North Las Vegas’ Resurgence Continues; ‘Restaurant Row’ Flourishing on Craig Road
Doughnut chain Pinkbox cuts ribbon on first location in area
The continuing economic rebirth of North Las Vegas has a new flavor: candied bacon bits on a maple bar.
That’s a doughnut known as the Porky at Pinkbox Doughnuts, a Las Vegas-born brand that just opened its first North Las Vegas location. It’s bringing sugar and whimsy to a stretch of Craig Road that local officials call the city’s “restaurant row.”
It’s a 4-mile corridor where 24 eateries have opened, or will soon, just within the past three years, said Terri Sheridan, the city’s economic development manager.
At the end closest to Interstate 15, there are elevated local concepts like Born and Raised and Old School Pizzeria, and national brands like Texas Roadhouse and BJ’s, with an Olive Garden getting its finishing touches. Closest to Martin Luther King Boulevard are a Lumberjacks diner, a Pier 88 Boiling Seafood, pupusa and Chinese spots — and a Pinkbox adorned with giant, blinking, sprinkle-shaped lights.
“This says that North Las Vegas restaurant row is here and it’s growing, and it’s going to continue to grow,” said Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown.
Goynes-Brown retired as an educator four years ago from Richard Bryan Elementary School off West Lake Mead Road and North Buffalo Drive in Summerlin, just around the corner from a Pinkbox. She said the store often delivered treats to Bryan teachers.
The North Las Vegas store is the chain’s ninth. Pinkbox launched in 2012 with the Summerlin store, which is also the closest one to the new shop at 1210 W. Craig Road.
Pinkbox Chief Business Officer Michael Crandall said executives have a goal of taking the brand national after more growth in the Las Vegas area. North Las Vegas is part of that local-first expansion.
The store, which held a by-invite ribbon cutting Thursday and its grand opening to the public Saturday, is ideally located, about a block from Craig Ranch Regional Park, a hub of north valley recreation, and near burgeoning residential growth, Crandall said.
“There’s thousands of rooftops being built throughout North Las Vegas,” he noted.
Sheridan said the restaurant row took shape organically as the immediate area developed, but that North Las Vegas had, until recently, a dearth of dining throughout. With about 275,000 people, North Las Vegas is the state’s third-largest city behind Las Vegas and Henderson, and ahead of Reno.
“There wasn’t an abundance of fast food, either,” Sheridan said. “This really was the impetus.”
Developers noticed. They were built to meet the demand for family dinners and workday lunches.
Texas Roadhouse got the restaurant renaissance started when the steakhouse opened down the block from the Cannery in late 2018. One eatery does not make a restaurant “row,” but operators pay attention to each other, Sheridan said. When a restaurant is successful, others will want to be its neighbors.
“Commercial retailers follow rooftops, and they recognized the housing and employment that has taken place within the city of North Las Vegas, and they are meeting the end needs of those residents and those employers (and) employees needing a place to go,” she said.
Texas Roadhouse and Salad and Go, a healthy drive-thru, entered the Las Vegas metro market by building on Craig Road, Sheridan said. There are now few open parcels left on the Craig frontage.
“There are dozens of different opportunities to choose from today that did not exist three years ago,” she said.
The Great Recession nearly took North Las Vegas out at the knees. A third of the homes in the then-bedroom community went into foreclosure, and with little industry at the time and an outsize reliance on residential property taxes, the vulnerable city tipped over the cliff of insolvency and hit junk bond status in 2013. The city diversified its economy, especially with industrial parks, and climbed out of its hole. In 2019, the city had regained A and A+ bond ratings.
At the new Pinkbox, on the road that was once the northern edge of town, active residential infill development can be seen and heard.
“There is so much happening in our city in terms of economic development, from Apex, the crown jewel of our industrial development for all of Southern Nevada, to new housing developments like the one right behind you or like the Villages at Tule Springs and so much more,” Goynes-Brown said.