News Briefs for January 23, 2013January 23, 2013
•Sazerac Co. is readying a national rollout of a French vodka entry, Epic. Sazerac plans to start shipping Epic (roughly $13 a 750-ml.) to around 30 states in February, with national availability expected later in the year. Along with the core offering, Epic has six flavor extensions: Peach, Whipped Cream, Kiwi Strawberry, Cherry, Cake and Coconut. Sazerac said more flavors will be added at later dates. The company acquired Epic in May 2012 as part of a multi-brand purchase from White Rock Distilleries. While Epic had a very limited presence under White Rock (which also owned the similarly-positioned Pinnacle until April 2012), Sazerac appears to have big plans for the brand.
•Major dining renovations are underway at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. London-based upscale Chinese restaurant and lounge Hakkasan began construction on a 75,000-square-foot, five-story outpost in MGM’s former Studio 54 space last summer and is slated to open in April. Chef Michael Mina shuttered his Seablue restaurant at MGM last August and will now open a gastropub concept called 1842 Pub in the space, though an official opening date has not yet been announced. In addition, Eater.com reports that a new sports bar is also part of the renovation plans, as well as the revamping of the hotel’s Rainforest Café and Tabú nightclub.