Urban Enthusiasts – August 2015

Urban Enthusiasts – August 2015


Newlyweds Bryanna and Kyle Harris recently tied the knot in an extravagant ceremony on the East Coast. The event garnered some media attention when they shared their nuptials online using the Periscope app. It seemed like an appropriate culmination to a relationship that begin on Twitter. The couple, now settled in back in Las Vegas after a European honeymoon, is busy extending their social media prowess into various projects right here at home.

Bryanna, originally from Long Island, New York, came to Nevada by way of the University of Reno before settling in Las Vegas with her parents. Kyle came to Las Vegas to be with Bryanna after meeting her online while living in his hometown of Russellville, Arkansas.

Bryanna designs and makes dignified, custom dog clothing for her own Hoodratz brand, and Kyle is the social media director for the popular Downtown Podcast. He’s also working on a project that works to connect and network with brands based in Las Vegas. The concept, Vegas Made, should launch in October.

What drew you to DTLV?
Kyle and I kind of stumbled upon it together in our own way. I love hanging out downtown because it’s so much smaller than the Strip. It’s like being back home because every time we’re down there, we see someone we know. We love all our regular little spots and enjoy spending time in familiar places.

KH: I was asked to come to Downtown Podcast by a co-worker of mine almost two years ago and that was the first time I had even set foot downtown. Since then, the podcast kept me coming back, but also the people and the amazing restaurants and bars.

What are some of your favorite places downtown?
We love Gold Spike! Maybe it’s because a lot of our friends live there now, but we love going to hang out in the Backyard, get a drink and watch local bands play. We also go to Commonwealth a lot and just recently wandered into Don’t Tell Mama. I see us spending a lot of time there.

What do you think sets DTLV apart from other neighborhoods in Vegas?
: DTLV is like a small community with A TON of lights. I think I know more people in DTLV than I do in the community that Kyle and I actually live in – in fact I know I do! It’s different because you get that city feel with a small town attitude.

KH: You can’t find people like the ones in DTLV anywhere else in the world. They’re all so smart, so ambitious and friendly, and they would go out of their way to help you at the drop of a hat. It’s a very young and inviting environment. I have built so many new friendships downtown and most of those friends actually call DTLV home. It is definitely where you want to be if your goal is to make friends who inspire you.

Any new spots you’re looking forward to opening downtown?
Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky opened recently and it’s super delicious.

KH: I’m interested to see how this new music venue across from Container Park is going to attract people to downtown. There is a big music scene in Vegas, so it’ll be nice to see local band and bigger bands drawing a crowd to the area. I feel like DTLV is high profile, but only to a small group of people. I’m noticing more and more folks coming downtown, which is really encouraging..

Photo: Bryanna and Kyle Harris by Lucky Wenzel

  • Dayvid Figler and Rae Lathrop

    DF: Downtown was great as a kid and it is even greater as an adult. I love all of downtown’s hidden gems, its vibrancy, history and sense of connection. Rae is relatively newer to Las Vegas, but just as passionate about downtown. Downtown lends itself to the shared experience, and as a couple we both love seeing this part of the city through each other's eyes. Photo: Lucky Wenzel


  • Rob Ponte

    Some of the best nights I’ve experienced started out with no plan other than walking around to check out what’s going on. The great thing about having so many bars and restaurants downtown is the ability to move around if you’re not feeling the vibe in one place. There are plenty of options just outside the door. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Brandon Wiegand

    The downtown Las Vegas of today has much to attract residents - a burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, growing diversity of businesses, and major centers of art and culture. Plus, living downtown I am easily within walking or biking distance of it all. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Hank Gordon, Chairman of Laurich Properties

    It is always a pleasure to deal with the city of Las Vegas’ economic development department. The staff is really interested in helping create a positive business environment to work with.

  • Jonathan Jenkins, Founder & CEO of OrderWithMe

    As our company continues its rapid growth, we quickly realized the need to set up a formal U.S. headquarters. We explored multiple cities and were about to make the move to San Francisco, and then we heard about the complete reinvention of downtown Las Vegas. Coming from China where things are booming and growing, we love that downtown Vegas now has a similar vibe of energy and change. Not only is there an exciting tech community here and much lower costs than the Bay Area, but we love the fact that almost every industry group brings their conventions to our front door once a year.

  • Andy Hsieh, Owner of Lux Delux

    We love the vibrancy and energy of Las Vegas, and downtown is at the heart of it all. That's why we've launched our mobile platform with a focus on downtown. This is an exciting time in Las Vegas history, where community, commerce and technology are all converging at once. Downtown is our city's hidden gem.

  • Ramesh Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Partnerships of SocialWellth

    We chose to relocate from the suburbs to downtown for several reasons. Our brand image and that of downtown’s mesh perfectly. The new downtown Las Vegas reflects a more hip, startup, social media-style image. Additionally, downtown’s emerging technology corridor, anchored by Zappos, is an environment that enhances our ability to recruit the types of technical skill sets required for our continued growth and success.

  • Mark Brandenburg, President of Golden Gate

    I think downtown Las Vegas is a unique blend of intimacy and great energy. Plus, in contrast to The Strip, it’s so easy to walk around…The Golden Gate has been here for over 100 years and with all the changes going on downtown, it feels like a new era. It truly is a renaissance—the rebirth of a classic.

  • Roberto Mendoza, Co-owner of Banger Brewing

    The city has been great in helping us with the licensing and procedures necessary to start a business. There hasn't been a brewery built in the city of Las Vegas for probably 10 years. So for them it hasn't been a typical ‘cut and paste’ thing. We're something different. It was a team work process to get us opened – a lot of talk and listening on both sides. And now the city started opening up the doors for other breweries once we were up and running. Good news for us and good news for the future. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Alexandra Epstein, Executive Vice President of El Cortez Casino Hotel

    This downtown area… is emerging and where many events are happening.

  • Meghan Mossler, Owner of Stitch Factory

    The city and the department of economic development have been very helpful to us and all the other downtown business owners. It’s such a community here, and everyone asks you what you need. That kind of help launching a business is amazing and priceless.

  • Pamela Dylag, Co-owner of Velveteen Rabbit

    The city is so supportive of new businesses. Things are popping up constantly. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Marc Abelman, CFO & Co-owner of Inside Style

    Downtown is becoming very much in demand…there’s a limited supply. Run fast, don’t walk.

  • Sam Cherry, CEO of Cherry Development

    For a while, downtown was one of the only places in the valley you would see cranes when you drove around. It was nice that city government stepped up and the private sector married with the public sector to create amazing projects that filled the gap. That was very important for us.

  • Johnny Jimenez, Owner of Toy Shack of Las Vegas

    Our business is booming amid the foot traffic on Fremont Street, and we’ve started to see how tourists are falling in love with downtown as they discover it. In the past year, we’re increasingly hearing things like, ‘Wow, next time we’ll stay downtown instead of on The Strip,’ or ‘We’ve visited downtown many times, but this is the first year we’ve actually stayed in a downtown hotel.’ They like that there is more to do within a smaller walking radius.

  • Rich Worthington, President and CEO of The Molasky Group of Companies

    Historically, downtown Las Vegas has not been a top destination for many locals, but in recent years… that trend is reversing itself. Given all the recent openings and progress, there’s much to explore and experience downtown.