Friends with Benefits: Ryan Bruce of Piero’s Italian Kitchen

Piero’s Italian Cuisine and its head bartender Ryan Bruce have something in common: they both have deep roots in Las Vegas. In fact, Piero’s will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in March, and Bruce is a third-generation Las Vegan.

Bruce’s grandfather moved to the desert town to work for Area 51 and the Nevada Test Site; Bruce’s father has long owned and operated a small business in Las Vegas; and Bruce himself joined Piero when he was just 16, over a dozen years ago. “I thought I wanted to be a chef, so I came to Piero’s to help out in the kitchen,” says Bruce. “But I ended up serving tables instead, and then I worked almost every position here, from bus to waiter to captain and host. Then, when I was 21, I became a bartender.

As the main bartender, Bruce takes great pride in taking care of every guest sitting at his bar. “I have a good memory of what you drink – I remember exactly what you drink and how you like it,” he says. With Piero’s long history, many of Bruce’s guests have been coming to the restaurant for years – it’s long been a hot spot for celebrities, politicians. athletes and the Vegas elite.

“I love the history here, especially being from Las Vegas myself,” says Bruce. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I grew up working here. I took care of celebrities like Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Joe Pesci (scenes from the movie Casino were filmed at Piero). It really is a family restaurant, and we treat it that way. It won’t be a quick dining experience – it takes a while, but that’s what adds to the ambiance. From the moment you arrive until the moment you leave, you will always be taken care of. Piero is one of a kind. It has that classic feel. It’s that old-school Vegas restaurant. It is not something that can ever be reproduced or duplicated.

Libation: Espresso Martini

One of the most popular cocktails served by Piero is the espresso martini. It’s made with freshly brewed espresso, vanilla vodka, regular vodka, and a splash of Kahlua. “We’re definitely known for our martinis because it’s a big 10-ounce pour,” says Bruce. “We go to the very top (glass). We don’t miss a drop. Piero’s is also known to the Vegas celebrity community, which recently voted the restaurant into the 2022 Las Vegas Magazine Hall of Fame.

Advantage: Ask Bruce to make you his signature drink, the Amaretto Stone Sour. (This writer says it’s delicious!)

Click here for your free subscription to the weekly digital edition of Las Vegas Magazine, your guide to everything to do, hear, see and experience in Southern Nevada. Along with the latest edition emailed every week, you’ll find plenty of great, money-saving deals on some of the most exciting attractions, restaurants, properties and more! And Las Vegas Magazine is packed with informative content like restaurants to visit, cocktails to sip and attractions to enjoy.

Comments are closed.