BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
WORRE STUDIOS OPENS GROUNDBREAKING FACILITY: The pandemic created the immediate need for a multi-million-dollar interactive studio to be built in two months to host 30,000 people from more than 100 countries in a way that would allow you to see them react, give you access to speak to them directly, provide a way to have them breakout with likeminded attendees, and do it all while translating simultaneously in nine languages. This tall order for the need of a virtual space of this magnitude prompted creativity and innovation for Worre Studios founder Marina Worre. The state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot Worre Studios has a stage-in-the-round footprint, surrounded by a technologically advanced 360-degree 1.9mm 4k LED interactive screen system. Worre decided to position half of the LED walls on a track system so producers can easily expand the wall to allow room for adding a live audience component to the virtual event. Venue setup is customized depending on the event and there’s direct load-in access. The studio is nestled in the southwest part of Las Vegas and easily accessible to public and private airports.
CASA CALAVERA IS NOW OPEN AT VIRGIN HOTELS: Casa Calavera, a culinary and cantina concept created by global hospitality company Hakkasan Group, is now open poolside at the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. This dining experience uses authentic flavors and techniques to create its own version of contemporary Mexican cuisine available daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. This week, Casa Calavera introduced its own spin on happy hour, Mi Casa Su Casa available daily from 3 to 6 p.m. Mi Casa Su Casa provides guests $7 menu items, $20 buckets of beer and 50% off tequila and mezcal cocktails. Taco Tuesdays will kick off on Tuesday, April 13 featuring $3 and $5 tacos plus beer and drink specials. Taco Tuesdays will be available all day and night every week.
WISH YOU WERE HERE GROUP WILL DEBUT KASSI BEACH HOUSE: Renowned hospitality group Wish You Were Here and restaurateur Nick Mathers, creator of LA’s Élephante and other notable venues, recently announced the opening this month of Kassi Beach House, a European style restaurant and lounge with Coastal Italian influences, poolside at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Mathers and his Wish You Were Here Group offer this taste of paradise which includes an authentic coastal Italian food and drink menu with DJ lineups evoking the party lifestyle inspired by the laid-back trattorias and tavernas found amongst the Mediterranean islands. Kassi Beach House looks forward to opening to the public mid-April. Kassi Beach House offers lounge seating, day beds and cabanas poolside, bottle service, private dining experiences, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner service. The kitchen serves an array of gourmet Coastal Italian cuisine.
DRAI’S Beach AND DRAI’S BEACH at Night ARE BOTH OPEN: Drai’s Group re-opened their rooftop pool Drai’s Beach, boasting views from 11 stories above the Strip, and Drai’s Beach at Night last week re-joining Drai’s Lounge late-night destination open inside Drai’s After Hours at The Cromwell. Encompassing an expansive 65,000-square-foot pool rooftop, Drai’s Beach and Drai’s Beach at Night are uniquely positioned to offer an unprecedented open-air experience, in adherence with State of Nevada restrictions. Drai’s features multiple pools shaded by towering palm trees, a variety of cabanas and bungalows, two full-service bars, specialty craft cocktails, a gourmet kitchen and bottle service. Reservations are recommended.
THE PASS CASINO IS NEW IN HENDERSON’S WATER STREET DISTRICT: Last week, The Pass Casino held its grand opening in the evolving Water Street District of Henderson. To put things in perspective, the property was formerly the Eldorado owned by the Boyd Gaming Corporation since 1966 and closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Boyd struck a deal last December and sold the property to DeSimone Gaming, which spent $7 million to overhaul the slots-only casino. After modernizing renovations, The Pass offers new restaurants, a new sportsbook, 80% new gaming machines, four blackjack tables, a roulette table and a craps table, The Venue event space, which replaced bingo, and two bars. Circa and The D CEO Derek Stevens’s Circa Sports company is operating The Pass’ new sportsbook, which will soon begin taking bets upon regulatory approval. This is the second satellite location for Steven’s sports betting company. Retro-themed Mary’s Diner is now Emilia’s Café, named after his 6-year-old daughter, and open 24/7. The upscale Ristorante Italiano restaurant is designed with booth seating, dark woods, and cream finishes and open Thursday-Sunday.
COMEDIAN BILL BURR RETURNS TO THE CHELSEA STAGE: The Cosmopolitan has rescheduled summer show dates of comedian Bill Burr’s 2021 residency at The Chelsea. The actor, writer, and podcast host will begin his two-year-run on Friday and Saturday, July 2-3 with additional dates to be announced. His residency follows two sold-out shows at The Chelsea in 2019. Tickets start at $49 and reserved seating at $69. Burr’s residency marks the return of live entertainment acts to the resort including Panamanian singer, rapper and songwriter Sech on Aug. 28 and John Legend on Sept. 18. Comedian Burr has achieved success in TV and film as well as on stage. He sells out theaters internationally and his “Monday Morning Podcast” is one of the most downloaded comedy podcasts on iTunes. He can be seen in “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus and he stars opposite Pete Davidson and Marisa Tomei in the Judd Apatow film, “The King of Staten Island.” His animated Netflix series “F Is For Family” stars Burr, Laura Dern, Justin Long and Sam Rockwell and will premiere its fifth and final season in 2021. In September 2019, Burr released his sixth hour-long comedy special, “Bill Burr: Paper Tiger,” which was nominated for a Grammy Award, was recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall and streaming on Netflix. Burr can be seen in the films, “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman; “Daddy’s Home” with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell; “Walk of Shame” with Elizabeth Banks; “The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy; “Stand Up Guys” with Al Pacino and Christopher Walken; “Date Night” with Steve Carell and Tina Fey; and co-stars opposite Kevin Costner in the indie film “Black or White.”
THE COMEDY WORKS IS REOPENING AT THE PLAZA: The Comedy Works will reopen on April 30 at the Plaza downtown with a star-studded spring/summer lineup of nationally acclaimed headliners. Shows will be at 9 p.m. inside the Plaza’s vintage Vegas showroom featuring red velvet booth seating, an updated sound system, full bars, and table cocktail service. Tickets online at the Plaza’s website start at $25. New shows are added regularly. Comedian Kevin Farley will kick off The Comedy Works on Friday and Saturday, April 30-May 1. After studying at Second City in Chicago, Farley starred in films such as “Black Sheep” with his brother Chris Farley and “The Waterboy” with Adam Sandler. His many TV guest appearances include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “Hawaii Five -O.” He is a regular at The Laugh Factory and The Improv. Jim Florentine will follow Farley on Friday-Saturday, May 7-8. Florentine has recorded six stand-up comedy albums, shot four full-length specials, and currently hosts his own program on Sirius XM. On television, he hosted seven seasons of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” and on radio, he is a regular on “The Howard Stern Show.” He is also a bestselling author, renowned voice over talent and been in the films “Beer League” with Artie Lange and “Trainwreck” with Amy Schumer.
CHRIS RUGGIERO HEADLINES ITALIAN AMERICAN CLUB: Singer Chris Ruggiero, a 22-year-old entertainer who takes audiences on a journey through the timeless rock ‘n’ roll music of the 50s, 60s and 70s, will be center stage at the Italian American Club (IAC) on Sunday, April 18. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. followed by the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65; call 702-457-3866 after 1 p.m. Ruggiero has been described as an “old soul,” whose approach to his concert appearances is more in line with that of a bygone era. He is no stranger to television audiences in the northeast, first coming to national attention when he performed in concert on one of PBS-TV’s coast-to-coast broadcast specials, which still airs. He’s shared the stage with artists such as Bobby Rydell, The Duprees, The Drifters, and others.
NEW VISTA RANCH HOLDS ‘PICNIC ON THE LAWN’ SERIES: New Vista, the largest nonprofit provider of supported living arrangements for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in Nevada, will start up its fundraising “Picnic on the Lawn” series this month on The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin®. Beginning April 15 and on select Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through June, New Vista Ranch will host an upscale, carefully curated outdoor picnic experience. Each ticket includes a whimsically decorated, insta-worthy picnic table outfitted with seating for up to four guests while each night offers a different theme. On Thursday nights families can pack up the kiddos and spend an evening surrounded by ambient entertainment with plenty of space to play. On Fridays and Saturdays, admission is limited to guests over the age of 21 allowing for a more intimate and mature evening atmosphere. Picnic participants are encouraged to purchase food and snacks from surrounding Downtown Summerlin businesses and vendors including favorites like Public School 702, True Food Kitchen and Trader Joe’s. No outside alcoholic beverages will be permitted. For an additional fee, alcoholic options will be available for purchase on The Lawn at the mobile bar. Reservation seating is available at two separate seating times on Thursday from 4 to 8:30 p.m., Fridays from 5:30 to 11 p.m., and Saturdays from 5:30 to 11 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite.
DINING + BEVERAGE HIGHLIGHTS
STK Steakhouse inside The Cosmopolitan is adding weekend Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to its repertoire starting April 10. The lively, social brunch will feature bottomless mimosas and bloody marys in addition to a DJ to set the vibe for the weekend. Bottomless mimosas and bloody marys are available for $35 per person. Emporium Arcade Bar at AREA15 is a new bar featuring classic arcade games and artistic ambiance. The venue also offers late-night hours and an extensive beverage menu comprising house-made cocktails and local craft beer on draft. Downtown Terrace Kitchen & Bar located in Downtown Container Park and with a view is debuting new spring menu items like Beef Carpaccio and Blackened Salmon and fresh cocktails such as Empress Strikes Back, Drunken Coffee, Golden Terrace and Mexican Watermelon Sucker. Current operating hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. The Laundry Room located at 525 Fremont St. inside Commonwealth has introduced new hours, 6 p.m. through late-night, daily. Named one of USA Today’s “10 Best Bars in Downtown Las Vegas” in 2018, Commonwealth offers a stylish social scene to the burgeoning bar district in Downtown Las Vegas. The 6,000-square-foot cocktail bar is a collision of art and modern industrial architecture inspired by pre-Prohibition era design. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar’s next Taste & Learn will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 6 p.m. The monthly wine-tasting dinner provides illuminating wine education along with a menu of authentic Italian small plates. Each event offers a tour through one of Italy’s most esteemed wineries. April will spotlight the wines of Corte Dei Venti. These vineyards produce Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino. Tickets for the all-inclusive experience are $75. For reservations, call 702-364-5300. Local southwest El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina has launched extended hours on the weekends, noon to 10 p.m., and added brunch specials every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Current brunch specials are Chilaquiles, breakfast sandwich or tacos, and Huevos Del Diablo. Bottomless mimosas are $20 per person.
AREA15 BREAKS GROUND ON LARGE-SCALE EVENT SPACE: AREA15 recently started construction on “The Grounds” designed as multi-use, outdoor event space for festivals, carnivals, conventions, concerts and other large-scale events. The Grounds spans more than four acres and will be able to accommodate up to 20,000 guests. It is expected to be ready to host events this summer.
WORLD SERIES OF POKER® ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 2021: The World Series of Poker (WSOP) will return this year with the live, in-person WSOP event and $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, best known as “The Main Event®.” The world-famous tournament series, which experienced record-smashing participation in 2019 and adjusted to a hybrid format in 2020, will be back at the Rio this fall pending applicable state and/or regulatory approvals. A diverse calendar of events will begin Thursday, Sept. 30 with all play concluding on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
MOB MUSEUM HOLDS PUBLIC PROGRAMS: The Mob Museum is hosting Virtual Author Talks “Chronicling Organized Crime in the 20th Century” April through June. The first two presentations of the series are Thursday, April 15 with authors J. Michael Niotta and Avi Bash, “Los Angeles Underworld,” and Tuesday, April 27 with Russell Shorto, “Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob.” The talks are online at the museum’s website at 4 p.m. and free. On Wednesday, April 21 journalist Ioan Grillo’s talk “Arming the Cartels: How America Fuels Violence South of the Border” will be livestreamed from 7-8 p.m. Grillo, who has covered the international drug trade and its brutal tactics for 20 years, is the author of “Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels.” He is a reporter based in Mexico City and has been covering Latin America’s association with drug cartels since 2001.
BLUME IS A LATE-NIGHT HANGOUT: Recently Blume Kitchen & Cocktails located in Henderson welcomed hip-hop star Too Short, American rapper Coolio, and former NFL Running Back Reggie Bush for a night out. The group entered the restaurant’s upscale lounge at approximately 11:30 p.m., where they enjoyed multiple shots of Don Julio 1942 and bites from the restaurant’s after-hours menu. Too Short and his crew left just after 3 a.m.