Saturday, March 24, 2012 | 2 a.m.
With millions of visitors arriving each year, Las Vegas is home to thousands of restaurants. But few of them can lay claim to dating back to "Old Vegas." Here's a look at several stand-alone restaurants that have stood the test of time.
Bob Taylor's Original Ranch House
Before Summerlin existed, there was Bob Taylor's Original Ranch House. It stood out in the middle of nowhere at 6250 Rio Vista St., off the Tonopah Highway, now U.S. 95. White Christmas lights trail the walkway up to this ranch house converted into a restaurant that opened in 1955. Notable diners of the establishment include Strip headliners like Siegfried and Roy and members of the Rat Pack. Antique saddles and western movie posters hang on the walls of the restaurant that remains a locals' favorite, even though it has now become tucked away by the development of the northwest valley.The steakhouse's specialty is smoked prime rib over a mesquite grill. The Ranch House is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 645-1399.
Golden Steer Steakhouse
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were all regular customers of Golden Steer Steakhouse, which opened its doors in 1958. The Golden Steer keeps the Old Vegas vibes alive by keeping the same décor and the same menu that locals and visitors — famous or not — have remembered for the past 54 years. Located at 308 W. Sahara Ave., the steakhouse serves prime rib and toasted raviolis, to name a few specialties. For more information, call 384-4470.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, The Peppermill is one of the last few freestanding Strip restaurants and lounges. This restaurant at 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South offers a throwback environment that appeals to families, late-night club-hoppers and celebrities. Parts of the movies "Casino" and "Showgirls" have been filmed inside the neon-lit eatery, where cocktails and large-portion menu items are served. The Peppermill is open 24 hours, seven days a week. For more information, call 735-4177.
This two-bedroom brick house at 820 S. Fourth St. downtown was converted into an Italian restaurant 36 years ago. Owner Joe Collura adapted his grandmother's homemade recipes for lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs. The restaurant caters mainly to business professionals on a power lunch or to love birds seeking a romantic evening. The ambiance, restaurant owners say, is fit for the wedding parties fresh from nearby chapels. Chicago Joe's is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 382-JOES (5637).
The first Macayo's Mexican Kitchen started in 1946 in Phoenix. Edmond Haddad brought the chain to Las Vegas in 1959, opening his first restaurant here at 1741 E. Charleston Blvd. Haddad is the nephew of Macayo's founders Woody and Victoria Johnson. Since 1959, Macayo's has expanded to three locations in Las Vegas that serve Mexican dishes from fajitas to chimichangas. Macayo's restaurants in Las Vegas are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The locations are 1741 E. Charleston Blvd. (382-5605), 1375 E. Tropicana Ave. (736-1898) and 8245 W. Sahara Ave. (360-8210).
Chef Andre Rochat grew up in France and began learning to cook at age 5. Rochat eventually moved to Boston and later to Las Vegas. In 1980, he opened Andre's downtown, where he served authentic French food. In 1997, a second Andre's location opened inside the Monte Carlo at 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. Though the original downtown location has closed, the Strip location is open from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call 798-7151
Chef Maria Perry brought her family out West from New York and landed in Las Vegas. They've been serving the valley since 1949 at different restaurants. Perry named several of her family's restaurants after her anti-Prohibition, winemaking ancestors, "Bootlegger" Luigi Zoia and his wife, Maria Zoia. In 2001, Perry and her family opened Bootlegger Italian Bistro at 7700 Las Vegas Blvd. South, where the 24-hour eatery is open daily. For more information, call 736-4939.
More than 4 million tamales are ordered annually from Doña María's. Yes, that's right. About 350,000 dozens are ordered from their two locations, especially around Christmastime. The family-owned and operated business has employed three Martinez generations. The business started in 1969 as a small taco shop where those looking for Mexican food could quickly grab a bite to eat. In 1990, the shop expanded into a sit-down restaurant at its current location, 910 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Doña María has since opened a second restaurant at 3250 N. Tenaya Way in Summerlin to help make all those tamales. Hours vary.
Chapala's Mexican Restaurant
The family-owned and operated restaurant has been in Las Vegas since 1965. Located at 3331 E. Tropicana Ave., Chapala's offers traditional Mexican dishes and is home to the famous Grandpa Margarita. Chapala's is open from 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. For more information, call 451-8141.
This Italian restaurant was once the hangout for celebrity notables like the Rat Pack and former presidents. Now, Piero's is located at 355 Convention Center Drive, just walking distance from the Las Vegas convention center, and features 345 seats and six separate dining rooms. The menu is the same from when the establishment first opened in 1982. Dinner is served daily from 5:30 to 10 p.m. For more information, call 369-2305.