For the new Lola’s, it’s al­most sup­per­time

Sec­ond restau­rant for brand to open in Au­gust in Sum­mer­lin

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - BUSINESS - By ALEXAN­DER COREY LAS VE­GAS RE­VIEW-JOUR­NAL

Acrowd-pleas­ing Louisianas­tyle eatery is near­ing a new open­ing date. Lola’s — A Louisiana Kitchen had planned to open a sec­ond lo­ca­tion in Sum­mer­lin in April, but the restau­rant had a few hic­cups.

The restau­rant will open at the end of Au­gust af­ter all of per­mits are ap­proved and con­struc­tion com­pleted, owner Lola Poko­rny said.

Get­ting a restau­rant ap­proved can be time-con­sum­ing be­cause it in­volves pa­per­work, ap­proval by city de­part­ments and re­vi­sions, Steve Grod­kiewicz, project man­ager with EcoLife said.

Grod­kiewicz, who is Poko­rny’s con­trac­tor for the property, de­scribed the process as “bu­reau­cracy at its finest.”

Ev­ery­body has to have a say in this, Grod­kiewicz said.

The project de­lay of about three months isn’t un­usual for Grod­kiewicz, who said he’s seen de­lays of six to eight months for projects.

“You have to kind of play the game,” Poko­rny said of the ap­proval process.

The sec­ond lo­ca­tion, off North Town Cen­ter and Cov­ing­ton Cross drives, is the for­mer site of a Ruby Tues­day restau­rant that closed in Jan­uary 2011.

Buzz sur­round­ing Lola’s food has built up out­side of Las Ve­gas. The restau­rant was fea­tured in the Food Net­work’s “Din­ers, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2012 and the pop­u­lar busi­ness-re­view web­site Yelp rates the

Sum­mer­lin lo­ca­tion owned, not leased

restau­rant at four out of five stars with 396 re­views.

The new 5,305-square-foot lo­ca­tion ex­pects to serve around 300 people per day with 88 seats, plus court­yard, bar and pri­vate din­ing room seat­ing. The cur­rent 1,500-square-foot lo­ca­tion is pe­tite by com­par­i­son, serv­ing an aver­age of 210 people per day with just 46 seats, Poko­rny said.

Poko­rny pur­chased the Sum­mer­lin lo­ca­tion for $1.5 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Clark County as­ses­sor’s web­site. The down­town Lola’s, at 241 W. Charleston Blvd., which Poko­rny refers to as “her baby,” is leased.

The owner’s rea­son­ing for pur­chas­ing the new space in­stead of leas­ing again was sim­ple.

“I can be my own land­lord this way,” Poko­rny said.

Aside from an up­grade in space, the new lo­ca­tion of­fers other ameni­ties.

It will be open seven days a week, af­ter adding Sun­days and it will have a full liquor li­cense, which Poko­rny wanted to have ap­proved be­fore open­ing.

The restau­rant also re­quired the ap­proval of The Howard Hughes Corp., which over­sees de­vel­op­ment in Sum­mer­lin.

“Vir­tu­ally noth­ing gets built in­side with­out the ap­proval of de­sign re­view,” said Thomas War­den, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of com­mu­nity and govern­ment re­la­tions for The Howard Hughes Corp.

Asked about Poko­rny’s de­ci­sion to ex­pand her busi­ness to Sum­mer­lin, War­den said, “I think it’s just one more in­di­ca­tion that the mar­ket lo­cally is re­cov­er­ing well.”

The res­i­den­tial area sur­round­ing Poko­rny’s new restau­rant and the many businesses, in­clud­ing Sum­mer­lin Hospi­tal Med­i­cal cen­ter, will give the eatery a ready-made clien­tele, War­den said.

Some view Lola’s ex­pan­sion as a rar­ity in the tran­sient Las Ve­gas Val­ley, where small restaurant­s tend to be hope­lessly out­num­bered by chain restaurant­s.

“I’ve been here now for 20 years and it’s re­ally just been the last five to 10 years that you’re see­ing a lot more of the lo­cally owned restaurant­s com­ing in,” said Jean Hertz­man, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and as­sis­tant dean of op­er­a­tions for the Wil­liam F. Har­rah col­lege of ho­tel ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Univer­sity of Ne­vada, Las Ve­gas.

Smaller, lo­cally owned restaurant­s have be­gun carv­ing out a mar­ket for them­selves as the city has grown and as din­ing on the Strip has be­come more ex­pen­sive, Hertz­man said.

Poko­rny said a sec­ond lo­ca­tion was al­ways in the back of her mind but that out­side of Sum­mer­lin, dif­fer­ent set­tings never worked out.

Asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of a third lo­ca­tion, Poko­rny said, “You never say never, but I will say, ‘Not to­day.’” Con­tact Alex Corey at [email protected]­viewjour­nal.com or 702-383-0270. Find him on Twit­ter: @acoreynews.

RONDA CHURCHILL/ LAS VE­GAS RE­VIEW-JOUR­NAL

Con­struc­tion continues at Lola’s Louisiana Kitchen, at 1220 N. Town Cen­ter Drive in Las Ve­gas. The restau­rant will open at the end of Au­gust.

RONDA CHURCHILL/ LAS VE­GAS RE­VIEW-JOUR­NAL

Lola’s at 1220 N. Town Cen­ter Drive will cover 5,305 square feet and ex­pects to serve around 300 people per day with 88 seats, plus a court­yard, bar and pri­vate din­ing room.

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