Chef Michael Mina’s classic Nobhill Tavern closes on March 30, ending a nearly 12-year run. For Mina, it’s an opportunity to look back at the groundbreaking tavern’s early days.
“It’s very emotional,” Mina says. “I got emotional when I looked back at the first menus, because it was something special we did.”
In the early 2000s, Las Vegas saw a wave of restaurant brands from other cities set up shop on the Strip—Mina’s own Aqua, and Le Cirque, for example. But with Nobhill, Mina broke with the trend by creating a concept specifically for Las Vegas. “At the time, it was about awareness of product and bringing the Bay Area here,” Mina says. “It was very much about the great products and great dishes that San Francisco is known for—it was about neighborliness, hospitality and warmth. We had an amazing run.”
If you’d like a taste of Nobhill circa 2001—or a final taste of Nobhill at all—from March 26-30, the MGM Grand restaurant will serve classic and traditional dishes from the original menu. It’s a chance to taste the restaurant’s early specialties, from Gilroy garlic soup to Liberty Farm duck ravioli. And from the start, Nobhill had a modern flair for comfort food: The early days featured cheese fondue and complimentary tableside whipped-potato service.
While the tavern is closing, Mina’s not going anywhere: His signature San Francisco cioppino can still be had at American Fish in Aria. Plus, he’s still got Strip Steak at Mandalay Bay and his eponymous restaurants in Bellagio. His next move is to open Pub 1842 this summer in the former Seablue space in MGM Grand—and, yes, you’ll be able to get that good ol’ Nobhill truffle mac and cheese.