At the corner of the north Strip and Oakey, the White Cross Drugs complex, with its blue and white facade, still sits mostly unchanged since the 1950s. Of course, new businesses—like the Market that vends craft beer—have come while originals like the drugstore where Elvis filled his prescriptions have gone, but the exterior largely remains the same. Recently, though, you may have noticed that the pill-shaped sign under the awning is now red and emblazoned “Vickie’s Diner.” Redubbed for its new owner, Vickie Kelesis, the restaurant is still the same place serving the great comfort food Tiffany’s Cafe was famous for.
Kelesis, a waitress at Tiffany’s, has stronger ties to the business than her eight years of serving omelets there. Her husband’s family used to own the lunch counter. So when owner Teddy Pappas decided to retire, Kelesis was the natural choice to take over.
Apart from the renaming, the seamless changing of the guard means that the place is still the same bastion of 1950s diner culture that you remember, with the added twist of some of the strangest art you can imagine (think Bob Ross meets Clint Eastwood). The nostalgic will be happy to know the red booths and swiveling counter stools still stand among the same unflattering fluorescent lighting. But the place has been cleaned up a bit and given a fresh coat of paint.
There have been a few menu additions like schnitzel, and they are welcome. So long as the heaping portions of golden grilled cheeses and decadent plates of chicken fried steak are still as delicious and as affordable as ever, which I’m happy to say they are.
Vickie's Diner 1700 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-444-4459. 24/7.