“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett
ITSY BITSY: RAMEN AND WHISKY WILL OPEN DOWNTOWN THIS SPRING: Downtown’s Fremont East Entertainment District will welcome a new resident with Itsy Bitsy: Ramen and Whisky, an intimate Asian restaurant and bar, opening this spring at 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd. at the base of The Ogden. The new dining destination is taking over the space formerly occupied by Wild. Named for its 2,500-square-foot footprint, Itsy Bitsy’s decor will combine modern and old world sensibilities with an Asian tinge. Itsy Bitsy will be open for lunch and dinner, daily, as well as for late-night service on select nights.
RASCAL FLATTS WILL SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT NASCAR RACE: Award-winning country group Rascal Flatts will sing the national anthem at the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The performance will take place during the band’s first-ever, nine-show residency, “Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot!,” at The Joint inside Hard Rock Feb. 25 to March 14.The 18th annual Kobalt 400 headlines a race weekend that includes Stratosphere Pole Day on Friday, March 6 and the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series event on Saturday, March 7.
BELLAGIO’S CONSERVATORY HONORS CHINESE NEW YEAR: The Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is celebrating Chinese New Year with a captivating display commemorating the Year of the Yang through March 15. The display features 22,000 red and gold flowers, silk-lantern chandeliers and Asian vignettes incorporating elements of Chinese design. The Year of the Yang simultaneously honors the Goat, Sheep and Ram. The Chinese New Year exhibit is complimentary and open to the public seven daily, 24 hours a day. Every evening from 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m., the Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments.
BARDOT BRASSERIE AT ARIA OPENS WITH FRENCH ACCENT: Bardot Brasserie, James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina’s new dining concept, has opened for dinner and weekend brunch at Aria on the second floor highlighting everything French. Mina’s aim is to transport guests to a café along the Champs-Élysées in the 1920s. A focal point is the big brass bar with a zinc countertop and maze of brass pipes above connecting to form shelves for high-end spirits and alcohol. Bardot also has a Sidewalk Café.
DISNEY ON ICE WILL PRESENT ‘FROZEN’ IN 2016: The 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s “Frozen,” to life in Las Vegas from Jan. 6 to 11, 2016, for 10 performances at Thomas & Mack Center. Tickets go on sale Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.To create a completely immersive experience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air. Tickets will range from $35 to VIP $80.
ART AND FASHION COLLIDE AT artLIVE! ON JAN. 29: The inaugural artLIVE! will be held at The Smith Center on Jan. 29 from 6-9 p.m. to benefit The Modern Art Museum and the Las Vegas Fashion Council. The evening’s program emceed by singer Clint Holmes will include various LIVE! artistic presentations, LIVE! and silent auctions, a fashion show, music, dance performances, food and beverage, as well as premiere art presentations created by several local artists and fashion designers. The roster of names represents both emerging and established designers: Ermelinda Manos; Coco Johnsen; Wanda Merritt; Joey Galon; Stitched Lifestyle; and Zappos.com.The night will conclude with artLIVE! honoring the incredibly talented and renowned artist, Tim Bavington, and the company responsible for the resurgence of downtown Las Vegas, Zappos.com. Admission ranges from $35 to $200.
MOB MUSEUM CELEBRATES ITS THIRD ANNIVERSARY ON FEB. 14: This Valentine’s Day, The Mob Museum will celebrate its 3rd anniversary by temporarily displaying two of the Thompson machine guns used in the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14-15 and have special presentations at 1, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. each day. On Feb. 14, admission will be free for Nevada residents, with a suggested $3 birthday donation, and a buy-one-get-one offer for non-residents. A blood drive will be conducted through United Blood Services from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the Bloodmobile behind the Museum.
LINDBERGH OPENS FIRST STORE IN UNITED STATES: From Denmark, Lindbergh menswear store has opened its first outlet in the United States at the new Downtown Summerlin. Merchandise is divided into the “black label,” which is the preppy and classic formal collection, the “blue label,” featuring a more rugged and casual collection, and the more formal “white label” collection. On the store’s lower level is the Lindbergh Café.
BLUE MAN PRODUCTIONS LAUNCHES DARING NEW BRAND CAMPAIGN: As Blue Man Group approaches its 25th year of on-going creativity and worldwide performances, they are revisiting the show’s DNA and core mission by introducing a new brand campaign. The Dare To Live In Full Color campaign headlines include provocative statements like “Avoid Beige,” “Safe is Too Dangerous,” and “Erase the Rat Race.” Blue Man was created to embody and explore what it means to be fully human, to live in full spectrum, and to explore your creativity.
RESTAURANT NEWS: The long awaited White Castle, which has 400 restaurants in 12 states, opens Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Casino Royale on the Strip. Aliante will celebrate National Margarita Day by offering $2.22 margaritas from 4-8 p.m., giveaways from Tequila Cazadores, a live mariachi band at The Salted Lime from 6-8 p.m. and a special margarita pedicure at re:lax spa all exclusively on Sunday, Feb. 22. The Flamingo’s Paradise Garden Buffet that overlooks the Wildlife Habitat is now serving up new brunch offerings at all-new action stations. The debut of the brunch buffet offerings marks the first phase of the Paradise Garden Buffet transformation that will include new dinner options this spring. Made L.V. at Tivoli Village is holding its January Beer Dinner featuring comfort food dishes paired cold brews from Big Dog’s Brewing Company on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. for $39, call 702-722-2000. Honey Salt at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. will continue its Farm Table dinner series, which is served family style, on Monday, Feb. 9 with dishes from Chef de Cuisine Brett Uniss and wines from Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. Tickets, which are $45, must be purchased in advance by calling 702-445-6100, and the wine pairing is an additional $25. On Thursday, Feb. 5, Mercadito at Red Rock Resort will start an all-new Ladies Night, Chicas Night Out. Tables of ladies will receive half-priced bottles of wine and traditional margaritas, complimentary chips and salsa and $7.50 small plates including flautas, queso fundido, nachos and corn masa quesadillas. Every lady will receive a raffle ticket for the 9 p.m. drawing. Mayor Carolyn Goodman is declaring Jan. 31 Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas Day because the Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas near the Strip opened on Jan. 31, 2004, bringing a piece of “real Munich” to town. Since then the place has had more than 2.5 million visitors. It is the success story of visionary Stefan Gastager, born in 1963, in Garching (near Munich) Germany. Chef Rick Moonen honors the 10th anniversary of his Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place with a special menu created for the occasion. In February, in addition to the regular menu, guests will be able to indulge in 10 of Moonen’s most celebrated dishes that will be daily specials. Lucky Foo’s Restaurant & Bar, located at 8955 S. Eastern Ave., has a brand-new happy hour menu offered daily from 4 to 6 p.m. All dishes are $7 and well drinks are $5. Park on Fremont will offer MAGIC convention attendees a 20 percent total check discount to all badge holders Feb. 17-19, and Commonwealth will make the same discount offer on a bar tab.
SHAKE SHACK’S BIG GAME SPIRIT IS TWO-PINT CONVERSION PROMOTION: The new Shake Shack® at the foot of New York-New York will participate in the Big Game fun from Jan. 29-Feb. 1 with the Two-Pint Conversion – buy one pint of Shake Shack’s frozen custard and get a second pint for free. Fans will score with a free mini Shack football while supplies last. During the Super Sunday game, guests will receive half-off Roadies of beer and half-off refills. Whether it’s filled with Shake Shack’s own ShackMeister Ale® by Brooklyn Brewery or with one of the local brews, the 32 oz. commemorative, glow-in-the-dark cup will be a take-home souvenir.
NEWS TIPS: TV host and ’N Sync star Joey Fatone will be the first guest celebrity joining the cast of “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian starring as the legendary Bourbon Room owner Dennis Dupree from Feb. 20 through April 29. The Clarion, which has had many owners and names including Debbie Reynolds, will be imploded on Feb. 10 making it the 13th local implosion since 1993. The last implosion was the Frontier in November 2007. Station Casinos will start weekly Boomer Wednesdays at Santa Fe Station inside Chrome Showroom on Feb. 4 featuring free performances of the hits of yesteryear by some of Las Vegas’ top crooners, including Jerry Tiffe, Vegas Goodfellas and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and there is no cover charge. Registration at afanlv.org has begun for the 25th annual AIDS Walk Las Vegas hosted by Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) will be held on Sunday, April 19 at Town Square. Penn & Teller will be the grand marshals and leaders of the Penn & Teller Challenge AIDS Walk Team. Registration is free; however, a minimum donation of $25 per person is encouraged. Dirk Arthur’s new show at the Riviera, “Dirk Arthur Wild Illusions,” will add 4 p.m. matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays in the Starlite Theatre starting Feb. 21. Arthur’s show runs Saturday through Thursday at 7 p.m. Craig Ferguson’s “Hot & Grumpy Tour: Walking the Earth” has been added to the entertainment lineup on Friday, March 13 at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan. He’s most famous for hosting CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” for nine years and voice over work on animated features such as “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Winnie The Pooh,” and “Brave.” Tickets start at $25. Interpol has been added to the entertainment lineup at Boulevard Pool on Wednesday, April 15. In September 2014, following a hiatus to refresh and concentrate on solo projects, Interpol released their first album in four years, “El Pintor,” with Matador Records. Tickets are $25. Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth will be hosting a free public block party with activities for all ages for the grand opening of their expanded Drop-In Center at 4981 Shirley Street, across from UNLV off Tropicana Ave., on Jan 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 2015 Nevada Visitors Guide published by the state’s tourism office is available for free online at TravelNevada.com and at area visitors’ centers. This year it is designed with the road warrior in mind because more than 29 million vehicles entered the state in fiscal year 2014. The sexy X Rocks girls from the Rio made a recent special performance at the Hard Rock during the annual AVN Awards and afterwards were was joined backstage by television personality Brody Jenner.
THE IMPROV AT HARRAH’S LINES UP HAVEY, MCENERY AND WOOD: The comedians performing at The Improv at Harrah’s Jan. 27–Feb. 1 are Allan Havey, Don McEnery, and Alycia Wood. Havey has had television appearances on shows such as “The Office,” “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Louie,” and hosted “Night After Night with Allan Havey,” which became a cult classic. Screenwriter McEnery was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on “Seinfeld” and co-wrote the movies “Hercules” and “A Bug’s Life.” Wood was a finalist in the “California’s Funniest Female” competition and was selected as a “Hot Comedian” by Campus Activities Magazine.
MACHINE GUNS VEGAS DEBUTS DIVORCE PARTY PACKAGE: Machine Guns Vegas (MGV), a firearms facility at 3501 Aldeberan Ave., is introducing starting Valentine’s Day the “Just Divorced” Package, allowing a recently divorced husband or wife and up to four guests to celebrate the divorcee’s new independence by utilizing wedding memorabilia as targets.The innovative $499 package encourages ex-spouses to celebrate their recent uncoupling and new beginning by taking aim at wedding items from years passed including (but not limited to) wedding dresses, tuxes, and marriage certificates with MGV’s largest caliber-shot available. It gives new meaning to “till death do us part.”
NEON MUSEUM HOSTS TYPOGRAPHY DESIGNER JESSE RAGAN AT UNLV: On Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., the Neon Museum will welcome scholar-in-residence Jesse Ragan, award-winning typography designer, for a presentation titled “Las Vegas Letters: Vernacular Inspiration in Typeface Design” at the Marjorie Barrick Museum Auditorium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ragan will give his professional perspective on examples of signage lettering from the Neon Museum’s collection. He will discuss the process of designing typefaces, the challenges of capturing an organic handmade appearance in digital form and the influence of vernacular lettering in his own work. Admission is free with open seating.
CHARLESTON HEIGHTS ARTS CENTER CELEBRATES HISPANIC CULTURE: The Charleston Heights Arts Center will celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage with a series that showcases modern award-winning films and the books that inspired them from Feb. 4-May 21. As part of the free series, a book club will meet and discuss the books that inspired each film before seeing the action come to life on the big screen. All film showings and book club meetings will be held at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush Street. Luis Bonilla, public affairs director for Lotus Broadcasting, will lead and moderate film discussions. Movies will include: “The Mambo Kings,” “In the Time of the Butterflies,” and “The Milagro Beanfield War.” For information, call 702-229-6383.
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER CALLS FOR JURIED SHOW ENTRIES: The call for entries is now open for the Contemporary Arts Center’s (CAC) 26th Annual Juried Show. Entry deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 18. United States and international artists 16 years and older may submit a maximum of five works of art that have been completed within the last two years and not exhibited in a previous CAC exhibition. More than $2,000 will be awarded to the artists selected for the exhibit as judged by the jurors. For information, visit http://www.lasvegascac.org/.
EASTER SEALS PRESENTS 7TH ANNUAL WALK WITH ME FUNDRAISER: Walk With Me, presented by Easter Seals Nevada, is a two-mile family fun walk to benefit Nevada residents living with disabilities taking place on Saturday, April 4 at 9 a.m. with a family-friendly carnival beginning at 10 a.m. at Wayne Bunker Family Park, 7351 W. Alexander Road. For information, visit www.walkwithme.org/lasvegas.