Public can sample dishes as part of Great Las Vegas Coffee Shop Giveaway

This collage shows six finalists chosen in “ The Great Las Vegas Coffee Shop Giveaway” comp ...

Before judges chow down on six entrepreneural ideas for a new, custom-built diner in downtown Las Vegas, members of the public can taste the concepts, too.

Las Vegas real estate agency Dapper Cos. created the challenge, dubbed “The Great Las Vegas Coffee Shop Giveaway,” to award a chef or restaurateur with a 3,000-square-foot custom-designed restaurant in the Huntridge Shopping Center at Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, near the historic Huntridge Theater. Partnering sponsors will give the winning idea’s concept life through furniture, fixtures, signs, branding and a marketing plan, among other support, worth an estimated $950,000 of goods and services.

Six finalists will present their concepts of public cooking through a sample menu at the Vegas Test Kitchen in downtown Las Vegas. Each entrepreneur group will have two days of public cooking, when they can change up the menu to best determine what to serve to judges, according to contest organizers.

The weekend will follow with a day of cooking for judges J Dapper, the contest’s pioneer; Cory Harwell of Carson Kitchen and Butcher & Thief; John Simmons of Firefly, Tacos & Beer and Graze; and Marc Marrone of Graffito Bao and skinnyFATS.

Diners can make reservations for each restaurant, though walk-ins are welcome. Prices will be set by each team, and 10 percent of proceeds will go to the Vegas Test Kitchen, organizers said.

Diner concepts will be open to the public on the following dates and times:

Random Act Diner (Chef Khai Vu, Luis De Santos, Dia Young and Freddie Paloma)

— Friday : 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

— Saturday : 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Savage Fine Diner & Tavern (Christopher Jones, Chuck Fromer and Glen Rogers)

— April 8: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

— April 9: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Tipsy Buffalo (Kevin Kwan and Richie Liu)

— April 15: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

— April 16: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dinette (Nick A. Della Penna, Trent Jones and Jerad Howard)

— April 22: 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

— April 23: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Simple Diner (Chef Stacey Dougan, Uniquea Taylor, Maribel Alvarez, Jen Falcione and Jenn Tramaglino)

— April 29: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m

— April 30: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Winnie & Ethels Downtown Diner (Aaron Lee, Mallory Gott)

— May 6: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

— May 7: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Dapper Cos. expects to announce the winner in mid-May. The restaurant is expected to open in the first quarter of 2023.

View the finalists’ concepts online.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.