90 Bar + Grill opened in May in Las Vegas’ Suncoast Hotel & Casino, a Boyd Gaming property. The new concept, designed by Boyd’s Director of Design Sean Tanner, in partnership with Novus Architecture, is meant to evoke old-school Vegas.
According to Tanner, hotel and casino guests are encouraged to enter 90 Bar + Grill from outside the restaurant.
“The original floor plan was very closed off to the casino,” says Tanner. “We took the opportunity to open up the views into the space. The main bar is visible from the entry. It’s the carrot on the end of the stick to get you into the space.”
The carrot includes some retro cues, including an opulent chandelier and signage reminiscent of old casinos and playing cards.
Once inside, guests first encounter the bar area. The bar top is made with reclaimed hickory, while the bar face is covered in tufted vinyl, adding a feel of retro Vegas opulence. The space, however, is dominated by what’s above the bar: first a set of large screen televisions, and above that a cloud of hanging Edison bulbs that once again evoke the past.
Also above the bar is a shimmering brass chain structure. This element is found in other areas of the restaurant and adds a sense of glamor to the space.
Another set of the brass chain structures hang above the dining room. This space is furnished with reclaimed wood tables and vinyl booth seating, along with white solid-surface tables matched with white chairs that have a green houndstooth pattern on the back, recalling the 1940s, Tanner says.
The dining room also has a partition made of gold-colored metal rings that offer a masculine-yet-industrial vibe. The partition, says Tanner, allows the restaurant to seat guests strategically.
“We call it the accordion effect. The restaurant can expand when it needs to expand to accommodate more people, but when it isn’t at peak times, it doesn’t feel empty.”
The designers set up one nook of the dining room and turned it to a lounge-like space. Located to the left of a small stage for live music, the lounge includes soft seating and a tufted leather banquette, once again made of vinyl. “We wanted to use leather but it would last about three weeks,” says Tanner.
The area above the banquette feature the lounge’s signature designs elements. First comes built-in shelving that holds antiques collected from shops around Las Vegas. These pieces — including a 1920s-era speaker, 1940s-era microphone and antique bottles — are meant to impart a sense of nostalgia and authenticity.
More genuine period pieces have been placed above this shelving unit. These diamond-shaped lights, says Tanner, were reclaimed from a now-demolished casino. The Stardust resort was a Boyd Gaming property. When we demolished that resort we kept a lot of the signage. These were saved from the demolition and repurposed here.”
One other space in the restaurant is a small private dining room. One wall in the room is covered with a beveled mirror, helping the small space feel a bit bigger. Above the dining table is a set of hickory frames with a metal grill insert and a pendant light hanging through each. These were left over from another project, says Tanner, and were repurposed for 90 Bar + Grill. They add a slightly masculine touch to the space.
The private dining room’s table is made of maple and includes a live edge. “It’s nice to use that as a foil,” says Tanner. “When you have all these hard, rigid shapes, it’s nice to introduce something that has some organic quality.