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Robin Leach:

Little Buddha at the Palms closing to make way for new restaurant


Steve Marcus

Little Buddha

Updated Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | 10:53 a.m.

Little Buddha

The dining area of the Little Buddha restaurant located inside the Palms. Launch slideshow »

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The legend of four powerful beautiful Chinese women who dazzled an empire and toppled its kings will be told when a new Pan-Asian restaurant opens at the Palms. After 11 years the hip Little Buddha — part of the George V music, restaurant and hotel empire headquartered in Paris — will close within two months to make room for Xishi, named after one of four legendary women from ancient China.

"Xishi’s beauty was so incredible that the name to this day is still used in the first two characters of the Chinese language greeting to compliment a person’s appearance, looks and beauty," said The ONE Group’s founder and CEO Jonathan Segal.

Little Buddha has attracted many showbiz and sports stars as regular diners over the years and it was regularly booked for glittering VIP parties.

Staff was notified Thursday night of plans by The ONE Group to take over. Renovations and redecorating are slated for November with a reopening planned for the end of December. As Vegas DeLuxe has previously reported, The ONE Group also is taking over the neighboring Garduno’s restaurant and converting it into the Heraea sports bar.

Click to enlarge photo

Garduno's at the Palms, seen Wednesday, May 16, 2012, is set to close soon and reopen as an upscale sports bar.

I'm told Xishi will feature two dining experiences: one casual and one formal, with traditional and contemporary light Asian cuisine. To ensure vibrant energy and a cool mood like The ONE Group's STK restaurant in the Cosmopolitan, there will be DJ’s on duty.

News of The ONE Group’s expansion at the Palms comes as progress moves forward for the hospitality company’s Bagatelle supper club and dayclub at the Tropicana.

"We believe very strongly in Vegas (and) its future and are proud to be bringing in so many venues," Segal said. "Vegas gets our big stamp of approval. Vegas is a massive export for America; it's a flag as the hospitality capital of the world.

“I’m very excited — ridiculously excited — about what we will be doing at the Palms. It will be one of the most exciting casinos in Vegas. It's right back to its early days when George Maloof was throwing the best parties in the newest best destination."

Heraea, named after a heroic Olympian goddess, also is expected to open before New Year's Eve.

In addition to Xishi — pronounced Zai-she —The ONE Group operates or is partnered with hospitality brands in 20 venues and five hotel operations from coast to coast and Europe, including the new Asellina restaurants — named after a powerful woman from Pompeii.

“Using the names Xishi and Heraea at the Palms continues our tradition of acknowledging the world’s powerful women who changed history,” Segal said.

Next up from The ONE Group will be another new restaurant nightlife hospitality concept to be titled Heliot — named after the world’s first female lion tamer!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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CORRECTION: The story has been updated to correct the spelling of Xishi | (August 24, 2012)

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