There is a delicious new way for downtown residents and visitors to experience The Smith Center campus: A brand-new Sambalatte location, now officially open.
Located in The Smith Center’s courtyard area, with entrances off Promenade Place and from the courtyard itself, this new café has been a longtime coming.
Even before The Smith Center opened in 2012, Sambalatte Founder Luiz Oliveira approached the center’s CEO and President Myron Martin about opening a coffee shop on its campus.
“I knew that people who go to The Smith Center appreciate arts, music and culture, and I thought those are also the same people who enjoy a great coffee and a sophisticated coffee bar experience,” the Las Vegas resident recalls.
This marks the fifth location Oliveira has opened in Las Vegas since creating the chain less than a decade ago.
These have secured a devoted consumer base with his sustainable “farm-to-cup” approach, incorporating beans imported from his native Brazil.
Oliveira anticipates this new location at The Smith Center will delight performing arts lovers and provide a welcome refuge for downtown residents.
“This can be a place for you to bring friends and family and socialize, have a meeting, or just relax,” he says.
A Delectable Menu
Open daily — even when there are not scheduled performances — the new Sambalatte location will often offer extended evening hours to accommodate those attending shows at The Smith Center.
The café will otherwise be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
With Wi-Fi and outdoor seating available, the menu offers items to appease many cravings, spanning specialty coffees, teas, sandwiches and more.
Just a few of the delectable drinks include a Nutella latte, a matcha latte, frappes, smoothies and macchiato.
For those with an appetite, the café offers options like a ham-and-cheese croissant, an egg-and-sausage muffin, a turkey-and-swiss sandwich and a caprese sandwich.
The location will even offer special afternoon high tea events, as well as specialty drinks created in honor of Broadway shows.
This includes the current Hakuna Ma Latte (pumpkin spice and white chocolate mocha latte) for “The Lion King,” running November 7 to 25.
A Dream Bred in Brazil
This new location isn’t the first time Oliveira has manifested a long-time dream.
He envisioned owning his own coffee chain even as a boy in Brazil, inspired by the country’s ubiquitous coffee culture.
“There was a world-renowned café just a few blocks from my house called Confeitaria Colombo, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a place like this?’” he recalls.
As an adult, he kept this hope alive. Even while serving an executive role in the food and beverage industry, he researched coffee around the world as a hobby, keeping every note he made.
When he lost his job in the late ‘00s, he turned this disappointment into opportunity.
“I thought about the explosion Starbucks was having throughout the U.S., and I thought, ‘I could have a coffee bar with a more fun environment,’” he remembers. “I decided I would make this project a reality.”
A Groundbreaking Brand
For The Smith Center location, Oliveira chose an art-deco, industrial aesthetic to reflect the center’s own elegant design.
Other features include a green wall of living plants, as well as reclaimed wall and floorboards, to reflect The Smith Center’s Gold LEED status.
Oliveira even opted for TV screens depicting the chain’s full harvest-to-production process.
“Nowadays, people want to know the story behind what they’re consuming,” Oliveira says.
For Sambalatte newcomers, he recommends the chain’s most popular drink.
“The Nutella latte,” he says. “People go absolutely crazy for those.”
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361 Symphony Park Ave
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