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Yonutz bringing decadent desserts to Las Vegas this summer

Updated June 4, 2021 - 9:34 am

In honor of National Doughnut Day on Friday, Florida-based Yonutz has announced plans for its first Las Vegas shop. The company, known for literally smashing the barriers between a doughnut shop and an ice cream parlor, will begin serving its over-the-top creations in Centennial Hills next month.

Yonutz will offer ice cream by the scoop or the pint, alongside a decadent assortment of doughnut designs such as chocolate peanut butter Oreo, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, peanut butter and jelly, s’mores and salted caramel biscoff. The shop is best known, however, for a pair of signature items that combine those two lines of tasty treats: Smash Donuts and Smash Milkshakes.

Smash Milkshakes feature ice cream toppings mixed into the shake, before it’s then topped with either a miniature or full-sized doughnut. Smash Donuts feature a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a sliced doughnut, smashed together on a hot press, then cut in half and sprinkled with a selection of sweet toppings.

“It’s a very unique experience,” the company’s founder and CEO Tony Bahu says of the latter. “It’s hot outside, cold inside, and really awesome.”

Yonutz currently operates just one store, in Sunrise, Florida, which opened in 2018. The products have been a huge hit throughout South Florida, however, winning the Judges Choice award at Miami’s prestigious Dessert Wars festival in 2019, and the People’s Champion award at the same festival the following year. Those victories, and other accolades, drew the interest of entrepreneur and former “Shark Tank” panelist Kevin Harrington, who went on to invest in the company.

“I consider myself an aficionado of sweets, desserts and things like that,” Harrington says. “And when you can have a doughnut with ice cream, in a hot press — the hot and cold and doughnut and ice cream and sprinkles, and all of it, it hits all the senses.”

The location at 5765 Centennial Center Boulevard will be the second Yonutz spot. But it’s part of a nationwide franchising effort that Bahu hopes will include more than 20 location in the Las Vegas Valley. He says the decision to focus on Centennial Hills before moving into casinos, stadiums and other tourist-friendly locations is intentional. “We felt like starting in the suburbs was a great way to really expose it to Las Vegas families.”

While the exact opening date isn’t set, Bahu predicts it will be in early July.

Contact Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter and Instagram.

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