When we look for bargains in Las Vegas one of the first places referenced is Ellis Island. The casino, hotel, and brewery are technically located one block east of the Vegas Strip on Koval Lane behind Bally’s. However, if you exit Bally’s on Flamingo, it’s more like half a block.
Ellis Island has been open nearly 50 years. The property features a 24-hour restaurant with some of the most famous steak and BBQ specials, a micro-brewery and karaoke lounge. Visit their promotions page to see current deals which always includes a steak dinner for less than $10. In fact, you can always find a full meal for under $10 at Ellis Island. You’ll also find their house-made beer and root beer for under $5 a glass.

Beer and food aren’t the only values at Ellis Island. You’ll often find craps and blackjack games with a minimum wager of $5. Unlike many of the competitors on the nearby Vegas Strip, they pay 3:2 when a player is dealt a blackjack. New players club customers can win from $5 to $500 in free play just for signing up. This isn’t the kind of promotion you’ll find at many casinos on the Vegas Strip.
While Ellis Island has a lot of value to offer, it’s a very small casino and hotel with a location just away from the action. It also lacks some of the amenities that many seek when staying on or near the Vegas Strip. Well, that’s about to change a little.
Ellis Island has been teasing some changes over the past year. The first change was to the hotel where they’ve been upgrading the rooms. More recently they confirmed the addition of “The Front Yard.” The expansion will be a two-story restaurant, bar and entertainment venue in front of the actual casino. The new indoor/outdoor venue is scheduled to open later this year.
“Ellis Island will continue to offer the same inviting, family-oriented feeling that has made it a Las Vegas favorite for years while keeping amenities fresh, cool and relevant,” said Gary Ellis, owner of Ellis Island, at a pre-groundbreaking celebration inside Ellis Island’s popular Karaoke Lounge on June 22.
The Front Yard will have a capacity of 300 and feature the laid back atmosphere customers would expect at Ellis Island. The two-story venue will also feature bar games and activities like shuffleboard and regular live entertainment by local performers. The second floor will feature beautiful views of the Vegas Strip from a vantage point that you may have never seen before.
The Front Yard will have a beer garden-like lush and green atmosphere mixed with a rustic yet modern design. The Ellis Island on-site brewery will be visible from the space so you can see the copper tanks and brewing process from inside. In addition to beer, there will be a full cocktail and wine menu and casual dining fare. You’ll still have to go to the casino for the specials.
Photo Credit: Scott Roeben at VitalVegas.com


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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