The scene: As the oldest steakhouse in a city enamored with steakhouses, the Golden Steer is a true Las Vegas icon, and has served dinner to countless visiting icons, from Joe DiMaggioand Muhammad Ali to Bette Midler and the King himself, Elvis Presley. In recent years a new slate of celebrities has discovered the charms of the Steer, including Nicolas Cage and Mario Andretti, and the most famously loyal of all Steer customers over the years was the Rat Pack, quintessential Sin City diners. Both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had dedicated regular booths, round banquettes still marked as such today. (Sinatra’s table, No. 22, has a big picture of the Rat Pack over it, and this is one of very few still remaining Vegas eateries that he frequented).
Stepping into the Steer is like stepping into a museum. It has an odd location in a slightly seedy strip mall just off Las Vegas Boulevard, but back in 1958 when it opened, many top Vegas restaurants were standalone buildings outside of the hotels, a paradigm that has largely changed. For decades, eating here required more effort and a special trip, yet the Steer has not only survived, it has thrived, and the last few years have been record ones. The Las Vegas Journal Review has picked it as the city’s best steakhouse more than once recently, and suddenly this area — the northern end of the Strip, once a no man’s land between the main Strip and old Downtown — is heating up.
The recent SLS casino resort is across the street, within walking distance, and the soon to open (late 2016) Lucky Dragon is literally next door — its wall almost touches the Steer. The under construction Resorts World mega-resort, a $4 billion, 3,100-room project, is also nearby. As a result, the Steer’s unique location has gone from off the radar to red hot.