Wow. What a difference a few weeks makes in Las Vegas.
During a recent visit to Caesars Palace, we were so overwhelmed with all the Vegas newness, we nearly swooned. And we’re not typically a swooner, except in the presence of Kim Kardashian magazine covers.
First, the hotel’s Race & Sports Book has sprouted a serpentining $1.6 million bar. It’s impressive, and has completely transformed this beloved sports book. Unfortunately, photos aren’t allowed in the casino, so we won’t be able to share the photo below. Or it would be considered a security breach.
TV screens for the thrill of victory. Video poker screens for the agony of defeat.
Behind the new bar is a two-level seating area. The sports book butts up against the casino’s poker room. Note: Typically, in Las Vegas, butting up against things costs extra.
Caesars Palace has always been a popular spot for sports bettors, many of whom like to be called “bettors” because it sounds fancy.
Next to the Caesars Palace sports book is a gigantic construction wall. This is either the space where Pure nightclub will transform into Omnia, or an open invitation to Banksy.
Technically, if enough people buy hot dogs at that stand, Omnia nightclub will never need to open. Hey, we can dream.
A few feet farther is the space formerly occupied by Munchbar, which we always thought sounded a little dirty, but we didn’t want to say anything.
Munchbar will be replaced by Searsucker restaurant. The restaurant is being brought to Caesars Palace by Hakkasan Group, the nightclub company that’s also shape-shifting Pure into Omnia (for nearly $40 million). Unless everybody in Las Vegas buys, like, a thousand hot dogs each.
Munchbar, ashamed by its failure, tries to hide behind a pillar.
Searsucker, in the running for “Worst Restaurant Name, Ever,” will be 7,500-square-feet and have “design highlights that include coarse rope chandeliers that look like lassos, neon ‘Eat’ signs, tumbleweed-shaped light fixtures and rustic wood and marble tables, as well as several large whimsical paintings on the subject of food.” A cowboy culture theme in the middle of a Roman-themed hotel sounds like a match made in heaven, because we all know how well things went in “West World.”
Read more Searsucker. Moving on.
Elsewhere in the casino, there’s a new Starbucks where Java Coast used to be, near the former Cypress Street Marketplace food court. Don’t jump ahead.
Given the proximity of this Starbucks to the casino (four feet away) we predict a fistfight between coffee and cigarettes for fragrance domination.
And, yes, the Cypress Street Marketplace has been walled and curtained off. A $2.9 million retooling of the space is in the works.
Say “Ciao!” to Cypress Street Marketplace. Unless “ciao” means “hello.” Or maybe “ciao” is the Italian “aloha.” We are a blog, not a linguist.
How far along is the renovation? How would we know? Did you skip the part about there being walls around the construction area? What are we, serial security breachors? (Don’t answer that.)
First, blank slate, then more Vegas newness.
Why we’re fascinated by behind-the-scenes construction photos, we may never know. Stop with the psychoanalysis and just enjoy.
We have learned exactly nothing from this security breach.
Time to head into the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
You know the Forum Shops. It’s that shopping complex we tend to only mention when we have a photo we want to show off. Yeah, that Forum Shops.
We could look at this all day. Just like your mom. Meaning, your mom could also look at it all day. Why, what were you thinking?
First, there’s some newness in the form of what’s not there anymore.
The Gods of the Festival fountain has vanished. (Thanks to our friends at Vegas Chatter for the heads up.) This was the mall’s other lame talking statue attraction. The main lame talking statue attraction is the Fall of Atlantis, renovated in 2013, but no less lame for having been renovated.
Here’s the Festival Fountain before it was removed. Yes, we have a time machine. That explains why this blog looks perpetually young.
Now, there’s whole lot of nothing. Unless you consider a void something. Then, you’re just being impudent. The void is pictured below.
Ah, the memories. Which we didn’t exactly ever have, but just play along.
There’s some new construction in the area near Casa Fuente, a cigar lounge and nausea emporium. Sorry, not a fan of foul-smelling, oral cavity cancer-causing penis substitutes. All due respect.
Anyway, the Forum Shops escalators are being improved and a water feature is being installed.
Let’s just say this fountain won’t give the fountains at Bellagio any sleepless nights.
Learn more from our friends at Eater Vegas.
Here’s a preview of what this area will look like soon.
This rendering, in another part of the Forum Shops, shows the finished product of the construction above. We should get a P.I. license.
Our last bit of newness is the recently-opened Border Grill, at the base of the Forum Shops’ spiral escalators. Border Grill replaces the struggling P.J. Clarke’s.
This Border Grill is the sister restaurant of the one at Mandalay Bay. And, since they’re sisters, we trust they’ll be wearing each other’s sweaters.
What have we learned from the ever-evolving Caesars Palace? That Las Vegas is like a shark. Specifically, it has a covering of dermal denticles that protects its skin from parasites.
Or perhaps we’ve learned Las Vegas is like a shark in that it must keep moving to survive.
We may also have learned “posting lots of photos in a Las Vegas blog” is almost like “having a life.”
Why do we always have to learn things, anyway?
Can’t we just enjoy this time together. You in your cubicle, us in our underwear. Unless that’s awkward. The cubicle part, that is.
If you stumble across new or interesting things during your Las Vegas adventures, we’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment. Drop us a line. Or just tell our sister. She’s a world-class gossipor.