Global Culinary Icon Wolfgang Puck Dishes On New Sports Restaurant In Las Vegas

Wolfgang PuckPhoto Credit: Wolfgang Puck

Highly-acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck has come a long way since opening his first restaurant Spago in 1982 in Beverly Hills. Over the years, he has become a culinary icon not just in Las Vegas but all over the world including Los Angeles, New York, London, Japan and Shanghai. Haute Living sat down with Wolfgang Puck to discuss his longevity in the hospitality scene, what he likes about having restaurants in Las Vegas and his new restaurant Wolfgang Puck Players Locker.

How did you get started in culinary arts and what is the key to your longevity today?

I discovered my love for food at a very young age. When I was just 14 years old, I left home and started as a potato cutter at a small restaurant. I went to France and had the opportunity to work and learn in some of the city’s best restaurants, including Maxim’s in Paris and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. I didn’t make my way to the United States until I was in my mid-twenties. I first arrived in Indianapolis, but eventually made my way to Los Angeles and have been there for more than 40 years. We opened Spago in 1982 and then Chinois in 1983 and have been opening in other cities in America, and also internationally like in Bahrain, Doha, London and Singapore. The key to my longevity is my desire to always learn, grow and create something new. Outside of restaurants, we also create appliances like air fryers and knives that we sell on HSN.

What excites you most about having restaurants in a city like Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is one of the culinary capitals of the world. The city is unique because you have people from all over the world that come in and out, and the landscape is always changing. It is also very exciting to be able to see some of my chef friends like Gordan Ramsey, Roy Choi, David Chang and Bobby Flay open restaurants in the city, too.

Now, let’s talk about Wolfgang Puck Players Locker in Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas. It marks the first time a globally renowned chef will be partnering with active professional athletes to bring a luxury sports restaurant to Las Vegas. How did this partnership come about?

I met Alex Tuch at one of their practices. I had no idea he was a fan, but he came to me during the practice and began speaking to me in Austrian! I had no idea he knew the language, this boy is so young. I was impressed. I have immense respect for the Vegas Golden Knights, so when I found out they were interested in partnering with me to create a unique, never-before-seen sports restaurant in Las Vegas, I said yes. We have created a unique, one-of-a-kind sports dining experience that is based around great food and the best players in the NHL.

What sets Wolfgang Puck Players Locker apart from your other restaurants?

Wolfgang Puck Players Locker is the first sports restaurant of its kind. Like my other restaurants, we have focused on putting together the right menu for this location; it will be very different from anything else we have done. There are many dishes inspired by the players themselves, including Tuch’s Reuben Sandwich, which is a personal favorite of his, and one of the standout dishes on the menu. The other players will also have their own items on the menu like William Karlsson, who loves vegan burgers. Vegan food has become so big now and we want to be inclusive of everyone, so we’ll have our own vegan burger available for all guests. Reilly Smith is Canadian, so we’ll also have a delicious spin on poutine with our own house-made sauce. There will also be a phenomenal beverage program, unlike anything we have offered before.

Tell me about the Wolfgang Puck Players Locker beverage program.

Something unique and different about Wolfgang Puck Players Locker is that guests are able to have their own “locker” to purchase. Member lockers will hold their special and private collection of alcohol, wine and rare spirits that they can rent out yearly. In the Locker Membership program, members will get a special gift box, a personalized card that shows they are VIP and access to rare bottles of wines and alcohol. Their lockers will also be beside some of the most influential people in Las Vegas.

What are some other highlights of the new restaurant that guests can look forward to?

This restaurant will become the official home of the Golden Knights in Las Vegas. Guests will be able to experience a totally different restaurant and bar experience. They will be able to come to our restaurant and enjoy great food with the best local ingredients. They’ll be able to bring their friends and family and watch some of the best games on TV. Guests can come in for a beer and a burger or they can come in for a nice glass of red wine and a steak… at Wolfgang Puck Players Locker there is something for everyone.

Will you or the Vegas Golden Knights players visit the restaurant from time to time?

Absolutely. You never know who you may spot at Wolfgang Puck Players Locker.

Wolfgang Puck Players Locker is located at 10955 Oval Park Drive in Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 702-202-6300 or click here.