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Tropicana opens restaurants tied to $125M renovation

16 September 2009

Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Tropicana Las Vegas announced today it has added two new restaurants in an effort to further revamp the property.

The Tropicana will open Italian restaurant Bacio Pasta and Vino on Wednesday night. Tropicana described the Bacio's feel as an "intimate Italian bistro" with large murals and mounted wine racks.

Former Harrah's, Rio and Las Vegas Hilton executive chef George Bargisen also will serve as executive chef at Bacio. Bargisen brings more than 20 years of resort experience to the new restaurant.

The property has been without an Italian dining option, a staple in Las Vegas casinos, since it closed its Tuscany Italian Café under the old Tropicana Las Vegas management last winter.

The second new restaurant is Havana GO GO, which has replaced Tropicana's Java Java coffee shop. Like Java Java, Havana GO GO with serve quick eats like coffee, pastries, soups, paninis and pizzas. The restaurant opened last week.

Tropicana said the new and revamped restaurants are a glimpse into the South Beach feel the property is aiming for in its $125 million renovation and rebranding. The renovation will also include a revamped casino floor, hotel rooms, pool and spa facilities and a nightclub.

Other restaurant additions and renovations will follow, Tropicana Las Vegas spokeswoman Brittany Markarian said. The property closed its café last week for construction.

Tropicana Las Vegas emerged from bankruptcy as a stand-alone company under the leadership of Alex Yemenijian in July.

The company announced a new leadership team last month, including the Stratosphere's former food and beverage vice president, Jim Laughlin, who is now spearheading Tropicana's new dining ventures.

The property also released an updated logo last month as the first step in the resort's rebranding campaign.

Tropicana has remained virtually unchanged since its last renovation in 1985. The facelift is expected to be complete in 2010.

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