Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ Grand Opening

We were sent this recap of the grand opening of Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer: The grand opening wouldn't have been complete without Lynyrd Skynyrd rockin' the house as they opened their first venue at Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas December 8, 2011.

Iconic, Grammy-Award winning, trumpeter and pianist, Arturo Sandoval, baseball's, Jose Canseco, CarlosFuente, jr., president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, championship bull riders Beau Hill and Rocky McDonald, Playmate and star of E!'s "Holly's World" and Excalibur's Night School 4 Girls, Laura Croft, and the casts of FANTASY, including headliner, Lorena Peril, and Thunder From Down Under, took in theSouthern rockers as they played "Sweet Home Alabama," "Free Bird," "Gimme Three Steps," and more.

The week-long celebration included the official American Country Awards after-party on Monday, Dec. 5, with country newcomer, Brett Eldredge, and band members from Thompson Square and No Doubt in attendance.

Jack Daniel's hosted an "Eat 'N' Greet" lunch with Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington from Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as the rest of the band, at 12:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Also in attendance was Jeff Arnett, the 17th Master Distiller in history for the iconic bourbon. Guests enjoyed photos and conversation with the band as they dined on ribs, jalapeno cheddar sausage, chicken, mashed potatoes and more. Van Zant's favorites were the brisket and mac & cheese, as Medlocke noted that the pecan pie was the best he's ever had.

The food itself is of legendary status, with a menu developed in partnership with Kreuz Market, a 111-year-old Lockhart, Tex. institution. The barbecue at Kreuz Market has consistently been named the best in the country.

A portion of proceeds from the grand opening concert will be donated to the Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas, the Lynyrd Skynyrd Foundation and Nevada Children's Medical Center.

Las Vegas-based Michael Frey and Craig Gilbert of Drive This! Entertainment came together with Lynyrd Skynyrd to develop Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer, a concept they plan to expand into other cities.

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