BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
DOWNTOWN HAS NEW LARGE-SCALE ARTWORK: We All Scream, a Las Vegas-based art curation company, has partnered with the Downtown Grand and Building 180 to showcase the city’s vibrant culture through large-scale art. “We want to illuminate Downtown Las Vegas as a public art destination,” said Ryan Doherty, founder of We All Scream. “Art is a tremendous part of the downtown community.” Josef Kristofoletti, a muralist from Austin, Texas, lent his talents to the initiative with the 5,600-square-foot, colorful and abstract mural, “Slat City,” which is covering the exterior of the Downtown Grand on Stewart Ave. and 3rd St. Curated and produced by Doherty, Kristofoletti’s mural uses vibrant hues and eye-catching visual effects to inspire hotel guests and passersby in the area. In 2018, Kristofoletti debuted a commissioned mural, “Tau Ceti,” which proudly looms as Austin’s tallest public artwork.
MOB MUSEUM ACQUIRES TWO ARTIFACTS RELATED TO BUGSY SIEGEL: The Mob Museum downtown has announced the acquisition of two rare artifacts which are displayed temporarily through Jan. 10, 2021, on the second floor, and will be on permanent display later next year. The new artifacts provide insights into the origins of the Flamingo Hotel and the Mob’s role in building modern Las Vegas. Before being acquired by the Museum, both artifacts had been in the possession of Wilkerson’s son, Willie Wilkerson who is the author of two books about his father. One item is an authentic two-page legal document, signed by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and dated March 19, 1947, which formally removed William R. “Billy” Wilkerson from any involvement with the Flamingo Hotel. This document bolsters the true story that Wilkerson conceived and started building the Flamingo until he ran short on funds during construction and turned to the Mob. The second artifact is the original check Wilkerson wrote as a down payment to purchase the land on which the Flamingo would be built. The check, written for $9,500 and dated March 5, 1945, was addressed to a local businesswoman named Margaret Folsom. Ultimately, Wilkerson paid $84,000 for the 33-acre parcel.
DOWNTOWN’S THE GOODWICH INTRODUCES WEEKEND BRUNCH MENU: Early this month, The Goodwich sandwich shop downtown introduced a brunch menu of favorites reinvented as handheld fare and stacked breakfast classics complete with mimosas and more every Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their food is not ordinary. For example, the Fluffy Staked-Rite Pancakes include candied bacon, hickory maple syrup, powdered sugar, and sprinkles and the Fried Eggy features a beef patty, fried egg, pepper bacon, chipotle mayo, swiss, on brioche bun. The Goodwich opened in 2014 as a small 8’ x 12’ kiosk on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Wyoming Ave., and quickly became recognized as a great destination for superior sandwiches. In 2015, The Goodwich expanded to its current location, a 1,400- -square-foot space on the ground floor of Soho Lofts at 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Monday-Friday hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
JINYA RAMEN BAR OPENS IN HENDERSON: Hard to believe, a restaurant opening in the middle of a global pandemic. Owner operator Kris Parikh said his Jinya Ramen Bar was on the drawing board back in 2019 and he put off opening earlier this year. This week he debuted the Los Angeles-based ramen franchise, Jinya Ramen Bar, in Henderson at 10740 S. Eastern Ave. “Ramen is becoming very popular, and Jinya Ramen is a high growth franchise in this category,” said Parikh. “We’re located in the hub of Henderson, which is a prime location for dining and entertainment in the city.” Parikh is a seasoned restauranteur in Las Vegas who started other restaurant concepts…Mint Indian Bistro, Divine Dosa & Biryani, Rotifix, and most recently, Dogs & Burgers. Some reasons Parikh went with this ramen franchise is its use of the Fuji water filtration system, the special aging process of the noodles, fresh ingredients in each bowl, and everything done to perfection. His new contemporary Japanese style ramen bar has a fresh sleek hard-surface look with a touch of wall neon reading “ramen is all the craze” and a heated outdoor patio. The restaurant offers dine-in, takeout, and delivery. The menu features Chef’s Special, vegan selections, salads, mini tacos, small plates, authentic Japanese ramen and toppings, rice bowls and two desserts: Mochi Ice Cream and Panna Cotta. Cocktail options are sake, beer, and wine. Happy hour is 3-5 p.m. Jinya Ramen Bar was founded in 2010 by Tomonori Takahashi – who was named among the most influential restaurant CEOs in the country in 2020 by “Nation’s Restaurant News.” Jinya Ramen Bar has 33 restaurants in the United States and two in Canada with multiple new locations in the pipeline. This is the first Jinya Ramen Bar location in Henderson and the third in the Las Vegas area.
MAVERICK HELICOPTERS INTRODUCES TWO NEW TOURS: Last week, award-winning helicopter operator, Maverick Helicopters, introduced two all-new Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon sightseeing and aerial experiences, Neon & Nature and Neon & Nature Sunset. Travelers witness the majestic Mojave Desert and fly over Red Rock Canyon in a luxury helicopter, followed by an exclusive landing overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding mountain landscape. From the panoramic overlook 2,900 feet over the city, guests enjoy a 30-minute landing with a champagne toast. The adventure concludes with a flight over landmarks such as Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Luxor, T-Mobile Arena and the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium. On the Neon & Nature Sunset flight, guest return after sunset when the Strip lights shine bright. Neon & Nature flights start at $219 per person and Neon & Nature Sunset flights at $249. An introductory special offer for $20 off daytime flights is available through Feb. 28, 2021. Visit Maverick’s website to book.
RTC CONTACTLESS PAYMENT AND FREE NYE RIDE NEWS: The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is again offering free rides on all its transit routes on New Year’s Eve, while continuing to take COVID-19 precautions. From 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day, transit riders can board any vehicle on the RTC’s 38 fixed routes without purchasing a pass or presenting fare. The RTC is now offering customers another contactless payment option available at their fingertips to purchase bus passes – by cash, through the RTC’s smartphone app, rideRTC. This new feature allows for a quick, convenient way to ride and is another avenue the agency is pursuing to make the environment safer for public transportation customers. Folks owning a smartphone but choosing not to use a credit or debit card may now opt to add funds to their rideRTC account by pre-loading cash at nearly 350 valley-wide locations. Since its launch in September 2016, rideRTC has been downloaded more than 360,000 times, and customers have purchased more than 1.8 million passes on the app. rideRTC is available in the App Store and Google Play.
SECRET GARDEN – DOLPHIN HABITAT OFFERS ANNUAL PASS SPECIAL: Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage is offering a Holiday Special through Thursday, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. The attraction’s Annual Pass, valid for one year from date of purchase and allowing guests unlimited entry, is being discounted 20 percent off regular prices. The pass also includes 20 percent off Cashman photos, complimentary admission for a guest during the last weekend of every month, and $5 off general admission for up to four additional guests. The Adult Annual Pass is $48 with the holiday special and $36 for the Child Annual Pass. General admission is $25 for adults; $19 for children (4–12); and free for children three and younger. Tickets are available at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat ticket booth or online at mirage.com. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last admission at 4 p.m.
SOME NEW YEAR’S EVE OPTIONS: The High Roller Observation Wheel at The LINQ Promenade will run from noon to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31 for families to enjoy views from 550 feet in the air. Starting at 9 p.m., the High Roller with 28 spacious cabins invites visitors 21 years or older to toast the arrival of 2021. The NYE Toast at the High Roller will include one 30-minute revolution plus a glass of champagne for $75. Guests who book early, by Dec. 28, will pay just $50. The observation wheel will remain open until 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1. Fly LINQ, a zipline which travels 1,121 feet over the promenade, will be open from 2-10 p.m. New Year’s Eve tickets are available for $40. The Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at Paris features 360-degree city views, with knowledgeable ambassadors on hand to point out various Las Vegas landmarks from 460 feet up. The half-scale replica of the iconic Parisian landmark remains the tallest reproduction of the original in the world. You can take in the sights on New Year’s Eve from 2-10 p.m. Restaurants and cocktail lounges will be open offering special experiences on New Year’s Eve such as Off The Strip Bistro & Bar at The LINQ Promenade serving surf and turf, including a 16-oz. ribeye and shrimp scampi, accompanied by seasonal vegetables and fingerling potatoes, for $55 per person. New England clam chowder will also be served that evening in a sourdough bread bowl for $11. There will be many prix-fixe dinners featured around town on Dec. 31.
NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: A locals’ hangout, the Italian American Club (IAC) on E. Sahara Ave., will feature the Music of Lannie Counts with his six-piece band in The Ballroom at 8 p.m. Counts has called stages in Las Vegas his home for more than 20 years, appearing as a featured performer with Las Vegas Tenors, the Lon Bronson All Star Band, and Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns. Nicholas Kolbosby will play contemporary music on piano in the lounge and dining room from 5-8 p.m. “Extravaganza – The Vegas Spectacular,” a new production show which opened at Bally’s this year features more than 30 talented, sexy, and breathtaking artists from around the world – including dancers, acrobats, aerialists, skaters, comedians and, the return of the iconic showgirl to the legendary Jubilee Theatre. Tickets for the 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows on Thursday, Dec. 31 start at $49.99. The “America’s Got Talent” mime sensation Tape Face will appear at Harrah’s for 7:30 p.m. shows on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 with tickets starting at $66. Piff and Mr. Piffles, the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua™, will perform a selection of brand-new material and favorite tricks as well as welcoming a fellow Las Vegas headliner as his special guest each night at Harrah’s. Piff will perform 7:30 and 11 p.m. shows on Dec. 31 and at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 1. Tickets start at $62.95. Also at Harrah’s is the sexy revue “X Country.” Tickets for the 7 and 10 p.m. shows on Friday, Jan. 1 start at $47.94.
SOME ‘BEST OF LAS VEGAS’ AWARD WINNERS: “Fantasy” at the Luxor has been awarded gold in the “Best Production Show” category of the 2020 “Best of Las Vegas” awards by the “Las Vegas Review-Journal,” becoming the first female revue to win the top spot in entertainment since the inception of the awards in 2001. The show was also awarded gold for “Best Female Revue” and “Best Bachelor Party” by the “Best of Las Vegas” awards, which are selected by readers. While “Fantasy” hasn’t been able to take the stage through much of 2020 due to the pandemic, the production was also Las Vegas Weekly’s “All-Time Best Female Revue” earlier this year. The show is now in its 21st year and features powerhouse vocalist Lorena Peril and comedy magician Murray SawChuck. International award-winning magician Xavier Mortimer won four 2020 “Best of Las Vegas” awards including “Best Magic Show” for the third consecutive year. As the most-followed magician on social media on the Las Vegas Strip with more than 3 billion views for his online videos, Mortimer is also the top winner as “Best Family-Friendly Show,” “Best Headliner,” and “Best Value Show” for his production, “A Magical Dream,” at Bally’s. Mortimer premiered “A Magical Dream” four years ago in Las Vegas and has performed more than 1,000 shows at Bally’s. Even though his live show is temporarily paused due to the pandemic, he has taken his illusions to social media and grown his followers to more than seven million, and his videos have had more than three billion views worldwide. For the last 16 years, Opportunity Village has been gathering thousands of Santas to raise funds for the local nonprofit. This year the popular Las Vegas Great Santa Run had to go virtual because of the pandemic. Happily, Opportunity Village won the silver award in the Annual Sports Event category for the “Best of Las Vegas 2020.” First place went to the NASCAR Weekend event.
QUICK CLIP: The city of Las Vegas will offer free two-hour, on-street, meter parking in downtown Las Vegas on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Jan. 4, to encourage residents and visitors to support local businesses this holiday season. Anyone can take advantage of this offer once per day on designated days by using the code “5555” when paying at the meter or through the Flowbird app.
PT’S WILL OFFER BLOODY MARYS ON NEW YEAR’S DAY: On Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, also known as National Bloody Mary Day and National Hangover Day, PT’s Wings & Sports at The STRAT will celebrate with its Bloody Mary, the Towering Mary for $18. The breakfast cocktail is practically a meal made with Absolut Citron vodka and Bloody Mary mix, topped with pepperoni, cheddar cheese, olives, celery, bacon and two chicken wings. All 64 PT’s Taverns in the valley will be offering Tito’s Bloody Marys for $3 all day.
PINKBOX DOUGHNUTS® OFFERS SWEET BITE INTO 2021: Pinkbox Doughnuts, recently named “Best Doughnuts” in Las Vegas Review Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” awards, is helping 2020 end on a sweet note with a festive assortment of New Year’s doughnuts available Tuesday, Dec. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 3. The options are Chocolate Clock, New Year’s Eve DoughCro, Confetti Pooh, New Year’s Eve Bar, and New Year’s Vegan. Each is $3. Pinkbox Doughnuts has three locations open 24 hours daily and doughnuts are also available pre-order on the business’ website.
VICTOR EHIKHAMENOR ENDS HIS NEON MUSEUM ARTIST-IN RESIDENCY: The Neon Museum hosted an Open Studio event with 2020 Artist in Residence Victor Ehikhamenor this month showcasing his “What You Mean to Me” exhibition. The Nigerian-American artist, photographer and writer has been in Las Vegas since Oct. 26 creating a body of work inspired by the museum. Incorporating interpretations of iconic Las Vegas signs, Ehikhamenor’s artwork also includes references to historic and contemporary culture. He integrates these elements into large-scale drawings interwoven into sculpture and installation work. His new series, exhibited within the context of the Neon Museum’s historic sign collection, marks a fresh avenue of exploration for Ehikhamenor through the incorporation of neon elements. His “Harvesting Light and Fireflies With My Brother” was inspired by memories of the artist and his brother collecting fireflies in the village as children and putting them in bottles to create little lights.
LAS VEGAN WINS $61,000 AT BINGO AT ARIZONA CHARLIE’S DECATUR: A Las Vegan proved this month it is possible to win big at bingo. The lucky player struck the jackpot for $61,657 while playing Charlie’s Bingo Double Progressive during the 9 a.m. bingo session on a Saturday at Arizona Charlie’s on Decatur.