There’s a Secret Banksy in This New Vegas Restaurant

Clint Jenkins/Courtesy Palms Casino Resort

Dinner comes with a side of subversive art inside Greene St. Kitchen, which opens Monday night at Palms in Las Vegas.

This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.

To get inside Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas, you walk through a corridor with vintage arcade games and through a door that looks like the front of a soda-vending machine. Once you’re inside, you’ll see a piece by anonymous street-art legend Banksy above the DJ booth. The spray-painted artwork, known as Smiley Coppers Panel I (2002), depicts two menacingly armed police officers with yellow smiley faces. It’s like emoji martial law.

This Banksy piece, like much of what’s on display at Palms, is from the personal collection of casino-resort owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. Stroll around the hotel and you can see art by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, and Dustin Yellin. Plus, the $690 million makeover of Palms includes Unknown, a bar where the centerpiece is a Damien Hirst work featuring a 13-foot-long tiger shark that’s been cut into three segments.


Clint Jenkins/Courtesy Palms Casino Resort

Inside Greene St. Kitchen, where executive chef Joseph Zanelli is serving tuna pizza, Alaskan king crab tempura, vegan sliders, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, curry-crusted lamb, and spaghetti with lobster, guests can eat while looking at commissioned art including a colorful Kenny Scharf mural. Zanelli, a veteran chef whose credits include New York’s Café Boulud and Vegas restaurants like Jardin, Botero, and Elizabeth Blau’s Andiron Steak & Sea, has a history of creating crowd-pleasing food in high-volume restaurants. Now at the Clique Hospitality-managed Greene St. Kitchen, he gets to send out rib eyes and a chocolate cake that’s big enough for six people while diners view pieces from Cleon Peterson, Vhils, Pose, Martha Cooper, DabsMyla, Slick, and other modern-art stars.

Greene St. Kitchen is connected to the forthcoming Kaos, a dayclub and nightclub with a nearly six-story Damien Hirst statue known as Demon with Bowl. Kaos opens April 4 and will launch with a weekend of entertainment including Cardi B, Marshmello, G-Eazy, J Balvin, Travis Scott, Skrillex, and Kaskade. Shark, a Bobby Flay seafood restaurant with a private dining room that faces Kaos, should debut the first week of April.


Clint Jenkins/Courtesy Palms Casino Resort

Expect VIPs at Palms to be whisked through Greene St. Kitchen or Shark into Kaos, where they can reserve a cabana with its own pool. Some performers at the club will be atop a rotating stage/DJ booth that will allow them to hover over thousands of spectators.

With new restaurants from Marc Vetri and Michael Symon that have already become Vegas hits, along with a unveiled-in-March 9,000-square-foot, two-story, Damien Hirst-designed sky villa known as the Empathy Suite that costs $200,000 for a two-night-stay, Palms is in the middle of a truly over-the-top transformation that now also includes the first permanent Banksy work in Las Vegas.

Given that the elusive Banksy is an artist (or perhaps a collective of like-minded troublemaking artists) associated with counterculture, we wonder how Banksy feels about being part of such a splashy hotel. What we do know is that we live in a world where Banksy shredding a piece as a prank can result in the work becoming more valuable, so the Fertittas might welcome any Banksy mischief that ensues from their latest art announcement.

Greene St. Kitchen, 4321 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, 702-942-7777