It’s far from finished, but the Linq is here. On the Strip across from Caesars Palace Drive, the renovated alley between Caesars-owned casinos the Quad and Flamingo arrived on December 27, but it won’t have all its bars, restaurants and shops ready until March. Still, you can get a feel for what the Linq will be with a quick stroll and a bite of foie gras-topped hot dog.
The Kobe beef-based Billionaire Dog is just one option at Haute Doggery, the Linq’s first eatery. The casually upscale Chayo Mexican Kitchen opened a few days later, and there’s a Starbucks, too. Koto is a trendy gift and gadget shop, and Purple Zebra is the evolution of the frozen margarita bar: You pay different prices for the funny container of your choice, maybe a saxophone or a go-go dancer’s high-heeled boot, then fill it with the wacky booze of your choice, maybe Strawberry Wonderland or Cosmic Lemonade.
The anchor of the Linq so far is the resurrected O’Sheas Casino, a 5,000-square-foot Irish pub with table games, beer pong, a small stage and, most importantly, Lucky the Leprechaun (aka Brian Thomas). The original O’Sheas was messy and raucous. The new one is refined and generic, still ready for crazy fun. That blend will continue to define the Linq when more of it comes online, culminating in the High Roller observation wheel’s first spins this spring.
Another new feature is an extra entrance to the back of the Flamingo, framed by giant statues of its namesake feathered beasts. It will be interesting to see what changes may come at this iconic casino to take advantage of new Linq-generated traffic.