The last time we heard from Linda Rodriguez and her husband, Martin Swift, they were overseeing the kitchen and sushi bar at Red Rock Resort’s now-shuttered Hachi. After also having logged time at Nobu locations worldwide, they are now stepping away from the cuisine of the rising sun, as well as casino culture. Currently under construction, the Smashed Pig will be an English-inspired restaurant next door to the Griffin on Fremont Street, and is tentatively set to open in September or October.
Rodriguez uses the term “gastropub” to describe it, but notes that this is only a jumping-off point for the concept. The décor, for example, will be “modern and eclectic” with “different kinds of chairs and wooden tables.”
As for the food, she says it will be “the kind of food we like to cook at home … not so pretentious, just simple, good food that everyone can enjoy.” And like the décor, it won’t necessarily fall into the British gastropub model. While the lunch and dinner menus are still in the conceptual stages, Rodriguez points to such dishes as assorted curries, a rotating Butcher Block Special consisting of a protein, starch and vegetable, and various Mediterranean items. And, given the couple’s background, expect some raw seafood plates, depending on what’s fresh on any given day.
But have no fear, Anglophiles: The TV screens will most definitely be tuned to football (meaning soccer). In fact, Rodriguez says they’re toying with the idea of opening up at odd hours so that the most important matches played across the pond can be viewed live.
The restaurant will be long and thin at about 15 feet wide and 110 feet deep. It will seat about 50 people, with a seven-seat bar in the front and an open kitchen in the rear, with four or five seats at an adjoining bar where patrons will be able to watch the chefs in action. Lunch will be offered as counter service in a more quick-casual model for local workers who want to get in and out on their lunch break. But dinner will be waiter/waitress service for a “more normal, relaxed dinner.”
One might be tempted to think that the space’s configuration was the inspiration for its name—as in, it’s smashed between its two neighbors. Not so, Rodriguez says. “Smashed” is actually a reference to being intoxicated. So while the place does plan to be family-friendly, this will definitely be a place for drinkers to gather. Along those lines, the beer selection will include six taps and will feature American ales, stouts, lagers, artisan ales, IPAs and European ales. There will also be a collection of signature cocktails.
All in all, it sounds smashing—sorry, I couldn’t help myself.