Restaurant: Impossible host Robert Irvine is moving ahead with previously announced plans to open a restaurant in the Tropicana on the Vegas Strip. Eater Vegas has an early rendering of Robert Irvine on the Strip, revealing a white brick pub look with big-screen TVs at the bar. The restaurant is tentatively slated to open sometime in 2017. “Vegas has evolved into a mecca of food,” the British star told Eater Vegas last year. “If you want to be relevant in food, I think you have to have something in Vegas.”
The opening comes at an interesting time in Irvine’s restaurant career trajectory. In January 2015, he closed his South Carolina strip mall restaurant, citing his demanding travel schedule. At that time, his reps told Eater the chef was “too busy to be as personally involved as he wants to be," adding that despite the restaurant's closure, Irvine was "very much still qualified" to help struggling restaurants on his Food Network show (which itself was cancelled in August 2016). He then opened Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine inside the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where recent customer reviews have been fairly tepid. Vegas is a far more desirable culinary location than the Pentagon, however, and Irvine has more face to lose if his restaurant doesn’t succeed at the Tropicana.
Plenty television-oriented chefs have done well in Vegas. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro is still running his red-sauce Italian joint and Guy Fieri has his restaurant on the Strip (far from the critical eye of New York Times critic Pete Wells). Pronouncer of Italian words Giada De Laurentiis stunned skeptics when her eponymous restaurant Giada opened with a lovely dining room and a well-received menu.
There still aren’t many details when it comes to what Irvine plans to cook at his new restaurant. But here, now, a flame-filled trailer for Robert Irvine on the Strip: