In September 2023, chef Roy Ellamar took to Summerlin and partnered with LEV restaurant group to open a new restaurant — one that quickly became a destination for Ellamar’s slightly sweet, almost crunchy, pleasantly fluffy banana bread. Fine Company at Downtown Summerlin was Ellamar’s first foray since leaving Harvest by Roy Ellamar at the Bellagio in 2021. In the nine months since its debut, Fine Company has earned a steady fandom among the Summerlin brunch crowd, an Eater Award for Best New Off-Strip Restaurant, and expanded its menus. This week, Ellamar stepped away from the business, citing a difference of opinion regarding the restaurant’s future.

“It was going in a different direction than I had wanted it to go in the beginning,” Ellamar told Eater Vegas on Friday, June 7. “I think [LEV Group] just wanted something different than what I was willing to give. I think if you look at the menu now, you can see what I’m talking about.” A representative for LEV Group — the group behind restaurants like Harlo Steakhouse & Bar and the Golden Tiki — and the group that partnered with Ellamar to open Fine Company, stated that CEO Jeffrey Fine will continue to operate the restaurant.

In addition to the banana bread, Fine Company drew acclaim for its menu of dishes like dates stuffed with savory lamb sausage, a Jidori fried chicken sandwich slathered in a honey cumin glaze, crispy salt and pepper shrimp, and brown butter pancakes. Since then, the restaurant has expanded its hours to serve dinner, featuring dishes like tomato gazpacho and eggplant parmesan, and a midday happy hour with cocktails and bites, including pastrami melt egg rolls and salmon tartare with Sriracha aioli. “It was a hard decision to step away, but I have to stay true to who I am,” Ellamar says.

“I’ve been a proponent of expanding the culinary scene beyond the Strip and working with great culinary talents to create exceptional neighborhood restaurants and bars,” Fine said in a statement to Eater Vegas. “While I am disappointed by Roy’s sudden departure this week, I appreciate his contributions and wish him well.” Fine says that while LEV Group continues to operate Fine Company, the culinary team will continue providing the same experience that customers expect. “We are excited for the next chapter of Fine Company,” says Fine.

Sliced banana bread with flowers.

Banana bread at Fine Company.
Louiie Victa

Ellamar plans to take some time off to travel, though he’s already plotting what he wants to do next. For now, those plans involve staying in Las Vegas and leaning further into the Filipino and Hawaiian flavors the chef grew up eating. “It’s just so hard to operate a restaurant these days,” Ellamar says. “With minimum wage increasing, it’s becoming more difficult for operators to do it. So we have to look at a different model where you can still offer a really great concept but not be so labor-dependent.”

After reflecting on his time with Fine Company, Ellamar says that he enjoyed working off-Strip — he liked having regular customers in the neighborhood, and he was even visited by out-of-town customers who had supported him since his days at Harvest. A representative for LEV Group says that the banana bread is staying on the menu but that other menu changes are inevitable with seasonality. Regardless, Ellamar guarantees that the signature loaf, his mom’s recipe, will always be part of his repertoire.

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