Alon Shaya to Begin ‘Culinary Residency’ in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya will open Safta 1964 for a limited time in the Wynn Las Vegas hotel. Reservations begin in April for an unannounced opening date in the spring.

Shaya said he considers the restaurant a “prequel” to Safta, his award-winning Denver restaurant, and it’s a return to the city where he began his career. Both Saftas serve Mediterranean and Israeli food.

“It means so much to us to join Wynn Las Vegas for this culinary residency alongside its all-star lineup of restaurants,” said Shaya in a press release. “My time in Vegas really cemented my passion for cooking professionally. Safta 1964 will be all about creating the ultimate dinner party.”

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“Safta” is a Hebrew word for grandmother. Shaya said Safta 1964 is inspired by the “grandma’s fictional heyday, before she became a safta. Picture her dressed to the nines, complete with her signature red lipstick, driving her white 1964 Thunderbird convertible west and toasting the town.”

The design of the new spot includes floral touches, glitzy details and a retro color scheme. In these surroundings, Shaya will offer a chef’s tasting menu, large-format dishes for the table, caviar add-ons, tableside dessert service and more.

The celebrity chef residency is the brainchild of Shaya and his wife/business partner Emily Shaya. Together, they lead New Orleans-based Pomegranate Hospitality, which owns and operates Israeli restaurants and bars Saba and Saba’s Lounge — plus Chandelier Bar and Miss River at the Four Seasons Hotel — in New Orleans, and Safta in Denver. 

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In 2023, Pomegranate opened its first international restaurant, Silan, at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. 

Shaya is a two-time James Beard Foundation Award winner. His awards include Best Chef: South and Best New Restaurant.

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