During Sin City's Golden Era, everyone from the wealthy to low-rollers would be treated like royalty. A few dollars could get just about anything...and requests were met with a smile. Those days may be long gone, but you can still enjoy a vintage Vegas experience at Vickie's Diner.
Loyal locals and longtime visitors alike were crushed when news broke that Vickie's Diner would be closing last August. Originally located inside an ancient White Cross Drugs, the '50s-style cafe opened as "Tiffany's Diner" decades ago. Breakfast at Tiffany's became a regular thing for members of the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. Current owner Vickie Kelesis told VEGAS 411 that Presley came in about four times a week to get prescriptions (hmmm...) and would indulge in their bargain-priced steak and eggs while he waited for his medications.
The original location on Las Vegas Boulevard had seen better days.
Vickie's "Version 2.0" is bright and cheery with ample free parking.
After serving on the wait staff for eight years, Kelesis and her husband took over the family's business in 2014, changing its name in the process. The rebranded Vickie's Diner remained committed to core principles established by her uncle Pete: great food, service, and prices. When the building's landlord forced them out last fall, the cafe vowed to return bigger, brighter, and better than ever. And indeed it has.
The new Vickie's Diner is bright, cheery, and has ample free parking.
VEGAS 411 popped into Vickie's DIner unannounced last weekend, eager to revisit some of its beloved breakfast and lunch dishes. My companion ordered a hearty egg and meat platter, while I opted for made-from-scratch chili and a chicken pita. The attentive staff apparently got word to Vickie that we had come. So like a true professional, the hard-working proprietor hurried in on her day off to make sure we were pleased.
I invited Ms. Vickie to sit with us, and she shared her excitement about the sparkling new location. Like any worthwhile endeavor, getting the new spot off the ground came with a lot of challenge and expense. Numerous construction obstacles delayed the grand opening, but now that the doors are open, fans are filling the brightly colored booths and dining counter seven days a week.
"The cost of prepared foods has gotten so high!" Vickie exclaimed. "That's one of the reasons why almost everything we serve is made right here. Salad dressings, potato salad...even the tzatziki sauce. We buy fresh ingredients and do the work ourselves. Things taste better that way, and it's cheaper for us, so we can keep our prices low".
Not only are prices affordable, but portion sizes are more than satisfying. For instance, a four-piece chicken dinner weighs in at almost a pound, includes potato, vegetable, and a choice of soup or salad for only $10.95. A pork chop with three eggs, potatoes, and toast is a mere $8.50, and their "Monster" Chef Salad is a pittance at $10.95. Compare that to nearby Peppermill Restaurant, and you'll understand why the new spot is an immediate success. Click here to view their full menu.
Along with delicious food, there's plenty of eye candy to please the senses. The large dining room is mirrored by a recreation of Tiffany's original dining counter. Whimsical decor fills walls and nooks, much of it with nods to both vintage Vegas and the White Cross birthplace. Elvis is featured near the entrance (naturally), and one wall displays "That Painting" (below), an Eastwood-inspired curiosity with its own fan page.
One thing that didn't make the journey from Las Vegas Boulevard to Commercial Center is around-the-clock service. Vickie was quite blunt about the reason why: "It's just too much work. I'm tired". When reminded that she'd come in on her day off to chat with us, her response was "You're important to me. Besides, I was out doing work for the upcoming Greek Food Festival (September 10th to 12th). We're donating food to it".
Of course, you are, Vickie. Of course, you are.
Vickie's Diner is open daily from 6 am until 2:30 pm. It's located at 953 E. Sahara Avenue Suite A-2 in Historic Commercial Center. Call 702-444-4459 to arrange delivery. For more information, visit their website here.