Blake Shelton Breaks Ground on New Las Vegas Honky-Tonk
Blake Shelton, star of country music and “The Voice,” was in Las Vegas this week to break ground on the fifth location of his country barbecue and live music joint. If all goes according to plan – like all usually doesn’t – Ole Red Las Vegas hopes to open it in time to offer premium views of the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on Nov. 18.
Ole Red – a reference to Shelton’s single “Ol’ Red,” from his self-titled 2002 debut album – will occupy a new building at the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of the Horseshoe Las Vegas (formerly Bally’s). Each of its four floors will sport balconies overlooking the Strip at Flamingo Boulevard.
The first and second floors will feature casual dining and live country music. The third floor will host VIP experiences, private events, and bottle service. And the fourth-floor rooftop will serve food as part of the restaurant by day, then function as a separate lounge — featuring cocktail flights, live music and DJ sets, and its own menu – at night.
“If you are going to do something here, you’ve got to do it big,” Shelton said during a Q&A at a preview event held this week at the Horseshoe. “Every time I’m in Vegas, I want some country music and Ole Red is the remedy for that.”
At the event, Shelton and his partner, Ryman Hospitality Properties, provided a sneak peek of what to expect from Ole Red’s Las Vegas kitchen and stage. It featured food samples and live performances by previous “The Voice” contestants Wendy Moten and the Swon Brothers.
The Las Vegas menu will feature its own lobster corn dog, in addition to scratch-made chain favorites including grilled bacon-wrapped meatloaf, brisket sliders with chorizo, and pulled pork sliders with Ole Red sauce and slaw. The bar will feature moonshine cocktails including one that supposedly tastes like cherry limeade.
Shelton opened the first Ole Red in 2017 in Tishomingo, Oklahoma – his home state. There are now locations in Nashville and Gatlinburg, Tenn., as well as Orlando, Fla. At approximately 27,000 square feet with 686 seats, the Las Vegas location will be the brand’s largest to date.
Surprise Shelton Shows?
Shelton – who is married to pop superstar Gwen Stefani – will be one of two celebrities helping Caesars to rebrand its former Bally’s Resort Casino under its Horseshoe brand. The other is Guy Fieri, who just announced that his third Las Vegas Strip restaurant, Flavortown Sports Kitchen, will open at Horseshoe this summer.
As part of that effort, Shelton even expects to drop by and play Ole Red.
“Oh hell, yeah,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. “I have no clue how, but I’ll tell you right now, I’ll be there on that stage. I don’t know how often, but the way we’ve handled it in the past with the other Ole Reds is, hey, I’m going to be on that side of the country anyway. Let’s block off a couple of days and surprise people.”
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