Dubbed the “Hometown hockey pub” by the Las Vegas Sun, MacKenzie River Pizza in City National Arena has become the go-to spot for fans of the newest NHL team: the Vegas Golden Knights. And what better time to showcase this unique space than following a Golden Knights game one win in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs?
CTA is fortunate to have a longstanding relationship with MacKenzie River, but this location was different—many of the typical program features had to be reconsidered for the restaurant to work in a mixed-use, recreation/entertainment venue that serves as the Golden Knights’ primary practice facility. The nature of the location introduced some challenges, including an incredibly short timeline: construction documents began in December 2016, and the restaurant needed to be fully operational by September 2017. A second-floor site, situated between two ice sheets, serves more than just the traditional restaurant/bar purposes: it functions as a catering facility for Golden Knights team meals as well as a concession stand during live games. In order to accommodate all of the many uses, security grilles were integrated into the floor plan’s design to make the main dining area and bar flexible, allowing for sports bar/full restaurant transitions that can be closed off when not in use. The kitchen, order counter, and secondary dining areas were designed to operate independently when in either catering or concession stand mode.
From an appearance standpoint, the widely used, rustic aesthetic of most MacKenzie River locations had to be reconsidered. Using existing MacKenzie River design standards, adjustments were made to appropriately fit the space and its patrons including a more industrial feel and an added flair of team spirit (props to the CTA graphics team): gold accents and nods to hockey players of the past. The end result is an inviting, spirited gathering place where fans and families can watch live team practices and view televised games with access to food, team gear, and the occasional visit from a hungry Knights player.