You may enter The Linq empty handed, but don’t plan on leaving that way.
Stylish hats, funky frames, Italian shoes, drinking games, cell phone accessories and risque toys … those are just some of the hip items you could end up bagging during a stroll through the Las Vegas Strip’s newest open-air retail, dining and entertainment destination.
Centrally located between the Flamingo and The Quad, and across from Caesars Palace, The Linq is a prime spot for retail shops with stores including Bella Scarpa footwear, Goorin Bros. hat shop and Chilli Beans eyewear recently opening their doors.
Even though the already world-famous High Roller observation wheel won’t open for at least another month, business at The Linq has been bustling, according to VP and general manager Jon Gray.
“It’s been really steady and much better than anticipated,” said Gray. “We’ve had a lot of great foot traffic through The Linq, day and night. Our tenants are very happy and … we’re very excited.” (Read a Q&A with Gray, here).
The opportunity to attract different types of customers from all over the world is a real draw for store owners such as Ben Goorin, CEO of Goorin Bros. The fourth-generation, family-owned San Francisco-based company has handcrafted and sold artisan hats since 1895.
“You get such an international mix of visitors who come to Vegas,” said Goorin. “Its a great stage for us to educate people, and get people, maybe for the first time, to think about wearing a hat.”
Goorin went on to explain that hats have played a role in society throughout history whether for work, practical reasons, fashion or ritualistic purposes.
“A hat is really an extension of a person’s personal style and taste,” said Goorin. “It’s a really easy way, and an immediate way, for someone to transform themselves.”
With a huge collection of berets, fedoras, bowlers, newsboy caps and much more, the hat shop stylishly covers up heads at The Linq starting at 10 a.m. daily.
In addition to selling high-quality hats and hat care products to everyone from the novice hat wearer to the full-on hat addict, the staff helps educate customers on different styles of hats, does hat fittings and helps customers determine which shape looks better on them based on their face shape.
The Linq location — which is the store’s 29th — features mahogany cabinetry, tin ceilings and gold gilded windows. Customers can purchase everything from a floppy poolside sun hat to the iconic Heisenberg hat worn by Walter White on “Breaking Bad.”
The store also carries the travelers dream, a gray stingy-brim, A-crown, wool fedora called the Guido. It can take some serious abuse, even get smooshed into a suitcase, and still look like a million bucks. But don’t worry, it won’t cost you a million. Prices at Goorin Brothers range between $50 to $150.
Brazilian eyewear brand, Chilli Beans, meanwhile, chose The Linq for its first Las Vegas location due to the destination’s goal to spotlight unique businesses.
“We wanted to reach the Vegas consumer who was searching for something that they couldn’t get anywhere else, and The Linq provided that opportunity,” explained Sales Supervisor William Lopes.
Chilli Beans features quirky glasses ranging from eccentric to chic. You can try on any pair (including vintage Hollywood cat eye glasses and aviators), and you don’t have to wait for a salesperson to unlock the case.
“We have amazing foot traffic and people are really excited about our products,” said Lopes. “Vegas has received us with open arms.”
Other stores that are currently open at The Linq:
Bella Scarpa – Italian for “beautiful shoes,” Bella Scarpa carries trendy footwear ranging from outrageous to glitzy, including a variety of stilettos, boots, heels, platforms, and sandals. Handbags, jewelry and special collection apparel are also available.
Koto – This fun retail shop offers gadgets and gizmos aplenty, such as shot-spinning games, camera lens-shaped coffee mugs, a ton of super cool iPhone and iPad cases, colorful phone chargers, contact lens cases, glasses and fedoras — all with a whimsical vibe and a kitschy twist.
Ruby Blue – Decorated like a burlesque performer’s dressing room, Ruby Blue carries whimsical items and clothing for every bedroom personality with products ranging from novelty legwear and corsets to sparkly jewelry, adult games and provocative lingerie.
Stores that are coming soon:
Kitson – The iconic, Los Angeles lifestyle boutique, Kitson, will open its Las Vegas flagship this Spring. At 12,000 square feet, it will boast two levels of fashionable clothing and items with a pop culture flair.
Polaroid Fotobar – A one-of-a-kind, fun and experiential retail destination and museum where you can liberate your coveted vacation snapshots from the digital quicksand of your smartphone in an instant and create photo products that aren’t soon to be lost or forgotten. Upstairs, the Polaroid Museum will showcase the history of Polaroid, including how it revolutionized the photo-taking industry and became an iconic brand.
12A.M. RUN – 12A.M. RUN (pronounced “Midnight Run”) will offer limited-edition kicks and street-inspired threads for men, women and tots. Rare labels and styles include Young & Reckless, Jordan Brand and Diamond Supply, to name a few.