The team behind the iconic late-night restaurant Herbs & Rye is delving into daylight hours with a sleek new restaurant, called Middle Child, that will serve a menu of breakfast standbys, raw bar seafood, and the inventive cocktails fans of owner and bartender Nectaly Mendoza have come to expect. While Vegas’s new Middle Child became embroiled in a dramatic trademark dispute with a Philly restaurant of the same name in the months leading up to its debut, it opens tomorrow, June 28.

Middle Child (3900 Paradise Road, Suite N) will live just a few doors down from sister restaurant, Cleaver. It follows the opening of Mendoza’s breakfast restaurant, Morning News, which started serving dessert-laden waffles in October 2023. A far cry from the moody red interiors of Herbs & Rye, Middle Child is all cool tones and bright windows. The dining room is anchored by an open kitchen; white marble tables flank walls adorned with mirrors and pale blue subway tile. A glass partition divides the sunny room into space for private dining.

The restaurant is located just down the road from the Las Vegas Convention Center and directly in front of a 400-unit apartment complex that is expected to open this year. “We see much more convention traffic when convention season is in town and I’m not sure how much that will change with it getting more residential over here,” says Valeria Valera, the director of administration for the restaurant group, which oversees four restaurants, including Middle Child.

The menu has a few breakfast staples for diners, who can visit as early as 8 a.m. There are Benedicts with lobster tail and shaved truffles. Biscuits and gravy get plussed up by bone marrow. And the French toast gets a fine dining twist — slices of brioche layered with berry compote, shaved foie gras, and whipped caramel creme fraiche. Moving into lunch hours, the menu also has steak served with seasoned fries, Chilean mussels in a white wine sauce, and escargot.

Mendoza’s cocktail menu includes three frozen cocktails, ready to be poured from slushy machines behind the bar. Available both at the bar or table, he plays up a Pimm’s cup with tamarind and ginger beer. And, in a nod to the movie Casino, the Green Felt Jungle cocktail combines lime vodka, midori, a green tea and sage syrup, pineapple, and yuzu lime soda.

Middle Child’s opening follows a fraught legal battle that has thrown its very name into jeopardy. The restaurant group filed a trademark application for the name in 2022. Across the country, a sandwich restaurant with a cult following has been operating under the name “Middle Child” since 2017. In May, the Philadelphia group filed a formal complaint against the Vegas team — arguing that the trademark rights for the “Middle Child” restaurant name should be “granted to the first to use a mark, and not the first to file a trademark application.” The Vegas restaurant group declined to comment on the status of the dispute.

Valera says that the name made more sense when the plan was to open Middle Child before Morning News. Remodeling the space, which used to be Satay Thai Bistro, meant reorganizing that lineup. “It was a concept we felt was going to bridge what we were doing with [Herbs & Rye and Cleaver],” says Valera. “It was the middle child trying to make sure their name is known.”

A two-top table in front of an open kitchen.

Middle Child.
Janna Karel

A circular table in front of patterned wallpaper and a mirror.

Middle Child.
Janna Karel

While Las Vegas is home to other swanky brunch restaurants where diners can order coffee and a seafood platter, few of those are located off-Strip; neighborhood daytime restaurants skew more casual. Middle Child is leaning into a higher-end brunch — without the thumping high-decibel music that has become synonymous with the genre. “I think what we’ve been able to build out with Herbs and Cleaver is the bar aspect where you go in and you know the bartenders and it’s the neighborhood feel,” says Valera. “We wanted to create something like that, something a little different — and who doesn’t love breakfast?”

Middle Child opens on Friday, June 28, and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made online.

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