Holidays in Sin City: How Hospitality Professionals Celebrate Thanksgiving

In Las Vegas, holidays are often busy times of the year with little time off for those in the hospitality industry. We caught up with some pros to ask how they will spend their Thanksgiving weekend

As I was looking for ideas for where to spend Thanksgiving off the Las Vegas Strip, I was inquiring of my hospitality friends how they spend Thanksgiving. Some are working, some are taking some well-deserved time off.

For myself, I will wander around town on Thursday and visit working friends to support our industry and take advantage of all the delicious food and drink specials available. On the weekend, I will be a guest at a Friendsgiving celebration and host another.

Words on Thanksgiving From Las Vegas Hospitality Professionals

“We’ll be closed Thanksgiving day, but I will still cook and visit family.”

Chef Sonia El-Nawal, Bodega Bagel

“This year’s Thanksgiving will be spent like the last couple of years: with friends and family around a plentiful table of food at a local Dim Sum restaurant. I like being able to sit back and enjoy everyone’s company. No one has to worry about cooking, cleaning or hosting. Plus, Dim Sum is way better than turkey!

Chef Justin Kingsley Hall, Kindling Culinary
Chef Justin Kingsley Hall, Kindling Culinary

“Chef Oscar [Amador Edo] and I will spend time at a friend’s house with our families. We will all be cooking and bringing in delicious food and wine. It will be a very untraditional format, but all about family and friendship.

General Partner Roberto Liendo, EDO and Anima by EDO

“I spend every year with my team at Sparrow + Wolf for dinner service and then we all sit down to eat together. This year we also get to invite the Half Bird team over. It will be a feast with my closest family! I always say this will be the year I cook at home… so this might be the year I [feel like I] cook at home!”

Chef Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Half-Bird Chicken and Beer

“We will be celebrating with family and looking forward to digging into the smoked turkey we ordered from our friend Chef Bruce Kalman at SoulBelly BBQ!

Owner Wyndee Forrest, Crafthaus Brewery
Owner Wyndee Forrest, Crafthaus Brewery / Courtesy of Crafthaus

“Ryan and I are hosting our first Thanksgiving in Las Vegas and we’ve chosen to attempt to honor the Indigenous peoples for our family gathering this year. We’ll be making bison, salmon, wild rice that was harvested by the Ojibwe Tribe in Minnesota, and other items that were here before colonialism.”

Owner Kris Wilson, 5098 Bread

“As a family, we usually do [a celebration] a week early or a week late because I was always knee-deep in turkeys the week of Thanksgiving. Main St. Provisions is closed for Thanksgiving day so I have no idea what to do. My wife calls it ‘Thanksgravy’ because she wants absurd amounts of gravy. No matter how many quarts of gravy I make I always get told ‘that’s not gonna be enough gravy!’”

Chef Patrick Munster, Main St. Provisions
Chef Patrick Munster, Main St. Provisions

“We’ll be closed that day, but I am still getting up at 3 a.m. to fire turkeys for drop-off to several families.”

Chef Josh Bianchi, Binky’s

“We’re having a super chill Thanksgiving with my neighbor. We agree that she cooks and I bring the wine for about 10 of us to gather and enjoy.”

Sommelier Kelly Ford Lau, KellySOMM
Courtesy of Pexels

“We are closed [Thanksgiving day], which is a blessing [in hospitality]! We are taking it easy and celebrating with family, watching everyone get drunk and watching football.

General Manager Troy Del Grosso, Eureka!

“Eating, drinking, lounging and cursing at the family while playing multiple and obnoxious rounds of Uno.”

Bartender Kat Sassafrass, Dick’s Last Resort
Courtesy of Pexels

“Thanksgiving is about balance. I’ll work out, eat until I pass out, wake up and watch some movies and probably eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It sounds random but it sounds so good to me. It is unclear if I will do any cooking, but if I do, I am debating on a turkey shio ramen.”

Chef Lanny Chin, La Neta Cocina y Lounge and Mas Por Favor

“I will probably order my dinner; no cooking, no cleaning, just good eating!

Martiza, Cured and Whey
Courtesy of Pexels

“I am revisiting Thanksgiving; I want to better understand and re-educate myself on the meaning of Thanksgiving. This year it’s about my immediate family, my husband and kids. Keeping it small for quality over quantity.”

Joyce Malouf, Pitachick Bites

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