognition to The Strat project. A headlining stand-up for years in Aces of Comedy at The Mirage, Lopez is a groundbreaking TV star as the first Latin comic to create, star in, produce and write a sitcom named for him. “George Lopez” ran from 2002-2007 on ABC.
The man who tells jokes for a living takes his Mexican fare seriously.
“The best Mexican food I’ve ever had was made by my grandmother, and it was her cooking that inspired Chingon Kitchen,” Lopez says of the 9,000-square-foot, 240-seat venue. “To bring this restaurant to the Las Vegas Strip, where we’ll be serving people from around the world, is badass. We’ve been having a lot of fun working with The Strat, and we’re excited to announce that we’re opening at the end of the year.”
Chingon Kitchen is to specialize in such dishes as street corn, queso, tacos and burritos, along with a variety of margaritas and tequila brands. Chicano art will hang from the walls.
Simmons and Stanley are enforcing their collective rock ‘n’ roll heritage with Rock & Brews. The 8,500-square-foot concept is to sit next to L.A. Comedy Cub and serve a wide selection of beer and wings, oversized burgers, salads, sandwiches and the like.
The company was founded in 2011, and now operates in 20 locations in California, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Simmons is also in partnership at the Rio with an incoming Kiss museum, and the band has licensed Kiss by Monster Mini Golf at the hotel for more than a decade.
The Strat is eager to add these famous partners to their aggressive programming under Golden Entertainment’s ownership. The Strat Theater has presented such rock stars as Sammy Hagar and Cheap Trick. L.A. Comedy Club is busy with veteran and rising stand-ups.
“There’s nothing like authentic Mexican food to fuel the party, and George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen will be serving up freshly made dishes our guests are going to love,” says Stephen Thayer, vice president and general manager of The Strat. “The Strat has become the Las Vegas home for rock ‘n’ roll icons and their fans, and we are thrilled to welcome two of the biggest rock stars on the planet, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, whose Rock & Brews brings an authentic celebration of rock music to life.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.