After two years of planning and building out, the long awaited and highly-anticipated opening of The Front Yard at Ellis Island Casino Hotel & Brewery arrived on Dec. 6.
Situated at the front of the casino facing Koval Lane, the new addition includes two-levels, a beer garden, bars on each level, full-service restaurant, HD TVs throughout (including a giant 18-foot big screen). Expansive windows and the open parts of the structure offer unobstructed views of the Vegas Strip and the nearby High Roller at The LINQ, with the best vantage points being from the second floor atrium. A retractable ceiling can be opened when weather permits and air conditioning and heaters adjust the temps when needed. For entertainment, there is a DJ booth and stage, from which DJs, local acts and headliners will perform weekly.
The food menu offers shared plates of wings, Italian meatball and duck fat poutine; and main courses are horseradish crusted wild Atlantic salmon, NY steak frites, schnitzel (breaded pork cutlet), porchetta and The Front Yard burger—½ pound beef and pork burger topped with pork belly.
The core beers from the brewery—hefeweizen, IPA, amber and light—are offered, as well as seven rotating specialty brews that are served exclusively in The Front Yard, which upon opening included Belgian IPA, coffee stout (made with cold brewed coffee), helles bock, doppelbock, Beglian triple and rauchbier. I managed to try tastes of each and can verify they were all quite tasty and well made, with my favorites being the triple, coffee stout and rauchbier (made with smoked beechwood malt, not overly smoky, a style you don’t find that often). The menu is designed for beer geeks, with one side devoted to the food offerings and the other to the beers, including the type of malt, any specialty ingredients and hops used in each brew.
For now the hours are 3 p.m. to midnight with the kitchen opening at 4, but eventually hours will expand to 24/7.
Although we had to wait two years for the planning and construction to be completed, after checking it out, it appears to have been worth the wait. And, the beers being churned out by the accomplished brewers Michael Keys and Eddie Leal continue to be top notch.