Car buffs eat up the ambience at Hot Rod Grille

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Car buffs are making tracks to the new Hot Rod Grille, which opened recently in the Hot Rod Hill auto plaza here.

The focal point of the two-story, 9,500-square-foot restaurant and gaming venue is Cad-Kong, an 18-foot-high by 12-foot-wide representation of a 1959 Cadillac, complete with fins and running tail lights, that serves as a merchandise display and hostess stand.

The restaurant's main dining area resembles a 1950s diner, with enough elevated red-and-white vinyl booths and freestanding tables to seat 220 people.

A big-screen TV is embedded in a red Cadillac at the Hot Rod Grille. A separate room within the main dining area can be reserved for groups of up to 40 people, while the restaurant's bar, which features 15 video-poker machines, can accommodate up to 65 people.

The bar itself is a work of art, with two vintage-car replicas from "American Graffiti" -- a 1932 yellow Deuce Coupe and a 1955 black Chevy Bel Air two-door post -- hanging high overhead.

In addition, the entire back wall of the space is painted with a mural of Colorado Street from the film.

The restaurant's colorful interior is accented with artwork by Kenny Youngblood, a renowned painter of modern-day race cars and designs.

Also, throughout the interior of the Hot Rod Grille as well as its exterior, visitors will notice a running design theme with the letter "V," meaning "V-8," the favored engine size of most hot-rod enthusiasts.

The restaurant also caters to sports fans and features more than 30 televisions, including five 61-inch big screens. One of those is embedded in an authentic, 1962 candy-apple-red convertible Cadillac.

Located on the building's second floor, the banquet facility can accommodate up to 150 people and houses two projection screens, both larger than 120 inches, with PowerPoint capabilities.

The banquet area overlooks the restaurant's main floor and bar below, or it can be closed off for privacy.

In addition, there is elevator access to and from the banquet area.

The menu presents assorted appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast items, pizzas, pastas, steaks and seafood.

The restaurant is open around-the-clock, with breakfast served from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Between mealtimes and after hours, appetizers and sandwiches are available.

For more information, call (702) 567-5659 or fax (702) 567-0260.

To contact reporter Amy Baratta, send e-mail to [email protected] .

Auto plaza site for cruise-ins

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Hot Rod Hill auto plaza, where the new Hot Rod Grille is located, is the place to be for car shows and other special events, such as Rod Runs and Cruise-Ins.

Cruise-Ins happen every Saturday starting at 8 a.m., and the venue hosts one large car show per month, according to a spokeswoman for the auto plaza.

For motorcyclists, every Tuesday has been designated Two-Wheel Tuesday.

Besides the Hot Rod Grille, the auto plaza features a network of auto outlets that specialize in vintage-auto sales, detailing, smog tests, tires and wheels, power dynometer testing, restoration, fabrication, custom motoring, auto merchandising design, audio and stereo, upholstery and European car repair.

The auto plaza's parking lot can hold up to 200 cars, and there's even a large carport with room for 64 vehicles. -- A.B.

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