Monday, April 27, 2015 | 2:02 p.m.
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is ending the 16-year-run of his restaurant Postrio at the Venetian. Sunday’s dinner service was his final bow, but the restaurant — the second-largest space in the Venetian — has a private party there tonight and then shuts its doors.
“We are so busy with our six other restaurants in Las Vegas and concentrating on the expansion of other venues around the world that with the increased rent being charged by the mall managers, it simply didn’t make economic sense to continue Postrio,” Wolf told me. “We have enjoyed 16 prosperous years in the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian thanks to our loyal guests, and we are most appreciative”.
Eater Las Vegas has reported that the Postrio rent at the Grand Canal Shops of the Venetian had risen to $100,000 a month, which caused the restaurant to lose money during the low visitor periods of summer and early fall. It’s believed that last-minute efforts right up until Friday night to plan a new restaurant concept there at a reduced rent failed to produce an agreement.
Wolf, the first major star chef in Las Vegas in 1992 when he opened Spago at the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace, continues to operate his steakhouse Cut in nearby Palazzo.
At Spago on Friday, he told me: “We’ve just opened a Cut in Bahrain, and we plan on opening our first-ever New York City restaurant with Cut this fall. Hopefully a Spago will eventually open there in Midtown, too. We’ve also got Cut in Singapore, and it will be joined by Spago later this year at Marina Bay Sands.”
The Sands Singapore is another sister hotel of the Venetian and Palazzo here under hotel tycoon Sheldon Adelson.
Additionally, Wolf has just opened a Spago in Istanbul, Turkey, with Las Vegas managers and chefs. He also has plans underway for two Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill restaurants — similar to his venues at MGM Grand and Downtown Summerlin — in China and at the first Disney park on Mainland China in Shanghai.
He also is excited about the opening of a new concept, Re, on the 50th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain.
“It’s an evolution of our Chinois restaurants, and I think you will also see more of those around the world,” he told me. Wolf closed Chinois in the Forum Shops in early 2009 in a dispute with the shopping mall operators over Poetry nightclub that opened directly above the restaurant.
Wolf summed up: “Our plate is full, and we are still growing.”
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.