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September 21, 2014

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Late-night food specials conjure memories of old Las Vegas

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Eggs and bacon at Sundance Grill inside Silverton is $3.99 from midnight to 5 a.m. as part of the eatery’s late night specials menu, March 16, 2012.

Late-night cravings for a juicy steak and a side of eggs-over-easy for about $5 isn’t easy to find … unless you’re in Las Vegas and you know where to go.

Graveyard or late-night specials — deals that start around midnight and go until the early morning hours — are offered at a number of restaurants on and off the Strip.

“There are a lot of people out there late,” said Mark LaVoie, corporate vice president for food and beverage for Station Casinos.

“This is a three-shift town,” said LaVoie, who sees cocktail waitresses and security guards partaking in the late-night deals.

And the prices and the food are usually worth staying up for.

Graveyard specials start at $1 and go up to $7.99 at the Silverton’s Sundance Grill, said Jason Mayes, general manager of the restaurant.

“We wanted to offer value-oriented dining for those who eat late,” said Mayes, adding that Sundance’s menu includes all-you-can-eat pancakes.

The Silverton promotion started in spring 2011, Mayes said, and the late-night specials are offered from midnight to 5 a.m. daily.

Mayes said he sees hotel workers as well as tourists at the restaurant during those hours.

They include “east-coasters who are still on East Coast time,” Mayes said, “and people who just lost track of time.”

Some of the items are out of the ordinary, like the oxtail soup special at downtown’s California Hotel, but many of the items on graveyard specials menus tend to be breakfast foods.

“It’s traditional,” LaVoie said. “I cannot resist the steak and eggs.”

The classic items and the low prices, metaphorically, take restaurant patrons back in time.

“It’s a reminder of old Vegas as well,” LaVoie said.

The “Late-Nite” specials offered at Station Casinos are available to boarding pass holders, a free player’s card that’s available to anyone age 21 or older who signs up for it.

Many of the late-night specials, like those at Station Casinos, are advertised internally through the cardholder program or on signs posted around the casino floor.

“A restaurant has to decide if it’s going to be worthwhile for them,” said Jean Hertzman, a UNLV assistant professor who studies restaurants. “You can have more (graveyard specials) in a place like Las Vegas, where more people are out at night.”

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  1. Yes, like in the old days get 2 AM eggs and toast cheap and play keno while eating, then gamble a twenty bill (or two). That is how casinos really make money from lots of less well heeled visitors and locals.

    This is contrary to the hotel degree crowd's ideas:

    Mid level "Hotels" run by the clueless "smart" guys with nose in the air hotel degrees charge almost $20 for eggs and toast and wonder why they lose their late night business to Denny's or a bar with food and slots.

  2. The greatest deal ever was the 24-hour 99 cent full breakfast special at the El Cortez which continued right on until around 2001. The owner at that time, by giving such a fantastic bargain, not only kept his casino busy but also provided the less fortunates with a proper meal.
    Great to hear that some hotels are trying the cheap breakfast idea again.

  3. Cheap breakfasts in the early 1980s were my fav, I agree about the El Cortez 99 cent..

    :-)

  4. I miss the breakfast at the Klondike. Even now that end of the Strip is wiped clean of any creativeness. Corporate whitewash. Yawn.

  5. Beg to differ, "FromBellevilleCanada", but the "greatest deal ever", to use your words, was the breakfast special at the Showboat - two eggs any style, ham - bacon - or sausage, hash browns, toast and coffee for 49 between midnight and six A.M., back in the 60's ... many a morning, after a swing shift busboy job at the Hacienda (another good low-cost food joint!), we went to the 'Boat for a "double special, over easy, coffee"!

  6. Ahhh the good old days :-) I remember the days of the .29 cent chicken dinner at the Holiday Inn Boardwalk. That was great!

  7. Even in the early 2000s, there was a 77 cent breakfast special at Arizona Chrlie's on Decatur.

  8. palace station's cafe provided me many a great meal at a great price after a night on the town--still does on occasion. the old san remo used to have a great late night breakfast as well.

  9. The only time it's safe to eat a breakfast like this is if one is under 25 years of age. they are the only ones with metabolisms that will burn off the plaque before it sticks to the artery walls. This isn't pessimism, it's a plan for the future. Squash and broccoli soup with peppers tastes as good at 3am as it does at noon, maybe even better.

  10. Maybe there is hope for Vegas gambling halls yet.