Las Vegas local and Pawn Stars Celebrity Rick Harrison stops by the KLUC Toy Drive to surprise Chet with a $4500 check to beat Pawn Stars co-star Chumlee’s $500 donation!
Rick also reveals to Chet inside details about Pawn Stars upcoming season, and how the TV show could beat “Gunsmoke” for the Guinness World Record for the most TV episodes EVER!!!
Hear Chet, Spence & Kayla’s exclusive interview with Rick Harrison Below!
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
The Kats! bureau at this writing is Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue & Tavern at Pawn Plaza. This is the stack of restaurants in the multicolored strip mall of and shops on Las Vegas Boulevard just north of Gass Avenue, sharing a parking lot with Gold & Silver Pawn.
I just polished off an order of smoked mac and cheese, honey-slathered cornbread and an Arnold Palmer while taking inventory of what is and isn’t open at Pawn Plaza.
First, the quick story of this spot: Rick Harrison, who founded Gold & Silver Pawn in 1989 and has ascended to stardom on the History channel show “Pawn Stars,” opened Pawn Plaza in October. The idea was to filter the hordes of visitors to Gold & Silver Pawn to this Container Park-fashioned mall and build a business that would outlast the TV series. A bunch of independent businesses and small franchisees signed on to the project and awaited the tide of tourists.
Ten months on, we have an early verdict, and it’s that a poutine eatery next to a Vegas pawn shop is not quite a lead-pipe cinch. A few of the original businesses at Pawn Plaza have closed and moved out in the past week. Shutdowns (reported first by our friends at Las Vegas Advisor and confirmed Monday morning by the Pawn Plaza PR reps) include: Smoke’s Poutinerie, Pawn Coffee and Donut, Vegas Flip Flops and Inna Gadda di Pizza.
In a statement, Harrison said, “While we are disappointed to see some of our original tenants leave Pawn Plaza, it is the nature of this business. Tenants will shuffle around to some degree before we settle in with the perfect blend of businesses. We wish all of those departing the best of luck and look forward to announcing our new tenants very shortly.”
In a glass-half-full vein, Pawn Plaza reps mention many of the original Pawn Plaza businesses remain open: Rollin’ Smoke (obviously), Rockabilly Girl,Body Spa, So-Cal Speed Shop andPawn Plaza Vow Renewal and Weddings.
Crucial to the marketing draw of Pawn Plaza is Harrison’s role as bartender at Rollin’ Smoke Tavern on select weekends. At least one tenant has complained that Harrison has not followed through on some announced appearances, but his camp reminds that he does appear to sling drinks (and, likely, offer relationship advice) when he is in Vegas. A delayed flight for weather wiped out one announced appearance, but Harrison is back behind the bar this Friday and Saturday night starting at 8 p.m.
As always, Harrison’s specialty is any drink whose ingredients are same as the name — rum and Coke, vodka and soda, gin and lawn trimmings. Those, he can handle.
Just don’t ask for flip-flops.
YOU can win this awesome 2016 KLR-650 Kawasaki USA bike just by entering into a raffle for Rick’s 3rd Annual “Pawn Stars Poker Run” benefiting Epilepsy Foundation of Nevada! Tickets are just $10 & available in the shop now! Thanks to RideNow Powersports on Rancho & RideNow Powersports on Boulder too! Good luck!
“I am a landlord. I want them to make money. Making money is my third or fourth favorite thing in the world.”
Rick Harrison wants to clear up some things about Pawn Plaza, his container park shopping center next to Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, where Pawn Stars is filmed.
Last year in October, the retail center opened with a bevy of tenants, including Rick’s Tavern, Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Inna Gadda di Pizza, Pawn Donut & Coffee, Rita’s Water Ice and other several other non-dining establishments.
On Friday, a tenant “who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of backlash” talked to KTNV.
And some of the things he mentioned are inaccurate, according to Harrison and another tenant at the center.
“I’ve had a few people moving out,” Harrison tells Eater Vegas exclusively. “One guy was getting on the news and saying it was my fault. …There is no such thing as build it and they will come. There just isn’t.”
Harrison says that as many as 50 percent of new businesses don’t last through the first year.
“I’ve gone above and beyond for every tenant I’ve had,” Harrison says.
He says that in the KTNV interview, the anonymous tenant claimed there was a clause in the contract that said he would advertise for tenants. There wasn’t.
He says that the anonymous tenant claims he wasn’t showing up for bartending gigs promoted at Rick’s Tavern.
“I made every single one. I showed up, except when a plane didn’t show up,” he says.
“I am the landlord and I really tried to help promote them. In the end, you have to do your own marketing,” Harrison says. “When times are good, you advertise; when times are bad, you must advertise.”
Harrison estimates that he spent between $50,000 and $70,000 marketing Pawn Plaza between charitable events, public relations, promotions and more.
Some of the events held at Pawn Plaza over the past 10 months include a dine around with the media, a cab day in early 2016 that saw 400 drivers, a NASCAR weekend social media event supported by nine billboards and social media check ins, autographed photos of the Pawn Stars given to tenants at the shopping center to give away, a poker event benefiting epilepsy last October, a car show in the spring, Chumlee of Pawn Stars deejaying at Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke and hosting charity events, meet and greets and autograph signings with the stars of the show, Sen. Marco Rubio appearing at the grand opening, and comedy nights weekly at Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke.
“I feel sorry for him that his business isn’t doing well. Human nature is to blame others when your business isn’t running well,” Harrison says.
He also contends that there are no problems with the building as the anonymous tenant mentioned. “I dare you to find one problem with the building. I could have spent $50,000 less on the elevator. I didn’t. Forty thousand dollars less on the plumbing. I didn’t. We have a full-time maintenance person at the pawn shop and the shopping center, and anything can be fixed within an hour.
“I am a landlord. I want them to make money. Making money is my third or fourth favorite thing in the world,” Harrison says. “I mean, I thought ‘if I get a reality show, it would be good for business.’ I pitched it for four years, when everyone said no one would want a TV show about four fat guys.”
Cliff Evarts, the founder of Pawn Plaza Vow Renewals by Vegas Weddings, wants customers to know he’s still in business.
“We thought we would take advantage of the vow renewal business. It hasn’t taken off like we thought,” he says. Instead, he’s working on a new concept selling snacks such as popcorn, gummy bears and sodas to take over the space.
“Obviously, the whole concept of a retail outlet like this is to drive traffic,” Evarts says. “I was shocked that anybody would say those sorts of things about Rick even if their business plan isn’t working like he’d like. [Harrison has] one everything that he’s committed to do and more.”
Evarts has a mock-up of the pawn shop that couples can pose in front of for wedding photos, and Harrison even lets couples use the pawn shop after hours for weddings.
Harrison in the meantime has several new tenants interested in the space, but he will be doing some “extreme vetting.”
Talk about a “Real Deal” at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop! Evander Holyfield stopped into the shop and we were able to snap this photo of the champ with our champ, The Old Man, and Evander’s friend Shelby.