Echo & Rig Expansion in the District Thrives, Hosts James Beard Foundation

This is the fourth in a series of stories following the growth of off-Strip restaurant favorites.  

When Chef Sam Marvin and his team decided to expand their Echo & Rig Butcher & Steakhouse restaurants to The District at Green Valley (there are currently two others), long-term success was on his mind. 

In only six months – they have been open since February – they have cemented their space and reputation as the finest butchery-focused steakhouses in the Las Vegas Valley.

Before the new location opened, I sat with Chef Sam to discuss it.

Chef Sam Talks Echo & Rig

image courtesy of Samantha Gemini Stevens

First Tivoli Village, then Sacramento, California, and now the District in Green Valley. Focusing on Las Vegas, you seem to like the outskirts of an area, the edges of town. Why did you choose these locations?

We opened (the first) Echo & Rig (in Tivoli Village, Summerlin) 11 years ago when they were building million-dollar houses in the mountains. And I realized that it’s pretty fluid out there. And nobody’s catering to their needs, right? We’re in the service industry. We find out what your needs are. And we service your needs. It’s simple, right?

And it also felt like all the people running the Las Vegas Strip [resorts and restaurants] lived in those areas. So it seemed like a win-win. Nobody was taking the locations out there. It was the perfect time 11 years ago.

Were you–are you–at all concerned with competition from the resort steakhouses near both Las Vegas locations?

I don’t see it as a competition; we are all here for a reason and we all do it differently. The butchery is a big part of who we are and while other places may offer a wide variety of cuts and meats, we are the only butcher shop and steakhouse. We not only have more options, but we can cater to custom requests and be creative and change our menu to reflect availability and quality more easily.

It’s a choice we made for our vision, not as some sort of perceived competition. I want everyone to do well in their space.

You have mentioned in previous conversations how you strive to be a neighborhood place. 

Again, the community is amazing. Everything I have is because of this community. They’ve been so supportive. And I can’t tell you how many people come from Henderson to go over (to the Tivoli location) asking me, ‘When are you going to open (one in) Henderson?’

We’ve heard it for so many years. And then we’ve looked at locations before, including the Henderson market, definitely. And the same management for Tivoli happens to run this space. So we started talking about some of their other stuff. And we were looking at Henderson and then I saw the Elephant Bar here [in The District].

I saw the location. I used to come here. And I said this could be great for us. It’s far enough away from the other location. It’ll have its own personality. It’s just going to be a neighborhood spot, again, where we’re servicing the needs of the people. And now’s the time because Henderson is blowing up.

Let’s talk about uniqueness. You have said each location has its own personality. In terms of the culinary work, tell me more about what separates the Las Vegas locations.

I am not just a butcher. I am a fish guy. So that will reflect more on this [Henderson] menu. It’s the technical part, the skill set of it, right, which you’ll see with new offerings. I think of it like this: most of the time, a cow is a cow is a cow, right? Pig has slight variations, but they’re all the same, right? But when you get to fish, there’s like 220 edible fish varietals. I want some focus on what we can do with fish.

As for our burgers, those will change every day. Because we are a butcher we take sustainability and responsibility seriously. It’s a sign of respect. So when we have trim from various cuts all day, every day, we use those to make burgers, so the mix changes all the time.

We also have the menu set up a bit differently to make clear that you are in a different place, but not so different you don’t know it’s the spirit and vision of Echo & Rig. You can choose a type of meat and then choose from various cuts. It puts more choice in the hands of the customer while still keeping our base values up front.” 

And your bar program? You tapped, no pun intended, Tony Abou-Ganim, the Modern Mixologist himself?

We did, yes. The two bars in Las Vegas are vastly different in appearance and how they work; I wanted the soul of them to be different.

Tony brought in Tobin Ellis of Bar Magic to design the space and Tony worked on the menu, the spirit of it, if you will, the soul. I have known him for a long time, having met him through his cancer charity [The Helen Davis Relief Fund]. At first, he said he wasn’t consulting anymore because people wouldn’t keep it up. I think he knew I wasn’t like that. He’s crafted something really special here and we have signature cocktails to reflect that. We all feel very fortunate to have him on our side.”

Six months later

image courtesy of Samantha Gemini Stevens

Now that they have been open a while, I asked Chef Sam and his sister, Sheryl Marvin Best, Director of Guest Relations, how they may have done things differently.

What kinds of things have you noticed different between the two locations in Las Vegas? Vibe, demographic, etc.?

The vibe in Henderson feels more reserved, the guests seem to be longtime community members, very well-established and understanding of a great guest experience.”

What have you learned with the opening of this Henderson restaurant compared to Las Vegas/Summerlin and Sacramento, California?

[We’ve] learned you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and a great team for both front and back of the house is essential in opening up a new business. Great leadership and a good heart can allow you to walk through opening obstacles easily.”

What have been some of your favorite moments so far at the new Henderson location?

[We] have so enjoyed seeing the reaction of our existing guests to the new location. After [more than] 10 years, [we] believe we have served over a million guests in Tivoli, and when I see their reaction to the newest project and their eyes light up, it is very fulfilling.”

Upcoming James Beard Foundation Dinner

image courtesy of Samantha Gemini Stevens

Per the Echo & Rig website, the public is invited to, “join us this October 16, 2023, at Echo & Rig Henderson at the District at Green Valley for an exceptional, six-course meal complemented by cocktails, wine and whiskey, crafted by award-winning Chef Sam Marvin. The Feast is designed exclusively to benefit the world-renowned James Beard Foundation.

With 4 decades of culinary innovation, dedication, and excellence, Chef Sam Marvin promises to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. Brought to life with the support of Echo & Rig, Passport Culinary, Think Culinary, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, this private dinner will be an incredible experience.”

Tickets: $195 per person;

Locations and Hours

image courtesy of Samantha Gemini Stevens

The District at Green Valley, Henderson

Lunch: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Happiest Hour: Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m *Bar area only

Dinner: Monday to Thursday, Sunday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Butcher Shop Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tivoli Village, Summerlin, Las Vegas

Lunch: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Happiest Hour: Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m *Bar area only

Dinner: Monday to Thursday, Sunday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You might also be interested in...

Las Vegas Beer News January 2024: What’s on Tap

January brings brand-new beer news to the forefront, with openings and new brews alike

Read More

Delicious December Dining News in Las Vegas

The end of the year brings exciting culinary updates, both on and off the Strip

Read More

LPM Restaurant & Bar Bringing a Taste of the French Riviera to the Vegas Strip

Take a trip to the French Riviera inside The Cosmopolitan and LPM

Read More

Casa Playa: Timeless and Delicious Coastal Mexican Fare at Encore

Chef Sarah Thompson creates coastal Mexican magic at Casa Playa inside Encore Las Vegas

Read More

Festive Las Vegas Holiday Dining News

Our December round-ups are back, with everything from seasonal winter coffee flights to Christmas feasts.

Read More

What did you think?