Suzuya, Gyu+ Coming To Spring Mtn. Road

Two popular local eateries, Gyu+ and Suzuya Patisserie, are coming to Chinatown. Speaking to the Food and Loathing podcast, restauranteur Luis De Santos revealed that he’s bringing both concepts to The Center At Spring Mountain Road — the shopping center that also houses The Golden Tiki, Mas Por Favor, Partage and Yama Sushi, among other popular spots.  

In an interview on the podcast’s May 3 episode, De Santos explained that he’s transforming his Gyu+ Sando ghost kitchen into a counter service, brick-and-mortar restaurant in the complex this June, with a more formal back room to follow about a month later. He also reported that he and his company, The Elevate Hospitality Group, have partnered with the team behind Suzuya Patisserie to open a café in the same complex around May 16.

Born Of The Pandemic: Gyu+

Luis De Santos (right) at UNLVino Sake Fever

Many Las Vegas foodies know De Santos from his time at District One and his work with Chef Khai Vu at the short-lived Mordeo Wine Bar, which never reopened after the pandemic. The latter experience inspired him to create a sandwich and rice box-focused ghost kitchen called Gyu+.

“This came about because of what just happened with the pandemic,” De Santos explained. “We were depressed. And my partner Freddy Paloma said, ‘Let’s do something just to keep busy.’”

The goal, he continues, was “to do something special but economical.”

So, they developed a menu of sandos (Japanese sandwiches) built on the Japanese milk bread shokupan, focusing primarily on beef. Other offerings include eggs, chicken and veggies. To round it out, they added beef, veggie and pork belly rice boxes.

Steak Sando From Gyu+

Gyu+’s first home was a 200-square-foot cloud kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas. When it outgrew it, it relocated to Eastern Avenue. Until now, however, the company has relied exclusively on delivery services to deliver its creations to its customers.

He decided to jump to a physical restaurant when he was shown a space tucked into the back of The Center at Spring Mountain Road – facing Wynn Road, next to a Babystacks breakfast restaurant. It was small but would work perfectly for a counter-service restaurant in the front, with a small space in the back that De Santos believes will be perfect for a more social late-night experience.

“It’ll be Gyu Social, which is a hidden room [behind a] sliding door,” he says of the room, which will have seats of about 30 and offer a slightly more upscale menu and perhaps some live entertainment.

“Very intimate,” De Santos continues. “We want to do more of a very casual setting but still Japanese-inspired food similar to what Gyu+ [offers]. There may be some wagyu on skewers that you can order. But you can actually just sit down and unwind a little bit after a long day of work.”

Cakes, Coffee & Moignets: Suzuya Cafe

Two doors down from Gyu+ and Gyu Social, on the other side of the Babystacks, De Santos has joined forces with Chefs Misuzu Ebihara and Mike Plourde, who operate Suzuya Patisserie on South Buffalo Drive. They’ll pair their signature Japanese pastries with coffee and tea in the space that previously housed Half Bird Chicken and Beer and call it Suzuya Café.

“So you can have this wonderful experience of coffee, tea, [and] their wonderful four-inch cakes,” says De Santos before singling out the Tokyo cheesecake as a personal favorite.

The new café will also spotlight a new product the team introduced at a recent UNLVino event. It’s called a “moignet,” a sweet merger of a French culinary staple and a classic Japanese ingredient.

Green Tea Moignets

“Who doesn’t like the classic beignet, right?” De Santos asks. “But we’re not trying to be [French]. And mochi is such a staple when it comes to Japanese pastry. So we created this mogniet. A classic mochi beignet.”

Topped with matcha powder, they’ll be sold at Suzuya Café by the dozen.

While the space is being renovated, De Santos seems confident they’ll be open this month.

“The kitchen is ready to fire up,” he says. “So we’re hoping you’ll come say hello.”