Posted on 5/8/2019 in Industry Content, Local Business

When traveling it’s the local neighborhood gems you search for. You spend hours on Google, Eater and Yelp trying to figure out what is the best place to go eat & drink in that city. Same things go for the cities you live in, it is the owner operated businesses that make our cities so special and unique.

It says a lot when entrepreneurs, chefs and other risk takers choose your city to open up shop in. It lets you know they believe in your city now and for many years to come. They want to live there, hire there and take the biggest risk of their life in your community. From the lower east side in NYC to Venice Beach LA or Off The Strip in Las Vegas, it is the local business owners who make your cities such an amazing place to live or visit. Last but not least the money that is spent at these businesses is redistributed directly back into that local community which is why you should shop local, eat local and gift local.

Allow us to introduce you to a few of these risk takers and community members:

Meet Chef Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf. Brian moved to Las Vegas in 2000 and calls Las Vegas Home, Chef has played a pinitol roll in growing the culinary scene and is now raising his family here which include his wife Wendy and son Brix. Has 35 employees and just launched Fly Dogs, a concept available at the Las Vegas Aviator baseball games in Summerlin. ( BeFunky-collage-Brian-Howard

A little over a year ago, James Trees moved back to his native Las Vegas from sunny California to open Esther's Kitchen as a simple neighborhood spot. The seasonal Italian restaurant has risen quickly to the top of the Las Vegas off-Strip scene, and James has doubled down with new concepts: 108 Eats at the STRAT and Ada's, opening imminently at Tivoli Village. Chef James takes the time to mentor his employees and as his business grows, he chooses to promote from within whenever possible. Supporting owner-operators like Trees means supporting Las Vegas for now and the future. ( James Trees Collage with Team

Cory Harwell moved to Las Vegas in 1997. After working for Harley-Davidson Cafe and then MGM Resorts, he started investing his own capital, sweat, blood, and tears (literally) into Las Vegas burgeoning restaurant scene. From Caña at Town Square to Carson Kitchen with Chef Kerry Simon. Even when amazing concepts like Caña didn’t make it, Cory continued to push and take risks in this city he loves so much. ( BeFunky-Harwell collage

Daniel Coughlin and Shauna Dong are owner/operators of Le Thai in Downtown Las Vegas. Opening in 2011 they were one of the first restaurants to help revitalize the East Fremont District. Just last year opened Le Thai 2 in the Medical District. Both locations together employee 50+ which they offer health insurance too. They are also partners in Arts District favorite Vesta Coffee Roaster. BeFunky-collage-LeThai-Dan-Coughlin-Team

When you choose to support these businesses from a drink after work to date night or a business lunch you are choosing to support these risk takers and your city. These businesses can also be found on - A local eGift card platform that makes it easy for you to THINK GLOBAL but GIFT LOCAL.

When you choose to "Gift Local" you are making a small but meaningful effort to support a local business. So next time you say “Congrats”, “Happy Birthday” or “Thanks”, be sure to go to and gift local or click on the GIFT CARD button on any of their websites.

  • ItsOnMe eGift cards are easy to send and easy to redeem.
  • They never get lost and they never expire.
  • You can send them with instant delivery or to be sent out on a future date.

Here is a tribute to those who have helped build the current local hospitality community.