About

John Simmons began cooking professionally at the ripe old age of 15 years old, preparing cabbage soup, flipping leo omelets and washing dishes at a local deli. He continued to cook his way through high school and college, earning beer money and a degree in economics at the University of Illinois along the way. Despite John’s enjoyment of the restaurant world, a career in the kitchen never crossed his mind.

After a few years of toiling in an office, however, he decided that there’s no place like home and in the kitchen John was home. He enrolled at Kendall College Culinary School in Evanston, IL and earned his degree in culinary arts. After a year cooking in sunny Sonoma, CA, wine country he returned to Chicago and got a job on the line at a new restaurant opening in his neighborhood, Bistrot Zinc, run by a large and talented rockstar French chef, Rene Bajeux.

He learned a lot from Rene and within 3 years John was running Bistrot Zinc, Café Zinc, and opened a second Bistrot Zinc on the Gold Coast.

Shortly thereafter Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises came calling. It seems they were opening a monstrous French Bistro at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and needed a chef. John told them “d’accord” and shipped out to Paris, Las Vegas.

Mon Ami Gabi was an immediate smash hit and became one of the 10 highest grossing restaurants in the country. After 4 years as the executive chef at MAG it was time for John to do his own thing. In 2003, that’s when Firefly* Tapas Kitchen and Bar was conceived and subsequently born.

In 2003, I placed Firefly* centrally located so that locals, entertainers, performers, and visitors can hit the Fly* from any corner of town for tapas and sangria. We’ve been bangin out covers ever since.

John Simmons | Chef

Hello, friends and patrons of Firefly* Tapas Kitchen & Bar.

In light of the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our patrons and staff and the community of Las Vegas to close our restaurants until after the viral storm has passed. Both Firefly* locations will be closed temporarily as of the end of dinner service Monday evening, March 16. Being a locally-owned small business, it was a difficult choice whether to stay open to allow our staff to make money to support themselves and their families or to close down to help to stop the spread of the disease. We chose health.

Rest assured, we will be back and better than ever as soon as the coast is clear. We look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future for tapas and sangria and we can all talk about how crazy this time was in the past tense instead of the present.

Stay safe, everyone and hunker down. We will get through this!

Hello, friends and patrons of Firefly* Tapas Kitchen & Bar.

In light of the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our patrons and staff and the community of Las Vegas to close our restaurants until after the viral storm has passed. Both Firefly* locations will be closed temporarily as of the end of dinner service Monday evening, March 16. Being a locally-owned small business, it was a difficult choice whether to stay open to allow our staff to make money to support themselves and their families or to close down to help to stop the spread of the disease. We chose health.

Rest assured, we will be back and better than ever as soon as the coast is clear. We look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future for tapas and sangria and we can all talk about how crazy this time was in the past tense instead of the present.

Stay safe, everyone and hunker down. We will get through this!