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December 18, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Golden Gate not scrimping on National Shrimp Day

Downtown casino that brought shrimp cocktails to Las Vegas to roll back price of dish to 1959

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Beverly Poppe

The Golden Gate’s classic shrimp cocktail.

Map of Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

1 Fremont St., Las Vegas

There may be nothing more “Vegas” than the shrimp cocktail.

Well, that is after gambling, neon signage, diminishing water resources and the mistaken belief that prostitution is legal here.

But beyond those things, the shrimp cocktail reigns supreme when thinking “Vegas.”

Friday, the originators of the Las Vegas shrimp cocktail are giving the crustacean-filled sundae glass, with sauce, its due.

In honor of National Shrimp Day, the Golden Gate, 1 Fremont St., is rolling back the price of its shrimp cocktail from $2.99 to 50 cents, which is what it cost when it was first served at the casino in 1959.

Mark Brandenburg, Golden Gate president, said his stepfather, Italo Ghelfi, brought the San Francisco staple to Las Vegas in the late 1950s. It became so popular that numerous other casinos began to offer their own version of the shrimp cocktail.

The Golden Gate cocktail offers about 30 medium-sized shrimp in a ice cream sundae glass with a family-secret shrimp sauce on top. Brandenburg says the hotel sells about 1,000 per day.

Estimating the weight of one medium shrimp at 2.5 grams, that’s 75 grams per glass; 75,000 grams (165 pounds) per day; and about 30 tons per year.

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