The old adage, the third time’s the charm, is not true for restaurateur Chanthy Walsh, owner, and proprietor of Chinitas on Water Street. For Walsh, the first, second, AND third time’s the charm. That’s because she and her family run two other successful restaurants at nearby Lake Las Vegas – Sonrisa Grill and Tokyo Social House – in addition to their newest venture – Chinitas, an artful fusion of Asian and Mexican favorites.
A Cambodian refugee who spent 24 years in Southern California before moving to Henderson in 2003, Walsh, along with her husband, Tim, and two sons, Dillon and Austin, have long had the restaurant business in their blood. Walsh grew up understanding the value and significance of running a family-owned business that unites all members of the family in achieving success while building tangible assets.
The family first opened a coffee shop in Rancho Santa Fe. The tiny 240-square-foot coffee shop was so successful, investors from Lake Las Vegas paid the family a visit, encouraging them to bring their restaurant know-how and business acumen to Henderson. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Walsh continues to have a hand in every aspect of her family’s growing restaurant empire, including rolling sushi five days a week at Tokyo Social House, putting her fine-tuned skills to good use. And Walsh is particularly proud that Sonrisa Grill is a stable place where entire families can dine in a fun and casual atmosphere while enjoying delicious Mexican fare.
Chinitas, says Walsh, combines the best of both restaurants and boasts a gorgeous yet comfy ambiance in a hip and cool space designed by Walsh herself. “I often get asked for the name of my architect and interior designer,” said Chanthy, who is a DIY powerhouse and businesswoman. “I laugh when I tell people that it’s all me. I loved having the opportunity to bring my vision to life!”
“Our mission for Chinitas is to offer our guests an elevated dining experience on Water Street, and we feel confident we have achieved that,” said Walsh. “Sushi, tapas, draft beers, sakes and gorgeous cocktails on the street, are our signatures, plus gaming. And so far, our patrons are enjoying it all.”
Walsh understands the importance of teamwork and credits her management team and head chefs. “Without the entire team’s time, dedication, and passion, Chinitas would not be what it is today.”
Years ago, Walsh would not have considered opening a restaurant on Water Street, but today, she and her family are enamored and thrilled with its growing vibrancy, walkability, and charm. “We are already in love with this spot. There’s nothing like it in the valley.”
In fact, Walsh, who owns the building, is putting the finishing touches on a gorgeous wedding and special event venue that encompasses the entire second floor over the restaurant. With a stunning view of the Las Vegas Strip, and crystal chandeliers hanging throughout the cool, chic space, the venue has an impressive 200-person capacity. Here, Walsh is looking forward to hosting parties and gatherings of all kinds.
“We can’t wait to show off Water Street to everyone in Southern Nevada and beyond,” she said.