BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
NEON2020 IS NEON MUSEUM’S EXPANSION PLAN: The Neon Museum has acquired the shuttered Reed Whipple Cultural Center, which is located directly across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Neon Boneyard, and it will be the centerpiece for an expansion and new phase of development called Neon2020. The 32,000-square-foot addition will double the size of the museum’s presence on Las Vegas Boulevard. The building will be named Ne10, representing neon’s chemical symbol, Ne, and atomic number, 10. Remodeling will begin this summer and the first phase of completion is slated for first quarter of 2020. The expansion will provide indoor gallery space, storage space for more vintage signs, and room for classrooms and future administrative offices. A second component will expand the Neon Boneyard upward with a 30-foot-high grid structure on its northern end and allow the museum to display more signs above ground. Electrified signs slated for exhibition on this grid will include the Las Vegas Club, Binion’s and other classic designs. The city of Las Vegas is providing a long-term lease and a $2.2 million grant to help support ongoing operational costs. The Neon Museum founded in 1996 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment.
SMITH & WOLLENSKY NOW OPEN AT THE VENETIAN®: The all-new Smith & Wollensky Las Vegas restaurant is now open inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian®. The steakhouse is two stories and features the company’s classic warm atmosphere complete with a tavern-like open concept bar and lounge, located off the promenade level, just steps away from the mall’s South Canal Turnaround. The upper level features an impressive wine wall, peek-a-boo view into the proprietary dry-aging butcher room, 18-seat bar with mirror hidden televisions, luxurious lounge with leather tufted booths and Lincoln chairs, and an intimate all glass private room overlooking the bar and promenade. Several private dining rooms are fully equipped with A/V accommodations and allow for groups from 40 to 500. Hours are daily Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until midnight. The bar offers extended hours Sunday through Thursday until 11:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday to 1 a.m. Starting this week, lunch service will be introduced and start at 11:30 a.m. daily. Smith & Wollensky first made its debut on the Strip in December 1998 as a free-standing restaurant enjoying nearly 20 years in business until it needed to relocate.
WAYNE NEWTON CELEBRATES 60 YEAR-CAREER IN LAS VEGAS: Entertainment legend, Wayne Newton, celebrated the monumental milestone of 60 years of performing in Las Vegas last week at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. “Mr. Las Vegas” as he is known was surprised with a custom-made cake and joined on-stage by Caesars Entertainment executives for a champagne toast to commemorate his historic six-decade run. “Wayne Newton: Up Close and Personal” is performed Monday through Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Tickets start at $87.14.
THE STRAT CELEBRATES OPENINGS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: The STRAT will host a weekend-long celebration with two poolside parties and the opening of 108 Drinks Memorial Day weekend, Friday-Monday May 24-27. The resort’s two pools, Elation Pool Café and Bar and the Radius Rooftop Pool and Wet Lounge, will be open to non-hotel guests with an admission fee, with complimentary entry for hotel guests. Elation will be open 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and has introduced a new menu with elevated poolside fare including lobster taquitos. Non-hotel guest admission will be $10. Radius on the 24th floor is a European-style pool where tops are optional, and guests must be 21-and-over. Hours will be 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Non-hotel guest admission will be $14. The Observation Deck on the 108th level will celebrate the opening of 108 Drinks, a full-service bar with signature selections, a spectacular view, and live performances May 24-26.
BABYMETAL WILL APPEAR AT HOUSE OF BLUES: Tokyo trio, BABYMETAL will bring their J-pop meets heavy metal tunes to the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay on Monday, Sept. 30. Tickets start at $46.50. BABYMETAL arrived on the music scene in 2011 with the delivery of “Doki Doki Morning,” birthing a new genre of music, introducing a mix of J-pop vocals and melodies with the pummeling riffs and drums of heavy metal. Setting the stage for the release of the group’s self-titled debut album, lead single “Gimme Chocolate!” was released in 2014. Soon after, “BABYMETAL” hit the U.S. Billboard charts as well as other top rock charts spanning more than six countries. Becoming the youngest group to play Budokan in March 2014, BABYMETAL embarked on their first world tour, playing festivals and opening shows for Lady Gaga on her U.S. tour.
CAESARS PALACE INTRODUCES NEW LATIN FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL: Caesars Palace will host the first Las Vegas Latin Food & Wine Festival – a street market celebrating Latin flavors and culture on Saturday, June 29 in the Augustus Ballroom. Chef Claudia Sandoval, season six winner in 2015 of FOX’s primetime TV series “MasterChef,” will headline the event with an exclusive cooking demonstration. Tickets are $151 for general admission, ages 21-plus. Chef Sandoval is known for her modern take on Mexican coastal cuisine. In 2016, she published her cookbook “Claudia’s Cocina – A Taste of Mexico” and started a successful private dining business. Currently, she is a judge on Telemundo’s hit cooking competition, “MasterChef Latino.” The evening will include live entertainment with Latin bands, mariachi and traditional folklórico dancers, along with the all-you-can-eat food and wine festival setting. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
AREA15 SIGNS MIXED REALITY EXPERIENCE ‘NOMADIC’: AREA15, the experiential retail and entertainment complex under construction, is announcing the first of many new tenants, the premier mixed reality (MR) experience, Nomadic, which creates video-game-like experiences guests can physically-engage with as they step into the action. Nomadic will occupy 6,000 square feet of the 200,000-square-foot complex and will be located near AREA15’s anchor tenant, the art collaborative Meow Wolf. Like Meow Wolf, Nomadic will transport guests appropriate for participants age 10 and older on journeys through shorter-form mixed-reality (virtual reality + physical engagement) experiences. Nomadic’s first owned-and-operated location is in Orlando.
COVE BEACH TAKES OVER VENUS POOL AT CAESARS PALACE: Dubai’s renowned Cove Beach lifestyle brand will host its first U.S. takeover at Venus Pool & Lounge at Caesars Palace’s Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, Cove Beach will be open with extended hours 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, and promote its sexy, sophisticated style featuring live entertainment, parties, refreshing cocktails and more. Cove Beach will offer shisha (water pipes) with 18 flavors of tobacco created by Shisha Paradise. The lavish international experience will bring four of its hit parties as Dubai’s first brand to be imported to the United States: Rosé Soirée–Thursdays; Little Havana–Fridays; FRSH–Saturdays; and JMRCK–Sundays.
ROCK & REILLY’S OFFERS NEW WEEKEND BRUNCH: Rock & Reilly’s, a 24-hour Irish rock pub located in the Hawaiian Marketplace on the Strip, has a brand-new weekend brunch service available every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All entrees are either $10, $11, or $12 and you can add a choice of bottomless mimosas or bloody marys featuring SKYY Vodka® for $20 more. The brunch can also be enjoyed on the patio. The brunch features traditional breakfast favorites, a variety of Benedicts, Quinoa Bowl, different Toast offerings, and more.
MOB MUSEUM HOLDS SUMMER MOVIE SERIES: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will be providing a special introduction to The Mob Museum’s “Summer Movie Series: Classic Gangster Flicks” on Monday, June 3. Memorable 1930s films will be screened in the Museum’s historic courtroom each Monday night at 6 p.m. in June. Each film will be preceded with Museum staff providing historical context and insights. Mankiewicz will introduce the series’ first film, “Little Caesar,” which is considered one of the greatest gangster films. It stars Edward G. Robinson, portraying an ambitious thug who claws his way to the top tier of the criminal underworld, making enemies along the way. Other screenings will include: “The Public Enemy” (1931) on June 10; “Scarface” (1932) on June 17; and “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938) on June 24.
TOSSING TOBACCO WILL EARN DISCOUNT TO BODIES AT THE LUXOR: In support of World No Tobacco Day, May 31, Bodies…The Exhibition inside the Luxor will offer an $8 discount, equivalent to the price of a pack of cigarettes, on regular-priced tickets May 27–June 1 to guests who will toss away their tobacco. Smokers will need to present the pack of cigarettes and throw them away in the Exhibition’s Commit to Quit container located on the resort’s mezzanine level. Hitting home, exhibition visitors will have the opportunity to view a side-by-side comparison of a real, tar damaged smoker’s lung alongside a healthy, non-smoker’s lung, providing a powerful visual to the hazards of smoking. Consider the fact…smokers are two to three times more likely than non-smokers to die of heart attacks. BODIES…The Exhibition is open daily10 a.m.–10 p.m. with last admission at 9 p.m.
DJANGOVEGAS! RETURNS TO HISTORIC FIFTH STREET SCHOOL: DjangoVegas!, the annual musical celebration paying tribute to the roots, origins and established figures of gypsy jazz. will return to the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth Street, Saturday, June 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. This year, the lineup includes Cyrille Aimée, The Lost Fingers and Hot Club of Las Vegas; all three are led by female vocalists. Tickets are $25 for all ages. Bistro boxes and refreshments will be available for purchase. Aimée is a winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Female Vocal Competition and Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The rising jazz star has grown from singing on street corners to performing at prestigious jazz festivals with a fresh, creative vocal approach honoring tradition while blazing intoxicating new directions. The Lost Fingers is an acoustic quartet with more than 400,000 albums sold. Their recordings take listeners on a musical journey through everything from AC/DC to Django Reinhardt. Local gypsy jazz band and festival alumni, The Hot Club of Las Vegas, will be returning. The band started as a passion project and perform gypsy jazz music as well as boleros, flamenco, rhumbas and more.
JOAN OSBORNE AND ‘SERPENTINE FIRE HEADLINE AT ALIANTE: Multi-platinum-selling recording artist Joan Osborne will appear in the Access Showroom at Aliante on Saturday, June 15 at 8 p.m. The celebrated vocalist continues to tour extensively in various configurations, including with her own band, as Joan Osborne’s Soul Revue, and as an acoustic duo and trio. She is widely known for her soulful, rock sound and her live performances in the Grammy Award-winning documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” Tickets start at $35. Tribute band Serpentine will provide exceptional renditions of the signature style and sound of the famous group Earth, Wind & Fire on Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $20.
OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE HOLDS PUBLIC PERFORMING ARTS CONCERT: The 9th Annual Spring Performing Arts Concert “Ovation: A Night at the Movies” will take place at Opportunity Village at 6050 S. Buffalo Drive on Thursday, May 23 at 6 p.m. Admission is free for this family-friendly event. Throughout the year Opportunity Village performing arts mentors have worked diligently alongside adults with disabilities to create dance, theater, vocal and instrumental performances. Seating is first-come, first-served, refreshments will be available for purchase, and artwork will be sale.
STATION CASINO RESORTS HEADLINE TRIBUTE ACTS: Top tribute acts will be center stage at some Station Casino properties over Memorial Day Weekend. The Fab will appear at the Grand Events Center at Green Valley Ranch on Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. paying tribute to The Beatles. The group has been celebrating the music of The Beatles since 1995 and have more than 400 songs in their playlist. Tickets are $15 general admission. At Palace Station on Saturday, May 25 at 6 p.m., “Rockin’ Rewind” will feature three tribute bands covering the best music from the Hair Band era: Pick Your Poison; Pyromania honoring Def Leppard; and Wanted highlighting Bon Jovi. Tickets are 19 for standing room only and must be 21 or older. At Santa Fe Station, Piano Men will pay tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel in the Chrome Showroom on Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m. Jeffrey Allen and Matthew Banks, both long-time entertainers, will be performing as the legendary two piano superstars and take the audience on a musical journey. Tickets are $15.
PHOTO EXHIBIT REFLECTS CONVENTION CENTER’S HISTORY: The photo exhibition “From Zero to 60 and Beyond,” created by the Las Vegas News Bureau celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) by looking back at the events that shaped its history and giving a peek at its future. The exhibition comprises approximately 30 photos providing a timeline of significant events in the history of the LVCC over the years from 1959 through 2019. The photo display is running through June 4, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.
ORLEANS ARENA HOSTS SOUTHERN NEVADA SPORTS HALL OF FAME: The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame nonprofit will return to the Orleans Arena on Friday, June 14 to induct the Class of 2019. Honorees will include: sports journalist Steve Carp; former Arena Football League athlete Hunkie Cooper; baseball scout Manny Guerra; Las Vegas Baseball Academy mentor and former professional baseball player Mike Martin; general manager of a premier equestrian facility Steve Stallworth; and Las Vegas’ first major-league, professional hockey team. With the new inductees, the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame has 110 members. The evening at the Orleans Arena will include live music, cocktails and silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m., and a post-event party afterwards. Tickets start at $400. Event proceeds will be donated to organizations supporting southern Nevada youth through sports.
An official groundbreaking ceremony is being held this week on six acres just north of The Smith Center for the first residential development at Symphony Park in Downtown Las Vegas. The luxury, mid-rise apartment community is Southern Land Company’s first project in the Las Vegas market. Plans for the project include 324 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom for-lease apartments with approximately 14,500 square feet of ground level retail and restaurants. Make a note, the 33rd Annual Black & White Party to benefit Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) is set for Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Hard Rock resort from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.