By now everyone's heard of the newest shipping container shopping center to hit the block.
Pawn Plaza has a unique blend of food vendors, clothing peddlers and other services I dubbed The Food the Bod and the Ugly. You'll get it later.
Starting out with food, of course they showcase Rick's Rollin Smoke Ribs. Mainly BBQ items in a toned down version of the original Rollin Smoke. Rick's as well as other spots through out the plaza have items, close to Rick's heart, on display as side pieces and conversation starters. I spent an afternoon, yes afternoon (no judging) in the bar as I wandered in and out and snapped photos in and around Pawn Plaza. From what I can remember after a few $3 PBR'S and a couple mystery shots I saw some old fashioned weight loss machine, old money and a few antique items. Interesting to some but I was mainly interested in another beer and the patio off the bar upstairs overlooking what most consider the "shady" part of the Las Vegas Strip. Rick allows patrons to enjoy food from the other vendors in their bar and patio as well as all along the plaza. They have outside park and picnic style tables aligning the shops entrances.
Other eateries include a Poutinerie called Smoke's and Inna Gadda di Pizza.
The Pizza joint is open 11a-8p Sun-Thursday and till 9p Friday and Saturday. They serve your basic New York style slices that seemed pretty big and looked delicious unfortunately I was already involved upstairs. They menu is simple and the great thing is, if you want to drag your slice around the Plaza you may. Inna Gadda di Pizza are on all the social media outlets as well so go follow and pin, hashtag, boink and bop those, all businesses love that.
Smoke's Poutinerie, the third eatery in the lineup, is an offshoot of many others, mainly in Canada but have recently been invading the States. The concept is also simple, quick and easy to manufacture poutine with a variety of "toppings". Much like nacho's, the topping and extras that can be added to poutine is endless. Smokes menu is rather complex, running the gamut of meats and vegetarian selections. Open between 11a and 9p Monday-Thursday and 11a-Midnite Friday and Saturday and Sunday 11a-8p. One neat characteristic of Smoke's is the way they serve there items. Order at the counter and it comes In a larger to go box much like Chinese style take out, this way its easy to haul around as well.
On to the sweets and treats. Ritas Frozen Ice is next to Inna Gada di Pizza by the steps to 2nd floor. Like Smokes it is a franchise and they have a couple other locations in the area. Pick you frozen ice mixture and add smooth creamy custard over the top, its that easy. Rita's is open everyday 11a-9p except for Friday and Saturday when they stay open till 10p. They do have a larger menu then just Italian Ice however they also dish up Geleti, Frozen Custard and a variety of shakes. They seemed very busy at 11am but seeing as it was already 91 degrees out, one would expect that..
For something a little warmer you could pop into Pawn Donut. They are open early serving espressos and lattes and even regular coffee to workers of the area and a few early rising, thrill seekers on vacation. The rumor is they also have awesome donuts, I never made it in to try but its on the list. Open at 7a-5:30p Monday through Friday and 8a-5:30p Saturday and Sunday. Their menu is small as is their space. The max occupancy is listed on the wall as 3, but I bet you could get 5 skinny guys in there. Prices are a little above your average, $2-$3 per. range. Items are delivered daily and limited depending on the day, also once the inventory is sold out I am told they close for the day
I promised more then a food tour, so heres whats left at Pawn Plaza. Vegas Flip Flops is a small specialty vendor selling, well, flip flops. So-Cal is another specialty store hawking So-Cal apparel and other hot rod gear.
Besides food and clothing two other options at Pawn Plaza are a spa and a spot for wedding services. Body Spa Salons has space (work stations) for massage therapists, cosmetologists, nail technologists, hair designers, etc to do their thing. If you are a licensed beauty professional they provide open floor stations, semi-private rooms, enclosed private rooms or spa suites for rent. Its accessible 24/7 which is a great idea for Vegas since massage parlors are usually in high demand at all hours. Pawn Plaza Vow Renewals or Vegas Weddings, I believe, is the confusing name of the last place on the list. Its not confusing what they do. Wedding services and renewals in a replica setting of the Gold and Silver pawn shop located next door. It can hold up to eight on lookers and its on the 2nd floor right next to Ricks bar so guest over flow can hang out and rotate if needed. If you're a complete Pawn Stars nerd that would be super cool. I would think a Pawn Shop would make for a better "quickie" divorce setting.
There are no bathrooms within the restaurants and shops at Pawn Plaza but you can find one on each floor close by. The look around the parking lot is that of an extremely busy pawn shop. Parking attendants and small vendors dodging incoming vehicles as they pass-out flyers and discount ticket vouchers to other venues. Counts Kustoms has a tour shuttle that picks up there and you'll find plenty of photo bugs scurrying between cars for their perfect shot.
The only thing I don't care for (maybe since Im not that artsy) was the color scheme and "broken rubiks cube" look of the containers. Sorry just think it's ugly.
The Plaza brings much needed brightness to this ex-creepy area between downtown and Stratosphere. When lit up at night it (The Plaza) looks much better than in it does in the daylight.
The Food, the Bod and the UGLY.