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Virgin Hotels’ Instagram darling Casa Calavera will bring the beach

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September 11, 2020 By Heidi Knapp Rinella

Lots of Mexican restaurants promise they’ll make you feel you’ve been transported south of the border for your meal. At Casa Calavera from the Hakkasan Group — which will open next year with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas — the experience will include dining on a beach.

Well, not quite. But you will be able to nosh with your feet in the sand, an experience the group’s executive vice president of food and beverage, Derek Silberstein, said will be unique in Las Vegas.

The group’s first Casa Calavera opened in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, in 2018, and Silberstein said they wanted to replicate that beachy feeling. So Silberstein said the outdoor patio of the former Hard Rock Hotel’s Pink Taco has been expanded toward the pool area, and some tables will actually be in sand.

If that’s not Instagram-worthy enough for you, there will be plenty of other opportunities. The original Casa Calavera reportedly has become known as one of Mexico’s most Instagrammable restaurants, and Silberstein said the theme will be continued here. Among them: four Dia de los Muertos-style altars, setting the tone for the restaurant’s larger theme.

“At Hakkasan Group, we love to create experiences through our venues,” he said. “We definitely take that into consideration — to create something that is compelling for people to capture and help market and promote.”

The restaurant will have a menu that reflects authenticity, he said, not contemporary but traditional.

“A great taco program, burritos, enchiladas, specialties and feature dishes,” he said, at lunch and dinner daily. Casa Calavera will be family-friendly as well as a late-night party destination.

The decor, Silberstein said, also will have an authentic air. “So you really get that Old World feel as far as furniture, fixtures and custom murals on the walls.”

It’ll be fun, too. Outside the door they’re planning a throne constructed of tequila bottles and surrounded by flowers, accessible to anyone entering, leaving or just wandering by.

“It will be a great Instagrammable moment,” Silberstein said.

 


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