Pete Rose Bar & Grill Is Out, Heart Attack Grill Is In

Nobody saw this one coming, but the former Pete Rose Bar & Grill on the Las Vegas Strip will soon be replaced by Heart Attack Grill.

The Pete Rose Sports Bar & Grill opened in Oct. 2015, but struggled almost immediately. In Aug. 2016, Rose’s name was unceremoniously removed from the restaurant’s signage, and business ties with the slugger were severed.

The restaurant was stripped of its baseball theme and continued to flounder, until finally being euthanized this week.

Heart Attack Grill Strip

Easiest “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle, ever.

The new Heart Attack Grill, located in the Hawaiian Marketplace shopping complex, near the closed Harley-Davidson Cafe, will be the restaurant’s second location in Las Vegas.

The original Heart Attack Grill is a fixture at Neonopolis in downtown Las Vegas.

The new restaurant is festooned with a sign reading, “Now hiring hot nurses.”

Heart Attack Grill Strip

We honestly can’t decide which turns us on more, “hot nurses” or the word “festooned.”

Heart Attack Grill is one of the most WTF-infused restaurants in all of Las Vegas. Customers must wear hospital gowns, and waitresses dressed as nurses paddle guests if they’re unable to finish their burgers.

One of Heart Attack Grill’s signature offers is customers who weigh 350 pounds or more dine free. And, yes, people have died of “apparent heart attacks” at Heart Attack Grill.

No opening date for the new Heart Attack Grill has been announced, but a good deal of work has already been done to the restaurant’s interior.

Heart Attack Grill Strip

This venue needs an infusion of profitability, stat. Or something.

While we’ve never eaten at Heart Attack Grill, we’ve always enjoyed the restaurant’s playful irreverence. We’ve just never been able to tell if the humor is tongue-in-cheek or not.

Heart Attack Grill

Sort of on board with this one.

Thanks to alert reader Jeremiah for sharing this scoop.

Las Vegas is full of surprises, and we’ll keep a close eye on the new Heart Attack Grill. Because you never know what might be festooned next.

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Park People at The Park Make for Irresistible Selfie Bait

The Park, a restaurant row between Monte Carlo and New York-New York on the Las Vegas Strip, has become a hub for public art.

Upping the selfie ante, The Park is currently playing host to Park People, a series of life-sized human figures fashioned entirely from Lego bricks.

Park People Las Vegas

“Lego” comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt,” or “play well.” A good fit for Las Vegas, actually.

The Park People series was created by Nathan Sawaya, and is said to “explore the conceptual and expressive potential of process driven forms of the human body.”

So, yeah, Lego people.

Park People Las Vegas

Dude, it’s Vegas. You might want to pick up some sunscreen.

Sawaya holds an intriguing distinction—he is said to own more Lego bricks than any other individual, with two million bricks in each of his two studios (one in L.A. and another in New York).

Park People Lego art

Yeah, he’s nude, but at least he’d modest.

During our recent visit, guests were cozying up to the  nine interactive figures, providing a memorable moment in Las Vegas for tourists and, as an added perk, great buzz for The Park.

Park People Lego art

Watch the hands.

According to the news release about Park People, the Lego figures are “situated curiously” on “elegant” wooden benches. There’s a reason “elegant” is in quotation marks. Mostly because they’re just benches.

Park People artwork

The plural of Lego is Lego.

Each Lego sculpture can take two to three weeks to build, and each Lego block must be glued into place.

Park People Lego

Pretty sure somebody’s going to be hearing from Blue Man Group’s lawyers.

The Park People exhibit ends Dec. 30, 2016, so if you’d like to see these Lego sculptures, you’d better step on it.

Because Lego. “Step on it.”

We’ll wait.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 34: Paid Parking, Lucky Dragon, W Las Vegas and More

This podcast has so much Vegas, you’ll need to suck in your gut to fit into it. Or something.

In this installment, we propel ourselves recklessly into the Vegas blabosphere and dig up the latest about the newly-opened Lucky Dragon and W Las Vegas, as well as how to get around paying for parking at Las Vegas resorts.

Lucky Dragon

It takes balls to open an Asian-themed resort on the Las Vegas Strip! Lucky Dragon’s all over it.

Unrelated to anything, if you’d like to fancy up your computer, grab one of our wallpapers: 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, 1920 x 1080. You’re welcome.

It wouldn’t be a Vegas podcast without copious amounts of news, so we do our best to superficially explain the evolution of Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas, restaurants closed for renovations (Biscayne at Tropicana), new offerings (Sugarcane at Venetian), plus scoop about Eclipse Theaters downtown, the Big Elvis showroom at Harrah’s (closing soon for an expansion) and a metric hell-ton of exclusives you won’t find anywhere else. Presumably.

Eclipse Theaters

Yes, movie tickets at Eclipse are $18, but there’s a bar, so we’re just going to roll with it.

“This Week in Vegas History” takes on multiple-murdering asshat O.J. Simpson. He was sentenced to prison on Dec. 4, 2008, and it ranks among one of the coolest things Las Vegas has ever done.

All that, and random tips and skinny to make your next Las Vegas visit all it can be.

Take a listen and give your ears the Las Vegas spa day they so richly deserve.

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Hooters Jumps on Paid Parking News With Jab at Megaresorts and Free Beer

Hooters Casino knows a good PR opportunity when it sees one, and the off-Strip casino is taking full advantage of recent news Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Las Vegas will soon charge for parking.

The folks at Hooters claim their valet and self-parking will not only remain free, but guests who take advantage of the casino’s free parking will also get a free beer.

To qualify for the free beer, guests are asked to either present a receipt from another Strip parking garage or post a photo of their car in the Hooters lot on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #IParkedForFree.

Guests can make their way to the Hooters lobby bar to redeem the free beer offer.

Hooters Las Vegas

We are not a beer person, but this almost makes us want to visit Hooters. Bonus: Hooters.

Kudos to Hooters for acting quickly to ride the wave of publicity resulting from the chatter about paid parking in Las Vegas. We also appreciate the fact they read our blog, since their news release started with the sentence, “Monopoly isn’t the only place to find free parking!” We’re right there with you, Hooters.

Hooters hasn’t said when the free beer offer expires, but let’s hope it’s not when the casino later has to reverse its position on paid parking, because other casinos have tried similar marketing strategies in the past, sometimes with less-than-ideal results.

In 2011, Caesars Entertainment touted the fact its resorts didn’t charge a resort fee. The company (where we worked at the time, incidentally) went so far as to create an ad campaign featuring “angry showgirls,” presumably to illustrate how frustrated guests were about these infuriating fees.

Angry showgirls

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

In March 2013, Caesars Entertainment caved to market pressure and began charging resort fees, resulting in a level of awkwardness that continues to inspire face-palming to this day.

Hang in there, Hooters. Sometimes risks pay off, sometimes they don’t. Vegas was built on that premise, come to think of it.

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15 New Things in Downtown Las Vegas Since Your Last Visit

We may spend a wee bit too much time in downtown Las Vegas, partially because we work there (at Fremont Street Experience), but also because we like our Vegas cheap, lucky and occasionally semi-nude.

There is some benefit to our chronic infatuation with downtown, however, as we’re uniquely qualified to share all that’s new in Glitter Gulch. Which we’re using generically to mean downtown, as the actual Glitter Gulch (the strip club) has closed. See? Things move fast downtown, so here’s what’s new since your last Vegas visit.

1. Turmeric Flavors of India

This new Indian restaurant is in an odd location, and completely worth finding. Turmeric Flavors of India sits across from the Downtown Container Park and serves up traditional flavors with a French presentation. A welcome addition to the downtown dining scene.

Turmeric Fremont Indian

Too pretty to eat? You’ll get past it.

2. Evel Pie

This throwback restaurant has a charming, relaxed vibe and delicious, cheap pizza. At Evel Pie on Fremont East, you can get a beer and slice for $5 at lunch, play classic arcade games and check out tons of Evel Knievel memorabilia. If you’re not sure where everything is on Fremont East, we’ve got this.

Evel Pie

There’s a happy hour, too, with $3 well drinks. Sold.

3. Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand

Out with Stewart + Ogden, in with Freedom Beat. It’s a music venue during the evenings, with a solid menu, including deep friend Twinkies, in case you’re craving them now that Mermaids has closed on Fremont Street.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat’s menu was developed by Chef Scott Commings, season 12 winner of Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV hit, “Hell’s Kitchen.”

4. Wana Taco at Four Queens

Four Queens has rolled out a pop-up taco stand that suits the Fremont Street mojo (drunken revelry) to a tee. The tacos are quite satisfying, and the only downside is there are no beverages sold at Wana Taco. Thankfully, there’s an outdoor bar nearby. It’s Fremont Street, after all.

Wana Taco Four Queens

The tacos at Wana Taco are surprisingly good, about on par with the excellent Taqueria El Buen Pastor just across Fremont.

5. Redwood Steakhouse

This one isn’t entirely new, but it sure looks that way. Redwood Steakhouse at the California recently underwent a major renovation. New look, new menu and there’s an adjoining bar with a great happy hour.

Redwood at The Cal

Redwood Steakhouse features “handsomely detailed, carved-walnut pilasters.” We’re not taking the time to look up “pilasters,” so you’re on your own.

6. Holo Holo Bar

The Cal takes up three spots on this list of new downtown things, including the new Holo Holo bar. The Holo Holo bar takes the place of the hotel’s San Francisco Pub, as The Cal continues to hone in on its key customer base, visitors from Hawaii. Holo Holo means “Let’s go!” in Hawaiian slang. The drinks are cheap and the video poker is plentiful.

Holo Holo Bar at California

The Cal has spend millions renovating its rooms and casino, and we’re focused on a bar. Telling.

7. Cal’s Sports Book and Lounge

The California went all out for its new sports book and lounge. The venue is just off the main casino floor (replacing the tired second floor sports book), and has ample seating and hooch.

California sports book bar

We like it, despite the sports.

8. Fremont Arcade

This new diversion has breathed new life into Neonopolis, the much-maligned shopping center wherein Heart Attack Grill and Denny’s reside. Fremont Arcade has a number of rare and custom pinball machines, and it’s a great way to spend some time for a fraction of what it costs to gamble.

Fremont Arcade

Several of the limited edition pinball machines at Fremont Arcade cost $10,000 or more, so be gentle.

9. Neonopolis eSports Arena

We rolled our eyes when we heard an eSports Arena was opening at Neonopolis, but we stopped by during an event and it’s sort of a thing. Hundreds of people showed up to watch competitive video game playing. We’re still rolling our eyes, but that doesn’t make it any less a thing.

Neonopolis eSports Arena

Yes, there was even a girl.

10. Binion’s Charger Stations

Kudos to Binion’s, not exactly known for being particularly innovative, for installing phone charging jacks at every single chair at every one of its casino table games. You can’t have the phone on the table, but you can set it on your lap as you charge the device and play. There’s another, less pleasant thing at Binion’s, too, unfortunately. Binion’s (along with its sister casino, Four Queens) has converted pretty much all its blackjack games to 6-to-5. A true shocker given its hallowed history as a place that catered to gamblers.

Binion's charging station

Yes, at every seat. Bring your own cord, or they’re for sale in the gift shop.

11. Hennessey’s Pint Glass

For some time, Hennessey’s Pub has boasted what’s billed as the “World’s Largest Pint Glass.” When you visit again, however, that pint glass will look more like a mug. The pint is being rebranded to promote Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Progress has been slow, but it’s happening, and the structure will get a “handle” to complete the motif.

Hennessey's root beer

This isn’t the first time somebody’s taken a mug shot downtown.

12. Red

Red is a bit of a head-scratcher, but it’s new and it’s open! Red took over the space formerly occupied by Insert Coins, and it’s sort of a bar that aspires to be a nightclub, but without the pretense and $500 bottles of Gray Goose. Red had some trouble with its sign (it didn’t pass inspection), so most folks don’t even realize it’s there. If you stop in, feel free to dance like nobody’s watching, because from what we’ve seen, nobody is.

Red Fremont Street

The folks behind Red say a remodel is planned for 2017, and describe it as a “sports bar by day, nightclub by night.”

13. Coffee Stand at The D

We are not a coffee person, but apparently some people are really into it. The D recently opened a pop-up coffee stand that features Zingerman’s coffee, whatever that might actually be. The stand opens at 6:00 a.m. and is rolled away by noon each day. It’s located near the hotel’s registration desk, and here’s the full menu.

Coffee stand at The D

If you’re not a coffee person, the stand also serves iced drinks, expresso drinks, blended drinks and smoothies.

14. Big Rig Jig

This awesome art piece is a little like a human centipede but with trucks. Big Rig Jig is an eye-catching photo op, so if you’re feeling bold (it’s in a not-so-great area, but you’ll be fine during daylight hours), seek it out and behold a wonder of WTF. If you’re interested in more weird photo ops in Las Vegas, we’ve wrangled 25 of them.

Big Rig Jig

Big Rig Jig is located in the courtyard of the closed Fergusons Motel. Like that helps.

15. Eclipse Theaters

We’re not sure who was clamoring for a luxury movie theater downtown, but Eclipse Theaters has opened, anyway. Movies are $18 (stop clutching your chest, it’s embarrassing), but offers chef-catered meals, pre-assigned, reclining seats and hooch. If we’re paying $18 for a movie ticket, there had better be procedures in place to deal with idiots talking or using their phones, or we’ll be looking for a bail bondsman. Thankfully, the neighborhood is teeming with them.

Eclipse Theaters Las Vegas

We can’t wait to drink, eat and movie here, especially that first thing.

Oh, and here’s another something new in downtown Las Vegas. The Harley-Davidson retail store has closed. That’s not really the new part. The retail store has been emptied. Which still isn’t the new we’re talking about. What’s new is that by the next time you visit downtown, it is likely to have a new White Castle. No, really. The White Castle on Fremont Street is expected to open in early 2017.

Harley White Castle Fremont

The Harley-Davidson store has a sign that says, “Closed for renovations.” True, sorta.

That just about covers it. Las Vegas is always racking its brain to come up with newer and bigger and differenter. Which is possibly not a word, but Las Vegas doesn’t live by society’s rules.

If you stumble upon new things downtown, or on The Strip for that matter, we’d love to hear about them. Especially if they’re imbibable. Again, possibly not a word, but it certainly should be.

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Caesars Entertainment Resorts to Charge for Parking, Surprising No One

It was just a matter of time, and now it’s official. Caesars Entertainment will soon begin charging for parking at eight of its nine Las Vegas resorts.

The news from Caesars Entertainment follows on the heels of the other major casino company in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts, launching its paid parking program earlier in 2016. The world didn’t end then, so no sense freaking out now. Probably.

Paid parking MGM Resorts

Just because we knew it was coming doesn’t make it any less like a colonoscopy.

Caesars Entertainment’s parking policy will be implemented in phases.

On Dec. 19, 2016, paid valet services will kick in. Valet fees will run $13 (up to four hours) and $18 (four to 24 hours) at Bally’s, Caesars, Cromwell, Paris and Planet Hollywood. Lower fees of $8 (up to four hours) and $13 (four to 24 hours) will apply at Flamingo, Harrah’s and Linq.

Paid self-parking will be rolled out at Caesars Entertainment resorts across Las Vegas in early 2017. Caesars Entertainment hasn’t provided information about the cost of self-parking, but there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t mirror the cost of paid parking at MGM Resorts, or about $10 day.

Parking at the off-Strip Rio will remain free, at least for now. Which would be good news except for the fact you have to visit the Rio to take advantage of the free parking. Zing!

Caesars

Et tu, Caesars?

As is true of the MGM Resorts paid parking program, Nevada residents will self-park free at Caesars Entertainment resorts in Las Vegas. (There are other ways to get around paying for parking at MGM Resorts, by the way.)

Rumors persist that paid parking has caused retail shops and shows at MGM Resorts hotels to take a financial hit, so it’s possible the free parking for locals will continue beyond 2016, superseding what was originally announced.

Select fancy-schmancy members of the Total Rewards loyalty club (Platinum, Diamond and Seven Stars tier levels) will self-park and valet free at Caesars Entertainment hotels.

Total Rewards Diamond

Did you think you spent all that money on slots just for finger foods and Britney tickets?

In true Vegas fashion, Caesars Entertainment officials have provided an abundance of the requisite bullshittery surrounding the company’s decision to implement paid parking.

“Blah blah spaces have become increasingly scarce blah blah improved parking experience blah blah,” one official pretty much said.

Translation: “MGM Resorts broke the seal, so we’re not going to leave tens of millions of dollars on the table! We could really, really use the cash.”

self parking valet sign

Choose your poison.

You know what would improve our parking experience? Pressure washing the crud off the self-parking garages at Linq and Flamingo that haven’t been cleaned since the Truman administration.

While the news about paid parking at Caesars Entertainment resorts doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s disappointing nonetheless. Las Vegas casinos have a long history of providing free parking, although even freebies at casinos have never really been “free,” per se. Free perks, or “comps,” were always provided with the understanding gambling would pay for them indirectly, but that paradigm has shifted in recent years. That’s why more Las Vegas shows are closing and casinos are implementing automated monitoring systems for comped drinks.

As mentioned, MGM Resorts has already taken the brunt of the backlash related to paid parking, so Caesars Entertainment is unlikely to get much resistance from visitors who have resigned themselves to parking fees much as they have hotel resort fees.

Las Vegas Monopoly

The Las Vegas version of Monopoly will never be the same. Read more.

There are still a number of Las Vegas resorts on The Strip where parking is free, including Cosmopolitan, Venetian and Palazzo, Tropicana, Treasure Island, Circus Circus (despite it being in the MGM Resorts family) SLS and Stratosphere. Oh, and Casino Royale, the little casino we’re betting will be the last to cave to the paid parking tsunami.

It’s worth noting Wynn and Encore were previously on our list of Vegas resorts with free parking, but no more. Valet parking will no longer be free.

Ultimately, paying for parking is the norm in every other city in America, and so it shall be in Las Vegas. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.

For details about the new parking fees, visit the official Caesars Entertainment Web site.

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