It’s one of the best worst-kept secrets in Las Vegas: Former Comme Ça executive chef Brian Howard and the Nyman Group hospitality consultant/Labor Wines proprietor Corey Nyman are going into business together.
There was a gleam in their eyes a year ago, when they each said in turn, “Good things are coming!” and the way each, separately, spoke of his unnamed business partner that led to the conclusion that the two were actually speaking about each other. Congenially confronted, they spilled the beans. And they’ve been sitting on those beans as best they can ever since while others have speculated.
Well, beans to that—they’re ready to talk.
Grazing Pig Food Group is the name, and “honest American cookery and libations” is the game. “Las Vegas has given us so much, and we believe in the city, which is why we have chosen to launch our first two [Las Vegas] concepts in 2015,” Nyman told Vegas Seven exclusively. The two started talking in 2013 about both wanting to do something on their own. “We noticed the similarity between the concepts we each wanted to do, started drawing on napkins,” Howard says. “And then we said, ‘Why are we still talking about this?’”
Among those similarities was the desire to provide truly welcoming service. Both will admit the thought crossed their minds to establish themselves elsewhere, but “most importantly, Las Vegas is home for us,” Howard says. “With what we’ve gotten from the city, we want to give back to the city and start our portfolio here.” And the timing couldn’t be better, as Las Vegas is increasingly becoming a legitimate culinary powerhouse, at least in some part thanks to Nyman and Howard themselves. “Brian is truly on the cusp of something,” Nyman says. “As he has evolved, he needed a chance to have his culinary voice heard. He’s pushing boundaries in a number of ways.”
All that talk turned to action as the concepts came together—literally, as both will be housed under one roof. Harvest & Larder will be a casual, affordable, seasonal-ingredient-driven neighborhood restaurant serving dinner and late night to start. Grazing Pig Charcuterie will be a dine-in or carryout butchery that “very much embraces Brian’s talents,” Nyman says, adding that it will also be warm and fun. “The music is as important to us as is the décor as is the food.” Both venues will also offer Nyman’s Labor Wines, which include pinot noir, pinot blanc and riesling made in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
The pair is currently considering spaces and confirms that they have an off-Strip location in mind. “It’s by locals, for locals,” Nyman says. “It has to be a place where chefs and food and beverage people feel comfortable coming on their days off—anyone who enjoys good, quality ingredients and food done well.” A third concept is also tentatively planned for 2016. A bar perhaps? Time will tell what makes up their Las Vegas portfolio.
“We’re excited,” Nyman says. “This city is ready for locals to really give back to ourselves.”