BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
By Jackie Brett
CHEF JAMES TREES OPENS ESTHER’S KITCHEN: Chef-owner James Trees has opened his hometown neighborhood restaurant Esther’s Kitchen at 1130 South Casino Center Blvd. in the Las Vegas Arts District. The eatery is named for the great aunt who was Chef Trees’ first mentor. Indoor seating capacity is 50-plus with additional front and rear outdoor seating opening by spring. Esther’s Kitchen full menu grounded in the ingredient-driven cuisine of Italy offers fresh pastas, pizzas to order, antipasti and mains, with a strong section of plant-based dishes. Pastas, breads and nearly everything possible are being made in-house with produce and proteins coming from the best local sources available including the restaurant’s own herb garden. Restaurant hour s are dinner Tuesday-Sunday 5-11 p.m. with a happy hour at the bar 4-6 p.m. Weekday lunch and weekend brunch hours will be announced soon.
LIFE-SIZE KYLIN LANTERN UNVEILED AT GOLD COAST: A spectacular, larger-than-life, purple kylin lantern has been unveiled at the Gold Coast to promote the upcoming China Lights festival being held at Craig Ranch Jan. 19-Feb. 25 nightly except Mondays from 5:30-10 p.m. Seven other local Boyd Gaming properties in Las Vegas will each have a different lantern on display to showcase the first time event, which will feature more than 40 displays made with more than 1,000 sculptural components created on-site by Chinese artisans. The month-long exhibit will have nightly stage performances highlighting various Chinese entertainment, cultural displays and video presentations, and Asian and American food offerings. With Boyd Gaming being the exclusive gaming sponsor, folks with the company’s rewards card can get discount tickets to the festival. Ticket prices range from seniors and children 5-17 for $12 to $20 for adults.
ZEDD CONTINUES RESIDENCY WITH HAKKASAN GROUP THROUGH 2020: World-renowned hospitality company Hakkasan Group has renewed partnership with multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning artist Zedd and extended his residency through 2020. Zedd will bring numerous headlining performances to premier nightlife and daylife destinations on the Las Vegas Strip, including Hakkasan Nightclub and Wet Republic at MGM Grand, as well as OMNIA Nightclub inside Caesars Palace. Earlier this year, Zedd teamed up with Alessia Cara to record “Stay,” which was No. 1 at Top 40 Radio in the United States for six consecutive weeks and just earned Zedd his second Grammy nomination.
RENEGADES DEBUTS AT CLEOPATRA’S BARGE AT CAESARS PALACE: Renegades is a new interactive show opening Thursday, Jan. 25 inside the 180-seat Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Renegades will give sports fans an up-close and personal experience with three sports stars. The starting lineup will include baseball great Jose Canseco and two-time Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon. The Fab Five’s Jimmy King will appear during the first eight shows, with six-time NFL Pro Bowler Terrell Owens taking over starting Thursday, Feb. 8. The shows will be hosted by comedian Martin Montana while athletes rotate every three months.
THE WESTIN TRANSFORMS INTO NON-GAMING, NON-SMOKING PROPERTY: Major renovations at The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa just off the Strip have transformed the property into the city’s newest nongaming, non-smoking option. Under the management of Crescent Hotels & Resorts, the casino floor has been removed to make way for Jake & Eli, an original restaurant and lobby bar concept, as well as new and upgraded meeting spaces. Plus, a new concierge team of Las Vegas experts are present to make guests feel like VIPs. The Westin has added four new meeting rooms, located off the lobby, increasing its capacity by 20 percent. The new lobby-level design complements the previous enhancements, which included updating the 826 guest rooms and suites and reimagining the Hibiscus Spa and Salon and Westin WORKOUT® Fitness Studio. The final phase of improvements, including the outdoor pool area, is expected to be completed by early 2018.
MATT GOSS RETURNS TO THE MIRAGE: Impassioned showman Matt Goss is returning to headline an extended engagement at The Mirage. His show “Matt Goss at The Mirage” will appear on select evenings at 7:30 p.m. inside 1 OAK Nightclub. Tickets start at $49.99 and a VIP meet-and-greet, including a photo opportunity, is an additional $50. Goss, along with his sexy dancers – The Dirty Virgins, gets up close and personal with the audience in the relaxed, intimate club setting, reminiscent of The Rat Pack-era. He is joined by his backup singers and a fabulous big band. Goss’ schedule is Jan. 12-14, 16, 19-21, 23, 26-28, 30 and Feb. 2-3. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 9, he will perform every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
QUICK ENTERTAINMENT CLIPS
Folks got excited this past week learning that Aerosmith will have a Las Vegas residency late in 2018. Founding band member Joe Perry slipped the news to a television reporter in Boston. Legendary music group Earth, Wind & Fire will have a special limited engagement at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian® on May 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. This will be the band’s debut residency in Las Vegas. Jarrett and Raja have closed their magic show at the Stratosphere after a brief stint following another short time at Hooters. While Britney Spears closed her outstanding residency at Axis at Planet Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez will close her run there, which started in January 2016, in September. Famed illusionist Criss Angel has announced his final date at the Luxor will be Oct. 28, which will finish his original 10-year contract. “World’s Greatest Rock Show” tribute concert at the Stratosphere is offering a special $19.95 ticket price Jan. 11-21 for 9 p.m. performances. The show, which will be closing, relives classic anthems from KISS, Bruce Springsteen, Journey, Heart, Meatloaf, Van Halen and more. The 52 Fridays Concert Series is continuing in the Golden Nugget Showroom. Upcoming acts this month with 8 p.m. performances include: American rocker Rick Derringer on Jan. 12; mid- to late ‘60s group The Association on Jan. 19; and Los Angeles quartet Ambrosia on Jan. 26. The Bonkerz Comedy club at Addison’s Lounge in the Rampart Casino will feature: Steve McInelly on Jan. 11; PJ McGuire on Jan. 18; and Rick D’Elia on Jan. 25. Admittance is free for the 7 p.m. shows.
O’JAYS WILL PERFORM AT STAR OF THE DESERT ARENA IN PRIMM: The O’Jays famous for such tunes as “Love Train,” “Back Stabbers,” “For the Love of Money” and “I Love Music” will appear in concert on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev., located 25 minutes south of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. Tickets start at $20.
THE CANNERY STARTS YEAR WITH TWO COMEDIANS AND A SINGER: The Cannery Casino Hotel in North Las Vegas is kicking off the year with performances by stand-up comedian and actor Deon Cole, award-winning singer Claudine Castro, and comedic performer Tommy Davidson at The Club. Dean Cole will appear on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $29.95. Cole has appeared frequently in comedic bits on both “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” and “Conan.” Claudine Castro Latin Dance Party will follow on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. Castro began her musical career at age six and will bring her Latin sound for the audience to dance. Tickets start at $10. Best known for starring in the hit television show “In Living Color,” Tommy Davidson will appear on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. He has built an impressive career as a stand-up comedian, actor on television shows and in films, and musician. Tickets start at $32.95.
ABOUT TOWN ITEMS
Asian-themed Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino just one-year old is temporarily closing all gaming and restaurant operations as it struggles to attract gamblers. Management claims the casino floor and restaurants will resume operations “within six months.” Meanwhile, the 203-room hotel will remain open as will the gift shop and Cha Garden restaurant and bar on the hotel’s first floor. The off-Strip Tuscany on East Flamingo Ave. has completed a $5 million renovation of 716 suites with upgrades including new furniture, artwork, carpeting, lighting fixtures, updated color palette and design, and bathroom vanity as well as functional desk space for business travelers, additional power outlets, and faster in-room Wi-Fi. A Courtroom Conversation will be held at the Mob Museum downtown on Thursday, Jan. 11 from 7-9 p.m. covering the subject “Digital Swindlers: Organized Crime Infects the Internet,” In the digital age, cybercrime is big business for organized crime syndicates around the globe. One of the FBI’s top national authorities will join a panel of experts in the field of cybersecurity and information technologies. The cost to attend is $25 or buy-one, get-one-free for Museum Members. Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris will celebrate the Adult Entertainment Expo with an after-party hosted by some of the industry’s top adult film stars including Jenna Haze, Kayden Kross, Alexis Monroe and Ashly Anderson on Saturday, Jan. 27. Chateau’s resident DJ ShadowReD will play late into the night. General admission starts at $30.
‘EH WADDYAGUNNADO’ IS LIMITED EDITION LOCAL BREW: Last Friday, Triple 7 Restaurant & Brewery at Main Street Station downtown unveiled its first collaboration brew with Stone Brewing Co., “Eh Waddyagunnado,” during a special keg tapping. The limited-edition “Eh Waddyagunnado” is a smooth double red ale brewed at Triple 7, which will be available for purchase beginning Jan. 19 at Triple 7, Big Mess at Sam’s Town, The Filament and Tony Roma’s at Fremont, Holo Holo at California, the main bar at Jokers Wild and the race and sports book bar at Aliante, while supplies last.
DINING BEVERAGE NEWS CLIPS
Alexxa’s, a modern bar with an interesting twist, opened on Dec. 30, 2017, inside Paris, is introducing a sangria-focused element, small dishes and live music. Alexxa’s bar connects to HEXX kitchen + bar and boasts an upscale design with a sexy vibe and beautiful patio doors opening directly onto Las Vegas Boulevard. The bar features nine sangria options including sparkling, cider and seasonal sangrias. Lip Smacking Foodie Tours recently held its Lip Smacking Awards 2017 reception at Sage at Aria, which was the recipient of the Best Fine Dining recognition. The company’s highly successful mission is to introduce visitors through guided tours to the best signature dishes, unique preparations and exciting tastes in Las Vegas. Border Grill at Mandalay Bay and the Forum Shops is starting the year with Veganuary presented by Vegans, Baby featuring special plant-based and meat-free dishes until Wednesday, Jan. 31. A portion of the proceeds go to Nevada Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Veganuary organization. The Borda Family Sheep Ranch has kept their Basque heritage alive in northern Nevada since 1914 with their production of wool and choice lamb. Honey Salt located at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd pays homage with a Farm Table dinner featuring an array of lamb dishes on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Dinner is $59, and optional wine pairing an additional $25. Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book at SLS is hosting Henderson’s Joseph James Brewing Company for its January “Tap Takeover” with four seasonal brews including: Weize Guy; Citra Rye; Busker Brown Ale; and American Flyer. Beers are $9 for a 14-ounce draft, $15 for a 25-ounce draft, and $27 for a 50-ounce souvenir yard. On Tap Takeover Tuesdays, visitors may purchase any Tap Takeover 14-ounce draft and receive the second draft for free with a limit of one per guest. Fractured Prune, an Ocean City, Md., landmark since 1976, has a store at 9460 W. Flamingo, Suite 115, which on National Gourmet Coffee Day Thursday, Jan. 18 from 6 a.m-10 p.m., will give away a free 12 oz. cup of coffee and a complimentary taste of the Nitro Cold Brew.
UPCOMING CHARITY EVENTS
Discovery Children’s Museum, in partnership with Junior League of Las Vegas (JLLV), will host the adults-only Night at the Museum on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. The returning event is an opportunity for adults to let loose and act like the child within. There will be bars set up on three floors, tasty treats, silent disco, karaoke and more. Event proceeds will benefit Discovery and JLLV. Tickets are $50. Revolution Radio 2.0 is holding the first Junkyard Jam, hosted at The Sahara Lounge, 1000 E. Sahara Ave., on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. with local rock bands CracKerman, The Scorched, Bad Little Sister, Moon, Birds and Monsters, and Willie Psycho. The rockin’ fundraiser will benefit several local organizations rescuing breeds labeled “Bad to the Bone,” including Vegas Shepherd Rescue, Rottweilers of Las Vegas Rescue and The Churchill Foundation. Cover is a $10 donation or more. Open bar can be purchased for $10 for women, and $25 for men.
CONVENTION CENTER NEWS
On Jan. 8, LAS Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) president and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter is gathering with local dignitaries and business leaders for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the former site of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. The ceremony celebrates the convention center’s building project slated to break ground mid-year with completion expected by 2023.
In addition, the LVCVA has launched the new social media channel, @LVCVAImpact, on Facebook and Twitter. Big upcoming conventions at the Las Vegas Convention Center include: CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the world’s largest convention for consumer technologies, Jan. 9-12 (175,000 attendees); World of Concrete Jan. 23-26 (60,000 attendees); and SCI Hunters’ Convention, the world’s largest international hunting show, Jan.31-Feb. 3 (21,000 attendees). The SHOT Show, the largest and most comprehensive trade show for shooting sport and hunting professionals, and the law enforcement industries, will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center Jan. 23-26 and attract 64,500 attendees. The Winter 2018 Las Vegas Market will return to the World Market Center Jan. 28-Feb. 1 with 50,000 people participating.