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January 29, 2015

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Chef brings ‘new vision’ for planned pizzeria at Aria


courtesy of Rockwell Group

A rendering of the Five50 Pizza Bar, which is set to open this spring at Aria.

The chef at Sage, the upscale eatery that makes just about everyone's list of top restaurants in Las Vegas, now has a pizza joint.

Shawn McClain aims to open his Five50 Pizza Bar at the Aria this spring. The name comes from the oven and the clock — the temperature at which pizza is cooked and the time happy hour starts at the bar, which promises a large selection of beers.

“Pizza is something everyone can relate to; it spans cultures, eras, generations and is a true icon of food," McClain said. "I also happen to love pizza."

Although McClain made his name in Chicago, he'll feature East Coast and Sicilian-style pizzas in the old Skybox Sports Bar & Grill space adjoining the race and sports book.

Although the menu is still being developed, Five50 also plans to serve artisanal charcuterie meats, handmade pastas and desserts.

The Rockwell Group, the company behind the Cosmopolitan and CityCenter's Crystals, is creating the design.

“In searching for a pizza concept that would complement Aria’s culinary portfolio, it was essential that the chef brought a new vision that would make the restaurant a standout,” said Bobby Baldwin, CityCenter CEO. “When Chef McClain presented his version of today’s pizzeria, it was the match I was looking for."

McClain grew up in San Diego, but it was in Chicago with restaurants Spring and Green Zebra that won him the James Beard Award in 2006 for "Best Chef in the Midwest." The James Beard Awards have been called the culinary equivalent of an Oscar. McClain brought Sage to Las Vegas in 2009.

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  1. More pizza? Yawn. Find a Metro pizza way off the strip...great food for 1/5 the price.