Lollipop sales have been good this year. I mean really good. And by the looks of the goings-on at Paris, all that candy money is being put to incredible use as Chateau Nightclub & Gardens and Sugar Factory American Brasserie grow around, in front of and beneath the Strip’s iconic Eiffel Tower.
Weighing in at a combined 65,000 square feet, the project replaces Ah Sin Asian restaurant and Risqué Nightclub, the latter having closed Jan. 1. From the Strip, passersby can today catch glimpses of the project rising up right from the sidewalk, the roof of which will double as the brasserie’s beer garden by day and the nightclub’s outdoor terrace by night.
Having been granted a rare first audience at Chateau by Corey Jenkins, a partner of Pure and Cabo Wabo pedigree, I toured both spaces on an unseasonably cold Las Vegas night. A bitter wind ripped through the raw concrete and rebar construction site, blowing unimpeded through windows that this time next year will be expertly dressed in holiday theme but which tonight gape widely at the Bellagio fountains across the way. However, just hearing about the things to come got my pulse racing and my sweet tooth aching.
While each venue could probably operate independently of the other, they are instead fortuitously intertwined. A guest might start out his evening with a cocktail at the little casino bar at the base of Chateau’s newly revamped staircase before dinner in the Brasserie or Chocolate Lounge and then hit the club.
But my night will probably look something more like this:
After dropping the car off at the dedicated valet just steps from Sugar Factory’s doors, I browse the retail shop—four times the size of that inside the Miracle Mile Shops—while I wait for my friends and for the hostess to text me that our table is ready. A short while later I am seated in the Factory’s Chocolate Lounge. Selecting from the sushi-style glass case, I opt not for the $1,000 gold-chocolate sphere (served with a bottle of Dom and armfuls of to-go goodies) but for something a little more on my level. “Grand Cru” chocolates hailing from faraway Peru, Denmark, Hawaii, Ecuador and Bolivia become fondue in the lounge’s built-in burners.
When it’s club time, we take the elevators up and take full advantage of the fact that the 15,000-square-foot interior now unifies what in Risqué’s days was split into two disjointed spaces. The V-shaped room, awash in rich, saturated blues, purples, black and bronze pivots at one unique architectural feature: a vertical sandwich of a fireplace topped with a DJ booth beneath a video screen. Around the sunken dance floor and two main-room bars, lampshade chandeliers hang over the bottle service booths, which incorporate the former tenant’s beloved rotunda into the table scheme.
Outside, the Chateau Terrace is somewhat reminiscent of Pure’s own terrace, centering around a colossal rooftop bar but sporting “Chateau” in lights, mirroring the massive gold letter-wall that serves as the front door on the balcony entrance. The terrace bar is flanked by two five-foot-high, double-sided fireplaces and topped like a wedding cake with the DJ booth and enough space for 15 celebrity friends. Sixteen cabanas surround the scene and in full Saturday night swing, this scene will stop traffic.
When it opens in May, we can take another elevator up to the Chateau Garden, an even larger outdoor space, 15,000 square feet between the legs of the Eiffel Tower (the restaurant’s elevator passes right through!) and behind the hotel’s pool complex. We’re greeted once more by “Chateau”—this time spelled out in large-scale shrubbery—and in the three-tiered greenhouse-esque outdoor nightclub the amenities continue: three more bars, heated/cooled floors, a third DJ booth, VIP seating with dance-worthy platforms and eight-foot wrap-around glass walls showing off the Strip views.
When it’s all over, stairs drop us off right back at the hostess stand, where we are greeted by the enticing scent of waffles. In the art nouveau brasserie—the first flagship Sugar Factory restaurant and one of five planned—fourth meal is served, a menu of more than 200 items, presided over by executive chef Michael Sellman (formerly of Pure Management Group) with consulting chef Bryan Ogden (Bradley Ogden, Munchbar). Belgian waffles, crepes, burgers, gelato, shakes, all-day breakfast and pizzas both sweet and savory are served alongside executive pastry chef Michael Gillet’s sweet creations—truffles, bon-bons and pastries all exquisitely presented.
Here, as with everywhere else in the Brasserie and nightclub, the Paris hotel theme is softly whipped and folded into the venue’s own design by Amy Kim of AK Design Network, like the softest mousse au chocolate in chef Gillet’s hands.
Of course, I’ll have to wait until the March 4 Sugar Factory (SugarFactory.com) opening to see which celebs have the honors of throwing out the first Couture Pop, but the payoff will be sweetened by the fact that Chateau’s own celebrity-studded fête is the very next night. Following the opening, Chateau (ChateauNightclubLV.com) will operate (for starters) on Friday and Saturday, with all guns blazing for a Tuesday industry night. Tuesdays haven’t seen much love since Pure Industry Tuesdays dominated, and though that club is still around, Tuesday is indeed ripe for reinvention.
With two venues, three distinct nightclub spaces, a trio of DJ booths and the multiple modes of entry and exit, the $40 million Sugar Factory/Chateau complex creates 800 jobs and presents infinite possibilities for event and music programming. And with Sugar Factory’s stable of celebrities … well, let’s just say that opening night is easily in le sac.