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I wanted to get as far from the Bellagio as I could…so what better way to take a meal and take a bite out of history than by going to the Green Shack. Have you had it with over-priced expense account meals? Interested in walking into a time warp? Enjoy having some tradition with your chicken? Then get down to wide wide Boulder Highway in the shadow of the Showboat Hotel for a glimpse and a taste of Old Vegas while there's still a chance. There you'll find the Green Shack—Las Vegas' oldest restaurant.
Depending on whose talking, the Green Shack was founded in 1929 or 1930. Started literally as a shack—literally a window where Boulder Dam workers could pick up some chicken and biscuits on their way to or from a hard days work. The Green Shack has amazingly been owned by the same family for most of its 68 years of existence. That window was part of a two-room house belonging to Jimmie Jones and her mother Effie. In 1932 they bought an old Union Pacific Railroad barracks and had it hauled down Fremont Street by tractor. Those barracks are now the main dining room which continues to be a tasteful throwback to the food and décor of another time. Aside from a few expansions and some nice seasonal decorations, the Shack appears today much as it has throughout the past seven decades.
Not a bad feat and not bad fried chicken either. Sure there's other things on the menu, but ordering a steak or fish at the Green Shack is like eating a cheeseburger at Buzio's. Those hankering for well-cooked, ungreasy and generous portions of this quintessential southern dish should go no where else. And the fresh-made mashed potatoes, good gravy and tasty, moist biscuits and bread pudding are also big plusses. But even if the food wasn't up to snuff, you should still check the place out if nothing else to catch a glimpse of days gone by, before beltways and Bellagios define the Vegas way of life.
The Green Shack is located at 2504 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 383-0007.
This is John Curtas