BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
ATARI MAY HAVE A BIG INFLUENCE IN LAS VEGAS: Atari, the video game developer and entertainment brand, has announced it is planning to build video-game themed hotels across the United States with one in Las Vegas. The Atari Hotel chain will break ground on its first location this year in Phoenix, Ariz. Atari Hotels will be infusing synthetic reality into every aspect of a resort, creating an immersive hospitality and gaming experience. The new concept will provide gamers with a unique experience, including virtual reality and augmented reality. The video game industry has already made headway into the Las Vegas resort industry with a massive arena at the Luxor, along with various virtual reality experience around the Strip. GSD Group, partnered with Gensler, an architecture and design firm, to unveil a first look at what these Atari hotels are going to look like. The new hotels promise to “pay homage to the history of video games, modern technology, and esports culture,” according to a press release.
CIRCA’S VICTORY BURGER & WINGS CO. REVEALS ITS MENU: Victory Burger & Wings Co. will officially open at Circa on Oct. 28 with premier views overlooking the world’s largest sportsbook. The new concept has been created by the founding family of American Coney Island – the 103-year-old Detroit staple known for inventing the Coney Dog. The idea started with notes on a napkin during a 2017 bar side conversation between owner Chris Sotiropoulos and Circa’s CEO Derek Stevens. The new eatery will be defined by massive burgers, hearty wings, and indulgent milkshakes, and will offer counter-service ordering, along with the option to place orders via iPad from the sportsbook. Victory Burger & Wing Co. will be operated by a brother-and-sister team made up of Sotiropoulos and Grace Keros, the third-generation owners of American Coney Island. After partnering with Stevens to bring the Detroit eatery’s first out-of-market location to the D Las Vegas, the duo worked closely with Stevens for the new challenge. The restaurant features an industrial design with exposed brick and rustic colors. Victory Burger & Wings Co. will deliver an all-star sports bar atmosphere with sightlines of Circa’s 78-million-pixel sportsbook screen and 16 TVs throughout the space for patrons to catch gameday action. The venue will have its own designated radio booth, where a variety of major sports talk shows can conduct broadcasts and interviews throughout the week.The restaurant will join several more original concepts including steakhouse Barry’s Downtown Prime from renowned Chef Barry S. Dakake; Saginaw’s Delicatessen from fellow Detroit restaurateur, Paul Saginaw; 8 East from Downtown Las Vegas’ Dan Coughlin; and Carolina-style barbecue from Chef Rex Bernales.
A PIECE OF WEDDING BLISS DEMOLISHED: The longest-running wedding chapel in Las Vegas has been torn down in the heart of downtown. The demolition of the Wee Kirk Las Vegas Wedding Chapel at 231 Las Vegas Blvd. South caught many including the Nevada Preservation Foundation by surprise. For eight decades, the oldest continually running wedding chapel in Las Vegas served marrying couples, including many high-profile celebrities. The building’s demise was performed by the new private owner. The chapel was sold for $950,000 in April to an Illinois-based buyer, according to Clark County property records. Before the sale in April, it was in the hands of its previous owners since 1980.
CHEF LETICIA MITCHELL DEBUTS RESTAURANT IN THE ARTS DISTRICT: Letty’s De Leticia’s Cocina has replaced the intimate 1,842-square-foot former El Sombrero Café at 807 S. Main Street, which has been a location synonymous with Mexican dining since 1950. The building can’t be missed now that the sand colored exterior has been brightly painted and transformed by street artists. Also inviting is a new 19-seat patio fronting the main entrance. Local restauranteur Leticia Mitchell is serving a casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closing at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. She has created a new counter-service restaurant inspired by her Mexico City roots, but with a protective barrier and socially distance seating. Also available are tortas, sides, and desserts, plus beer, margaritas, and an evolving roster of cocktails.
TAILGATE SOCIAL SPORTS BAR WILL OPEN AT PALACE STATION: Tailgate Social, a sports-obsessed bar by Clique Hospitality, is coming to Palace Station in November. For sports fans there will be more than 30 high-definition TVs and an enveloping sound system for an unparalleled viewing experience. An all-day, neighborhood sports bar at its core, Tailgate Social will feature an approachable menu of meals and bites, including prime steak tip skewers, a variety of authentic tacos, fresh out-of-the-oven pizzas or made-to-order guacamole — all for off-Strip prices. The menu offerings will be playfully served from a bus façade. Along with signature cocktails, Tailgate Social’s beer list will include hard-to-find brews and domestic favorites. The casual and interactive space will highlight oversized booths, billiards for fun, and happy hour or food and drink specials tailored to game days.
DOWNTOWN REVEALS HORROR: New in the Downtown corridor on Commerce Street in the Arts District, and quite timely, is Nightmare Toys, a year-round horror and Halloween warehouse-sized shop lined with shelves of costumes, masks, collectibles, slasher flicks, t-shirts and much more. The store opened in June after it was relocated from Huntsville, Ala., where it grew big online and outgrew its location. Co-owner Kristy Adams, who became a horror aficionado at 5 years old when she first watched Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, felt Las Vegas was a good fit for the themed store. Her first real movie she recalls was “Nightmare on Elm St. Part 2.” The building’s façade was painted by a local artist featuring Leatherface and Freddy Kreuger, along with a mural at the store entrance featuring Pennywise, Pinhead, and other horror icons.
INTERACTIVE ANGRY BIRDS GAME NOW AVAILABLE AT TOPGOLF: Topgolf Entertainment Group has partnered with Rovio Entertainment, the creators of the Angry Birds franchise, to launch the newest Angry Birds gameplay, which is now available in Las Vegas. The Angry Birds game, which uses Topgolf’s Toptracer ball-tracing technology, is family-friendly and perfect for all ages and levels of skill. Just like the physics-based challenges in the Angry Birds mobile games, guests use Angry Birds characters as golf balls to smash down structures, defeat pigs, and earn as many points and stars as possible. Once you hit your golf ball, which will be the Angry Birds character Red or Bomb, it will take flight in hopes of causing mayhem. The player with the most points at game’s end wins. To celebrate sensational shots, folks are encouraged to do an easy dance featuring moves inspired by the actual Angry Birds characters. Former pro football star Roddy White, who spent his entire career as a “bird” himself playing for Atlanta, and acclaimed actor and rapper Ludacris have teamed up to share the dance. Guests are encouraged to join in on the dance and post videos to social media and there may be a surprise in their inbox. In addition, Topgolf has released a new, limited-edition “Angry Birds Sauce.” The sauce builds on Topgolf’s house ranch by mixing in a hint of garlic and becomes “angry” with the addition of habanero sauce.
TOP OF THE WORLD AT THE STRAT DEBUTS NEW MENU: The 360-degree rotating Top of the World restaurant at The STRAT has introduced several new dishes created by Bradley Manchester, Golden Entertainment, Inc.’s corporate executive chef. Hours are daily 4-11 p.m. Highlighting rich flavors and seasonal ingredients for fall, Manchester’s new selections include starters, steaks, and seafood dishes. Most notable are the steaks, which include a 12-ounce Tajima Wagyu ribeye from Australia; a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye from Black Angus, Colorado; a 16-ounce dry aged bone-in New York strip from Greater Omaha, Nebraska; a 10-ounce filet from Harris Ranch, California; and a top chop for two, featuring a market-select Tomahawk presented on a butcher block. Top of the World has also added new cocktail selections, including an Empress 75, made with Empress 1908 gin, fresh lemon juice and champagne; and a salted caramel pretzel martini, made with Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, Godiva dark chocolate liqueur and Monin espresso syrup. Award-winning chef, Manchester brings more than 25 years of culinary expertise to his position. In addition to Top of the World, he oversees culinary operations for the company’s 10 casino resorts and 66 PT’s Taverns.
GOLD SPIKE RELAUNCHES WITH INTIMATE NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCES: Gold Spike, an adult playground and nightlife experience downtown, is relaunching new art installations, a reinvigorated nightlife calendar and fresh interior updates. Last week, the Gold Spike welcomed dilettantes back to the “Living Room” an updated interior highlighted by the newly installed Lite-Brite, perfect for late night selfies. Hours are 7 p.m. until late every Thursday through Saturday. Beginning this Thursday, Oct. 22 and continuing every Thursday forward, Gold Spike will provide top local DJs featuring favorite 90s tunes and throwback drink specials like $2 PBRs and $4 well cocktails. Ladies can sip on $2 Smirnoff cocktails and $4 select cocktails from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tables will be available first come, first served. Gold Spike’s “Fright Spike,” will hold an exclusive, VIP costume party extravaganza on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30 and 31. Guys and ghouls are invited to celebrate “Halloweekend” in the ‘Living Room, which will be transformed into a haunted hellscape soiree complete with state-of-the-art décor and gore. Costumes are encouraged; masks are required. Guests can curb their late-night munchies with three indulgent burger options available through Gold Spike’s new easy-order kiosk.
CRAFTHAUS ARTS DISTRICT OPENED OUTDOOR DINING SPACE: CraftHaus Arts District, a local brewery taproom downtown, recently celebrated its first anniversary and has now opened a new extended outdoor patio for more than 1,500 square feet of al fresco dining and sipping space on California Ave. The new seasonal patio is open now through Jan. 5, and features picnic tables and benches socially distancing and seating up to six with ambient music, and Expertly curated cheese and charcuterie boards for pairings from both the tap and wine rooms.
COSMOPOLITAN FEATURES HALLOWEEN PROGRAMMING: The Cosmopolitan is celebrating Halloween this year with devilishly divine food, beverage and entertainment offerings, available Oct. 28–Nov. 3 at various restaurants and lounges. Among the highlights, Milk Bar is offering now through Dec. 2 the decadent six-inch Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cake, a bit-sized treat, the Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cake Truffles, and the Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Milkshake – a sip-able version of the Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cake that combines Cereal Milk Soft Serve with rich pumpkin ganache and dulce. Over Halloween weekend, the Clique Bar & Lounge will have a live DJ Thursday-Sunday. Marquee Las Vegas is the exclusive host of Playboy’s only Halloween event in the country this year, the Playboy Haunted Mansion. Las Vegas’ supper club experience, Rose. Rabbit. Lie., will have special Halloween programming on Oct. 31.
PUMPKIN CARVING AT TIVOLI VILLAGE: Families will be able to celebrate Halloween at Tivoli Village with complimentary pumpkin decorating on Fridays through October. Fresh52 Farmers’ and Artisan market, which is open every Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., will provide free pumpkins for children and a supervised, socially distanced booth for decorating. Parking and entry are free. Additionally, on Saturday, Oct. 24 from noon to 4 p.m., Matriarch by R+D is inviting kids to bring their own pumpkins to Tivoli Village and free art supplies for decorating will be provided for that date.
DODGE NHRA FINALS AT LVMS WILL HAVE LIMITED NUMBER OF FANS: World champions will be crowned during the Dodge NHRA Finals, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), and a limited number of fans will be on hand to celebrate with the drivers. This will be the first fan-attended event in professional sports in Nevada since onset of the pandemic in March. LVMS has received approval to host fans in accordance with guidelines set forth by Governor Steve Sisolak and the State of Nevada for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event. Race fans will be required to wear face coverings, maintain proper social distancing, enter at designated times, and use restrooms and concessions in their specific areas. All ticketing will be mobile and all transactions for concessions and souvenirs will be cashless.
THE MOB MUSEUM HOSTS CRIME PREVENTION VIDEO PRESENTATIONS: On Sunday, Oct. 25, The Mob Museum will present a 30-minute video focused on timely public safety topics, including election integrity, unemployment fraud, domestic violence, fentanyl deaths and reckless driving. Sponsored by NV Energy, this presentation will be shown every 45 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. and guests who mention the program upon arrival at the box office will receive free Museum admission. This event will be held in the Oscar B. Goodman Conference room where proper social distancing rules and capacity will be followed. Face coverings are required.
VEGAS BABY VODKA WILL CELEBRATE NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY: Vegas Baby Vodka (VBV), available in more than 150 locations throughout Las Vegas, will raise a glass to National Chocolate Day with its dark chocolate raspberry espresso martini on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The female-owned, local spirits brand will encourage vodka – and chocolate – lovers to enjoy its decadent dark chocolate raspberry espresso martini in honor of the holiday by offering their recipe. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Espresso Martini: 1 oz. Vegas Baby Vodka; .5 oz. Dark chocolate liqueur; .75 oz. Raspberry syrup; 1 oz. Chilled espresso; plus, Cinnamon stick and Raspberry for garnish. Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass and then garnish. VBV is made with non-GMO, gluten-free corn and is distilled using a column still, later filtered through a charcoal filter for an ultra-smooth finish. The business was founded in 2018 by Vegas locals, Jennifer Higgins and Megan Wilkes.
When the Hard Rock’s former Vinyl 688- capacity venue opens at the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on Jan. 15, 2021, it will be rebranded as 24 Oxford. The name will be a nod to the first Virgin Record Store, which opened in 1971 at that address in London. The Joint showroom will also be renamed. The Venetian® Resort will change the colors of its Venetian, Palazzo, and Sands® Expo tower signs in honor of upcoming awareness days. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the color will be pink Oct. 18-25, and for Domestic Violence Awareness Month purple will shine Oct. 25-31. The 12th season of ABC’s “Shark Tank” managed to create a million-square-foot bubble at The Venetian for the show’s stars and 250-member staff and crew to pull off a Covid-free filming experience.
SIGHTING: Even with visitation down, celebrities can still be seen around town. Last weekend, the entire Los Angeles Lakers team with Lebron James celebrated their championship at LAVO Italian Restaurant at the Grand Canal Shoppes in The Venetian Resort. The championship trophy drew attention sitting on the dinner table at the team enjoyed dinner.