Many of Las Vegas’ top attractions are tied to casinos: the Venetian’s canals, the Bellagio’s fountains, Paris’s model of the Eiffel Tower. But a few miles north on Las Vegas Boulevard, a significantly less glamorous landmark draws thousands of tourists every year.
Drive past World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop any given day and eager visitors stretch down the sidewalk, waiting for a tour of the shop made famous by the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” and hoping for a glimpse of one of the show’s stars. But after they get inside and pose for a selfie or two, there isn’t much to keep them on the stretch of Vegas between the Strip and Fremont Street.
That will change this summer, when Gold & Silver co-owner Rick Harrison opens Pawn Plaza, a small retail center just south of his famous pawn shop geared toward accommodating its visitors.
“I’ve got 4,000 people a day coming into this pawn shop,” Harrison said. “It’s more than just coming down to see the pawn shop now, it’s a whole experience.”
Located at 725 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Pawn Plaza will be constructed with 72 shipping container-like cubes configured to accommodate 16 retail spaces, as well as 6,000 square feet of balcony and patio space. The first cubes, created by Xtreme Manufacturing, are already in place, their brightly colored facades an eye-catching addition to the city’s main drag.
“I wanted to do something really different. I didn’t want to do your standard stucco strip mall,” Harrison explained, adding that he turned down some big-name fast-food restaurants in favor of more interesting tenants.
The first venues announced for the plaza are dining outlets, including Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ and Tavern, an off-shoot of the local barbecue joint known for its Arkansas-style smoked meats; Rita’s Italian Ice, the Pennsylvania-based frozen dessert shop; and the second U.S. outpost of Smoke’s Poutinerie, where the menu is devoted entirely to variations on the Quebec classic dish of French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.
Harrison says a coffee shop and pizza joint will be joining the lineup soon, and that he expects Pawn Plaza to open this summer.