Vegas Donut Wars

When we stayed with my friend Chris in North Las Vegas last year, we were delighted to find a Dunkin Donuts near her house. Peter thought we’d left the franchise behind east of Chicago, but here it was, appropriately enough, in Sin City.

So for breakfast on this trip, we wanted to go to a Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas. I asked the parking valet, who sadly admitted he only knew where the nearby Krispy Kremes were, but one of his colleagues remembered seeing a Dunkin Donuts on Sahara near Valley View.

I joked to Peter, “Dis here’s a Krispy Kreme town. But Dunkin Donuts is moving in.”

Peter riffed: “Nice donut shop you got here. Would be a real shame if people couldn’t get to it. Say, if there was to be construction, and road blocks…”

Laughing, we headed to Dunkin Donuts on Sahara. Color us surprised when we got there and the only driveway to it was inexplicably blocked by a series of cement pillars, the kind you see protecting federal buildings from drive-in car bombs.

Peter was not deterred. He drove up a side alley and found back way in. But when we parked in front of the Dunkin Donuts, it was closed. “Come see us in two weeks!” a sign cheerily announced. No indication for how many weeks that sign had been there.

So Peter enlisted technology to our aid. He and I tried to pull up a listing of the Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas on our iPhones. But even with 5 bars up on the AT&T network, the page would not load. Luckily, having recently become mobile internet geeks, we also had a Palm Pre among us, and that had not been compromised.

Neil found only 2 other Dunkin Donut stores in Las Vegas. One number rang through to a “please hold” recording at the Fremont Casino. The other was answered by a man with a heavy Spanish accent who said the store was not open.

I waited through the hold line at the Fremont Casino,which confirmed that yes, there was a Dunkin Donuts in the casino. And they had their own number, which was answered by a real person surprised to find out other Dunkin Donuts were not open, or non-existent.

As it turns out, there was indeed construction in our way the Last Dunkin Donuts in Vegas. Lots and lots of construction. Every time we tried to follow the GPS directions, we hit a roadblock. The construction workers drank their coffee and looked at us suspiciously. (And it wasn’t Dunkin Donuts coffee they were drinking.)

We had to wing it and just head in the general directions along another street. As we got close, a suspiciously well-dressed man hurled himself in front of our car, but we successfully veered around him.

Finally, we saw the Dunkin Donuts sign, but..there was no place to park. This is highly unusual in Las Vegas, where every casino, strip joint, and barbecue pit not only has copious parking, but also valets to park your car for you, so you can get on with the important task of doing as many bad things as you possibly can before you have to go home.

Here, there was no street parking. The few parking garages nearby were full–at 8 am on a Monday morning.

I had Neil call the Dunkin Donuts in North Las Vegas. He got a recording telling him “This number has been disconnected.” Gulp.

We finally found a spot in a pay garage three blocks away. It was plastered with lots and lots of Krispy Kreme ads. And we had to walk past a Krispy Kreme store on the way to the Fremont Casino.

But there it was. Surrounded by a casino, this Dunkin Donuts had protection from the Krispy Kreme mob.

We bought 2 dozen donuts, and carefully walked back to the car. And then we fled, our precious loot in hand, keeping our eyes open for renegade Krispy Kreme vans until we’d left Las Vegas behind.


  1. Brent Frankenhoff

    Hey, what’cho got against Krispy Kreme? Dey tried to muscle in up here in da Nort’ Woods but couldn’t make much a go of it. (Guess there wasn’t enough dough to go around.) Closest for us is Oshkosh at a convenience store or two.

    There used to be a Dunkin Donuts in Appleton, but it’s long gone as well.

  2. chris

    You’re joking, right? I guess all the Vegas area Dunkin Donuts are in North Las Vegas. I swear there’s one on every corner. Well, there are at least three I know of, anyway and I think I’ve seen more under construction. Don’t tell me they’ve closed them all down in the brief time I’ve been away…

    When I searched their store finder by zip code I got seven hits. When I searched by North Las Vegas I got 10 hits (including the ones in Vegas proper).

    My gripe with Krispy Creme: they can’t make a decent apple fritter to save their lives. Come to think of it, I don’t think Dunkin Donuts does fritters, either. I only ever find them at the mom and pop type store like the ones in Vista (and my thighs thank me for that fact).


  3. Chris

    Three months later and I find that you weren’t joking. I rarely splurge on doughnuts, so I didn’t notice that BOTH the Dunkin Donuts near my house, that haven’t even been open more than a year or two, have also closed down. The other day some guy at Starbucks made a comment to the barista that he’d heard a rumor ‘back East’ that Starbucks would soon start selling Dunkin Donuts and he’d welcome it if it were true because of the local closures, so I drove by to check it out and he was right. There is still one in Aliante Casino’s food court, but since Dunkin Donuts can’t make a decent apple fritter it’s no huge loss to me. Now, if Yum Yum Donuts on South Santa Fe, or the little private doughnut shop in the Stater Brothers strip mall near my parents house went out of business, I’d be sad because that is where I get my twice or thrice yearly apple fritter fix.


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