Chef Felix Arellano of Viva Las Arepas is bringing more traditional Venezuelan street food to Downtown Las Vegas.
Just one block from Arellano’s brick-and-mortar outpost, Pepito Shack will take over the Dino’s Lounge parking lot kiosk on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Wyoming Avenue.
Arellano first operated Viva Las Arepas out of the space in 2011 before he moved to a larger location across the street in 2013. It may come as a surprise to some that the space is back under Arellano’s control. It was just five months ago that former tenants and Goodwich owners Josh Clark and Theo van Soest announced they were going to offer short leases to test new concepts. The first and only guinea pig, SLO-Boy, was a success but the lease ended late May. The Goodwich guys, who relocated to the Soho Lofts, decided not to continue with the incubator idea due to other plans.
It’s all for the best because now we get pepitos—a saucy South American open-faced hoagie sandwich. The menu offers a choice of protein (pork, chicken, beef or fish) cooked on a mesquite wood-fired grill topped with potato sticks (mini fries), and choice toppings and sauces (bacon, corn, cheese, spicy or garlic aioli) on a 10-inch bun. Pepito Shack will also serve half-pound gourmet burgers and hotdogs. Diners build their own with a variety of toppings available. Everything other than the bread is made in-house. Prices range from $3.50 to $8.
Arellano hopes to be up and running by the end of August. Tentative hours are Sun.- Thurs. 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. hours and Fri.- Sat. 4 a.m.- 2 a.m.