Established in 1884 in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, P.J. Clarke’s has thrived for 125 years by defining itself as a no-nonsense, old-fashioned saloon. Now, P.J.’s is set to bring its authentic ambience, friendly service and traditional fare to the Strip.
Walking through the door of P.J.’s, which is scheduled to open on the first floor of the Forum Shops at Caesars in mid-December, you’ll think you’ve been transported to a 1940s watering hole. Owner Phillip Scotti went to great lengths to create a familiar feeling, even if you have never set foot in any of the five other locations. The walls are adorned with reclaimed subway tiles, saved from demolition sites around Manhattan, and the lighting fixtures are a mix of restored units from the ’40s and Victorian-era antiques. The solid mahogany bar is from France, while the music, controlled by a restored 1950s jukebox, will pump out a who’s who of New York music icons—Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett will be in constant rotation.
This will be the first P.J.’s on the West Coast, and it brings more than a welcoming environment: it’s also offering menu items such as baked macaroni and cheese, chicken potpie and Long Island clams on the half shell.
P.J.’s may not be for everyone. Order an energy drink and they’ll serve you coffee. They employ bartenders, not “mixologists,” who will remember your name and be happy to recommend a good scotch. “When you walk into our joint, we automatically assume you are an old friend,” Scotti says. “Our job is simply to serve you a good meal, make you comfortable and help you and your friends to enjoy yourselves.”