While the Las Vegas landscape is known for being in a constant state of transformation, the family owned and operated Ellis Island Casino, Hotel & Brewery, famed for its steak specials, karaoke, down-home barbecue and local’s casino, will celebrate its 50th anniversary April 14.
Gary Ellis’s father, Frank Ellis Jr., launched the business in 1968 as the Village Pub, a tavern. There were originally only two items on the menu, a bowl of chili and a ham sandwich, but its location, atmosphere and value quickly drew a steady clientele.
“We’ve come a long way since 1968,” says owner Gary Ellis. “The business has grown along with Las Vegas over the past 50 years while keeping our value and our family values intact.”
Gary Ellis took the reins in 1985, changing the name to Ellis Island and expanding the property with the addition of a full casino, live games and later, the brewery and hotel.
The off-Strip mainstay just one block east of the Strip on Koval Lane, to this day, is a family-owned and operated business with dozens of members of the Ellis family having worked for the company over the years.
But according to Ellis, it is not just the family members that make the property so based in tradition, it is the team as well. Multiple members of the Ellis Island team have been working with the family for over 40 years.
“Having long term team members who have become a part of our family, as well as having my three daughters working alongside me, is the most gratifying aspect of our company,” says Ellis. “It really is a dream come true.”
Over the years, Ellis Island has been recognized for a variety of their amenities.
The company’s famed karaoke lounge has been named Best of Las Vegas year after year, its microbrewery has been named Best of Las Vegas for the last three years, and the No. 1 distributing brewery in the Mountain West Region. But, it is the dedication to value and fun that keeps people coming back to Ellis Island, according to Ellis.
The company’s famed $7.99 steak special is ordered by over 400 people every day, paired with the 2,500 Ellis Island beers poured daily.
The Front Yard, a two-story outdoor venue for dining, drinking and entertainment,
is the newest addition to Ellis Island. The expansion is expected to open later this year, completing a $10 million investment by the company.
Meanwhile, Village Pub, the original name of the business, lives on at 12 locations around the Las Vegas Valley. A 13th Village Pub location at 1640 W Warm Springs Rd., will open April 16, the same week that Ellis Island will celebrate 50 years in business. Three other locations are scheduled to open later this year.
According to Ellis, the company will kick off the casino-wide anniversary party Saturday, April 14 as the team celebrates “50 Years of Ellis.”
The festivities will include giveaways on the casino floor and in the karaoke lounge, drink specials in the bars and dinner specials in the restaurant, including the original bowl of chili and ham sandwich combo available back in 1968.
Ellis Island brewery will release a 50th Anniversary Golden Lager April 2 to commemorate the milestone. The full volume light beer was one of the original varieties available when Ellis Island added its brewery in 1998.
A collector’s edition anniversary $5 chip will also be available at Ellis Island gaming tables throughout the remainder of 2018.
Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery is home to some of Las Vegas’ most recognized food, beverages and entertainment. Its commitment to quality and service has been a tradition for 50 years. The hotel and brewery features wonderful amenities, including a 24-hour restaurant with a famed steak special, Las Vegas’ top-voted microbrewery and karaoke lounge, Metro Pizza, barbecue restaurant and complimentary parking.
The casino offers hundreds of gaming devices with a variety of games including reel slots, video poker and keno. Live blackjack, roulette, craps and sportsbook wagering is available seven days a week.
Conveniently located one block east of the Las Vegas Strip on Koval Lane behind Bally’s, Ellis Island is a must-see destination for every Las Vegas visitor and local.
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