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When the straw-marquetry radial doors swing open and guests glide down the dramatic split Streamline Moderne staircases, showgirls hit the luminescent stage and the band strikes its first chord — the two-years-in-the-making Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas will finally debut.
Officially open July 14, preceded by an anticipated string of A-list parties, The h.wood Group’s sophisticated supper club — sister to the West Hollywood original — is pegged to become the most coveted table on the Strip, thanks to cache from fans such as Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber.
Bieber will perform a one-night-only concert (which immediately sold out) at Wynn Las Vegas’ 1,500-seat Encore Theater July 9 as part of Delilah’s debut.
Delilah Las Vegas originally was slated to open in 2020. With capacity and mask restrictions being lifted in Las Vegas on June 1 this year, the supper club got its clearance to launch. “It blew my mind when I [first] saw that stage glow. This has been a dream since I got into this business 16 years ago.” says h.wood Group co-founder Terzian, who with partner Brian Toll, has more than a dozen restaurants and venues in L.A., including The Nice Guy, Slab, Santo’lina and Petite Taqueria, with one coming soon to Aspen.
Terzian and Toll are no strangers to Las Vegas. In 2014, Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group acquired a majority stake in h.wood; and the partners went on to run marketing and promotions at the Heart of Omnia lounge in Caesars Palace. In 2018, h.wood reacquired their global rights back from Hakkasan Group.
That move freed them up to look for other partnerships in Las Vegas and beyond.
The biggest difference between the L.A. version of Delilah and the Las Vegas iteration of Delilah is that the latter is owned and operated by Wynn Resorts with h.wood running promotions and celebrity wrangling, and, of course, lending the name.
Delilah Las Vegas’ extravagant and cinematic design, created by Todd-Avery Lenahan, president and chief creative officer of Wynn Design & Development, channels the opulent jazz cabaret-dining rooms of a bygone era like L.A.’s Cocoanut Grove, Vegas’ Copa Room and Havana’s Tropicana Club. He also created the identity of Las Vegas’ Delilah showgirl — part Rita Hayworth, part Lucille ball, all showgirl.
“People thought that showgirls were just these vapid, little decorative things. They were actually young, bright women from New York, Paris, the Midwest, London, coming to America, because they wanted to be in entertainment,” Lenahan says. “Many of them were on their way to Hollywood. They were legitimate dancers. And in Las Vegas, they were the ambassadors for the hotels. When you got cast as a showgirl, it was a big accomplishment. And you had to work as a host in the casino. I wanted to honor that history.”
When you step into the restaurant, you will associate some of the details with another era, Lenahan says. but it’s still very contemporary.
“There’s nothing replicating another time — it is inspired by the past, but very much today,” Lenahan says. “This was the most detailed and intricate project [our design team] has ever done,” From the lighting to the columns to the curves and corners; furnishings and fixtures commissioned as bespoke works of art with vintage pieces curated from all of the world; and hundreds of unique photos sourced from the UNLV Special Collections and Archives, “this space is a Swiss watch.”
The menu hits notes of Strip decadence. Delilah’s Las Vegas executive chef Joshua Smith, formerly of Mina Group, built a menu that is 80 percent new with playful fare like the Chicken TV Dinner and showstoppers like a $170 Wagyu Beef Wellington for two, plus staples from the original Delilah such as its chicken tenders and brownie sundae.
Cocktails by Wynn resort mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini are appropriately named the Film Noir and the Stepford Wife, which comes with its own atomizer.
There’s even a secret dining room with its own bar, known as the Chef’s Table, accessed via the kitchen, for those who want to avoid being seen entering the multi-level Delilah space from its Little Bubble Bar (where the settees are upholstered in vintage Hermès fabric.)
“We wanted everything to be the first-and-only time that you’ve seen it,” Lenahan says. “I did want to bring in that Hollywood set-design quality.”
Adding to the ambiance of the space are candle-lit fireplaces, stone inlaid floors and towering gilded palm tree columns, made of solid cast bronze with intricate lighting.
“Restaurants are never going away. Nightlife is not going away. We are filling that niche in between. It’s elevated. It’s a night out,” Terzian says of the supper club concept. He recommends experiencing Delilah both as a date spot for an 8 p.m. dinner, as the band of musicians directed by Ryan Cross plays and the dancers rev up; or for a long, late wild Las Vegas night with friends. “Have dinner, listen to live music, watch the entertainment—or have a late-night dinner as the DJ comes on. Those are options you don’t have at most places” (Even in Vegas, restaurants close by 11 p.m.)
Depending on the night, reservations at Delilah could come with a four-figure table minimum.
Sneak peeks have high-profile clients like members of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, who recently visited according to Terzian, buzzing: “It’s the most beautiful room they’ve seen,” he says.
But while every corner is designed to be worthy of an Instagram moment, guests won’t be able to, because the policy, is “no photos allowed,” says Terzian.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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