Filed under: Dining
Restaurants everywhere are struggling, Las Vegas tourism is down and still somehow Tao Restaurant and Nightclub in Las Vegas owns the top spot on the list of the 100 highest grossing independent restaurants in the U.S.according to the latest data from Restaurants and Institutions. This was Tao's third time at number one in a year where sales in the top 100 pretty much stayed the same as last year's numbers ($1.52 billion in 2008, compared to $1.53 billion in 2007).
Tao Las Vegas brought in $68.4 million in food and beverage revenue in 2008 which is a three percent gain over 2007. The rest of the top five, Tavern on the Green in New York City, Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach, Smith & Wollensky in New York City and Tao Asian Bistro in New York City were all also in the top five last year.
The list includes a few celebrity restaurants. Danny DeVito's DeVito South Beach is in the 19th slot, Michael Jordan's steakhouse at the Mohegan Sun is number 62 and Mike Ditka's Chicago restaurant is in the 94th position. Celebrity chefs also appear on the list. Wolfgang Puck owns a few slots, Mario Batali and Lydia Bastianich's Del Posto in New York is at number 45. "Top Chef" host Tom Colicchio is on the list for Craftsteak in Las Vegas and Daniel Boulud hits the list twice.
Most of the restaurants are located in major cities or in vacation destinations but there are a few surprises. The Harris Ranch restaurant is located in the small cow town of Coalinga, California and Zehnder's is in the Bavarian-themed town of Frankenmuth, Michigan.