Nellie’s Southern Kitchen Infuses Traditional Favorites with Some Jonas Brothers Magic
When envisioning their perfect eatery, many potential restaurateurs look back to their simplest day-to-day memories of food. “Every day, my grandmother would come home with cotton in her hair ... and make the most amazing chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy,” recalled Kevin Jonas, Sr. Who knew that the simple act of putting together flour and water in a home kitchen would lead to the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip?
Now the Jonas family, which includes the multi-platinum selling Jonas Brothers music group, is celebrating their ancestor’s renowned Southern charm and comfort food with Nellie’s Southern Kitchen at MGM Grand, which is named in her honor. Helmed by Denise and Kevin Jonas Sr., along with their four sons Kevin II, Joe, Nick (the Jonas Brothers), and Franklin, the Las Vegas location marks the second outpost of the concept, which debuted in Nellie’s hometown of Belmont, North Carolina in 2016. It recognizes both the family’s long roots in that area and their continuing relationship with Las Vegas, including Jonas Brothers concerts at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and at nearby properties, Park MGM and Mandalay Bay.
“My great-grandmother was happiest when surrounded by people having a great time,” said Nick Jonas. “That’s what Nellie’s is all about - amazing food, vibes and music.”
A woman of devout faith and tradition, Nellie worked 12-hour shifts at a cotton mill to help provide for her family. She lived in her beloved Belmont until passing in 2011.
Situated adjacent to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the 11,000-square-foot Nellie’s evokes a charming front porch where everyone is welcome. Its unique furnishings and decor contribute to a folkloric aura evoking North Carolina’s endless meadows, timeless pastoral scenes, and adorable cottages - all infused with world-class MGM Grand hospitality. The vibrant “polished casual” atmosphere, inspired by the Jonas’ passion for music and hospitality, creates a spirited spot for all ages to enjoy fresh, flavorful dishes and live entertainment.
The new Nellie’s will serve the likes of Hawg Hill Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich, Southern Meat Loaf, and, of course, warm biscuits and Chicken & Dumplins. Kevin Sr. experimented with every family biscuit recipe, as well as other regional versions, before settling on an ultimate biscuit for Nellie’s. Desserts include banana pudding and Denise Jonas’ own sweet potato casserole with a pecan glaze (served as both a side and dessert). There will also be an extensive cocktail menu and offerings exclusive to the Las Vegas location.
“One of our greatest joys in life is sharing a meal with those we love,” said Denise Jonas. “There is always room for guests in our home and around our table.” Nellie’s Southern Kitchen plans to offer a dinner menu upon opening, with lunch and brunch to follow soon after. Diners can make reservations by visiting mgmgrand.mgmresorts.com/en/restaurants/nellies-southern-kitchen.html
By Paul Rogers, Vegas Guide Writer