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Casino del Sol and Mr. An to open new restaurant

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August 2, 2010


TUCSON - Mr. An, one of Tucson's famous faces and owner of some of the city's more popular restaurants, is bringing his taste and style to Casino Del Sol, southern Arizona's entertainment place to play.
Welcome to: An Del Sol, a 250-seat contemporary Asian menu restaurant that will feature Mr. An's famous sushi and a great bar with TVs.

"What a great collaboration with the merging of two strong brands in Tucson,'' said Wendell Long, Sol Casino's CEO. "We feel it's a win-win situation in Mr. An coming to Del Sol. It's the first example of a casino in southern Arizona getting a local restaurant and joining forces. We look forward to it.''

Mr. An said he had been approached by Del Sol before but said now is the time to join forces because he sees a "great future and potential'' in the casino considering it is also building a 215-room and convention center adjacent to the casino.

"And I'll be the one-and-only Asian restaurant at a casino in southern Arizona,'' said Mr. An. "I think the situation isn't just a great opportunity but a unique one. And I like the partnership. They are a giant shark and I'm a baby fish but we could be very good partners.''

Both sides called the partnership "a good marriage.'' Mr. An said part of the benefits of being associated with the casino is Club Sol members soon will be able to honor/redeem their points at any of his Tucson restaurants.

"I'm very honored about all this,'' Mr. An said. "We'll be combining advertising and that's good for them and good for me''

The restaurant, to be built in shell space right next to the popular Tequila Factory, is expected to be about 5,600 square feet. Construction is slated to begin in mid-July with the opening scheduled for the first week of October.

"We're very excited to be working with him,'' said Mark Birtha, president and chief development officer of Sol Casinos. Birtha has been with Sol Casinos two months and helped negotiate the partnership. "He's a local celebrity restaurateur who has high-value, high-quality restaurants. His here will be no different. It'll be very dynamic, high energy and exciting just outside the casino floor.''

Mr. An owns and operates Mr. An's Teppan Steak & Sushi, Great Wall of China and has started construction on An Congress, a downtown restaurant and sports bar expected to open in 2011.

"We look forward to introducing this great new restaurant to Tucson in October with a big grand-opening party benefiting local Tucson charities,'' Long said. "With the hotel, convention center and parking garage opening on Nov. 11, 2011, this is the first step in transforming Casino Del Sol into a full world-class resort."

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is a federally recognized tribe with over 17,000 enrolled members. The reservation is located in southwest metropolitan Tucson. The Tribe owns and operates two casinos: Casino of the Sun and Casino Del Sol. Non-gaming enterprises include the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater, a 5,000-seat open-air concert venue, and the Del Sol Marketplace, which includes a gas station and car wash, convenience store, and smoke shop. It is also the future home to Casino del Sol Hotel and Convention Center, a 215-room, 161,000-square-foot facility that includes and meeting and convention center.

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