Monthly Archives: October 2016

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 31: News, History, Listicles and the Shocking Truth About Your Hooch

Squeeze every last drop out of your Vegas experience with the Vital Vegas Podcast.

In this episode, we speak with the owner and chef of Turmeric Flavors of India, a great new restaurant downtown. We have no idea what he’s talking about, but foodies will.

Turmeric Fremont Indian

Is it art or food? Find out at Turmeric Flavors of India.

We also dive headlong into a perfunctory round-up of Las Vegas news, including Lyft Line, sale of the Bonanza Gift Shop, the closing of Olympic Garden strip club, the demise of Cherry Boom Boom at Tropicana (after just six weeks), Masaharu Morimoto’s new restaurant at MGM Grand, the latest on Alon and Resorts World, the end of Mariah’s residency and more.

Cherry Boom Boom

“Cherry Boom Boom” undulates into the sunset at Tropicana.

You won’t want to miss our chat with Marc Meltzer of EdgeVegas.com and a waitress at Casa Del Matador, a new restaurant you’ll only visit if you venture off The Strip.

We also slap together some Las Vegas history: Treasure Island opened on Oct. 27, 1993, Nevada was admitted to the Union on Oct. 31, 1864 and the Last Frontier opened Oct. 30, 1942. The old girl was demolished on Nov. 13, 2007.

Our “Listicle of the Week” is a keeper, “20 Offbeat Las Vegas Photo Ops.” Yes, we share photo op ideas on a podcast, because we don’t live by society’s rules.

Big Jig Rig Las Vegas

You thought we were kidding when we said “offbeat”?

This podcast isn’t going to listen to itself, to push the play button or something. Like you have anything else going on in your life.

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“Cherry Boom Boom” Closes After Six Weeks at Tropicana

The “Tropicana Curse” is apparently alive and well, as the over-hyped “Cherry Boom Boom” has closed after a six week run.

The topless revue, which described itself as “awe-inspiring, immersive, engaging and interactive,” opened Sep. 12, 2016 and closed on Oct. 26, 2016.

Cherry Boom Boom

“Cherry Boom Boom” featured the classic story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl meets feathers.

“Cherry Boom Boom” suffered from an all-too-common affliction in Las Vegas entertainment, high costs and disappointing ticket sales. Read more.

The closing of “Cherry Boom Boom” brings our number of Las Vegas Shows That Have Closed in 2016 (Or Will) to a jarring 23.

Cherry Boom Boom

We would personally be willing to volunteer our time to do these exit interviews.

The official Twitter account of “Cherry Boom Boom” claims the show is “in transition, but not over.” Granted, Las Vegas was built on optimism, but you know better than to hold your breath on that one.

“Cherry Boom Boom” wasn’t a bad show. The dancers were talented, and the choreography and production values were solid. The biggest disconnect came from the fact that although it was a topless revue, the toplessness was the least appealing part of the show. That’s the last thing we ever expected us to say, trust us.

Cherry Boom Boom

Don’t get us started about the show’s pointless “comedia del arte” actors.

Similar shows like “X Burlesque” at Flamingo and “Fantasy” at Luxor have endured for years on The Strip, but the secret sauce for success is elusive, and the adage “sex sells” doesn’t always prove to be true in such a competitive market.

We trust the talented dancers in “Cherry Boom Boom” will all find new gigs, and we’ll be curious to see how Tropicana’s next effort, “Band of Magicians,” fares. By that, of course, we mean, “We know how it’s likely to fare, but we’re trying to not be a buzzkill all the time.”

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Lyft is About to Get Even Better in Las Vegas With Lyft Line

When rideshare companies Lyft and Uber came to Las Vegas, they changed the transportation landscape in a fundamental way. People were sick of taxi “longhauling,” and decided not to take it anymore.

Lyft is about to make its already great service even better with Lyft Line, giving passengers the chance to share their ride with others heading in the same direction for a discounted price. In
some cases, using Lyft Line can save passengers up to 60% on already low fares.

Lyft Line will be available in Las Vegas starting November 10, 2016.

Lyft Line Las Vegas

Trust us, taxi drivers are giving this blog the evil eye right now.

Beyond allowing passengers to split the cost of a ride, Lyft Line provides the additional benefits of taking cars off the road. Lyft estimates its Lyft Line service, in two years, has reduced traffic
by 13 million cars.

We have personally used Lyft Line, in Seattle, and can attest to the fact there’s another unintended consequence of the service: You get to meet cool new people.

In Las Vegas, that’s especially useful because if you’re headed to the same destination, say a Strip or downtown hotel, you may just end up with a new gambling or drinking buddy. And hook-ups aren’t unheard of with ridesharing, either. We’re just saying. Lyft Line is the ultimate ice-breaker.

Las Vegas threesome

Lyft Line: Giving a whole new meaning to “rideshare.”™

Lyft Line is similar to UberPool, but as far as we can tell, Uber doesn’t yet offer that service in Las Vegas. Confirming that would involve “doing research” or “lifting a finger,” so there’s no way that’s happening.

Lyft and Uber, of course, are available through their respective apps. To use Lyft Line, just choose “Line” in the Lyft app, then “Request Line.” Pick your destination and the app will work its magic.

We predict Lyft Line is going to make a killing here in Las Vegas. The ability to automatically pair passengers with overlapping routes for cheaper rides is a perfect fit for Sin City.

According to Lyft, to celebrate the launch of Lyft Line in Las Vegas, riders will get discounted Line rides for their first two weeks of using it. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

Here’s more about Lyft Line, and also check out what Lyft and Uber drivers would prefer we stop doing.

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A Quick Peek Inside Evel Pie Coming to Fremont East

We admit it. We suffer from impulse control. We see an opportunity, we security breach.

Here’s a peek inside the new Evel Pie, an Evel Knievel-inspired pizza restaurant coming soon to the Fremont East District of downtown Las Vegas.

Evel Pie pizza Las Vegas

We love us some bulbs. The sign says, “Live hard, ride fast, eat pizza.”

Aside from the awesome sign, other new additions to the under-construction restaurant are an Evel Knievel pinball machine and a vintage Stunt Cycle videogame.

It appears Evel Pie will have counter seating, perfect for solo dining, and booths with some sweet, old-school lamps.

The kitchen equipment is already largely in place, and the kitchen is adorned with a portrait of none other than Evel himself.

Evel Pizza Las Vegas

Evel Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. Related: There is a Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Evel Pie comes from the folks behind a popular Las Vegas dive bar, Golden Tiki. Evel Knievel’s son, Kelly Knievel, is also involved with the restaurant’s concept.

Evel Pie sits on the site of the former fondue restaurant, F. Pigalle, and before that, another pizza place, Radio City Pizzeria.

If the whole “What’s Fremont East?” thing is a tad confusing, we did a walk-through to to both clarify and help you avoid doing whatever your boss just told you to do.

The business plan for Evel Pie sounds simple: Cheap pizza and beer.

It doesn’t take a Snake River rocket scientist to see that’s a concept that just might fly on Fremont Street.

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Olympic Garden Strip Club Abruptly Closes Downtown

There are few things sadder than when a strip club closes in Las Vegas, especially one that’s
been around forever. One of the most-recognized strip clubs in Las Vegas, OG’s Gentlemen’s Club & Male Revue, also known as Olympic Garden, has closed.

Olympic Garden closes

It was an original, all right.

Olympic Garden ceased operations on Oct. 23, 2016. No reason for the sudden closure was given. (Hint: Things don’t close in Las Vegas if they’re doing well.)

OG’s claim it was the “only strip club on the Vegas Strip” seems like a bit of a stretch, depending upon where you consider the north end of The Strip to end. OG’s sat on Las Vegas Blvd. at Wyoming Blvd., not far from the Stratosphere, Dino’s Lounge and Viva Las Arepas.

Las Vegas stripper

According to one Las Vegas sex survey, 52% of men say they’ve visited a Las Vegas Strip club.

Enjoy fun facts about strip clubs and strippers? We’ve got you covered.

The two-level Olympic Garden was distinctive because it catered to both men and women, with
OG’s Gentlemen’s Club downstairs and the Men of OG’s male revue upstairs.

OG Topless Cabaret Olympic Garden

“Cabaret” makes it sound fancy, doesn’t it?

There is a bright spot, however. The club has announced its talent will be relocated to another
location.

The club shared, “Please join us at our new location, Sophia’s Gentlemen’s Club located at 3500 W. Naples Dr., Las Vegas NV 89103.”

Olympic Garden has a long and drama-filled history in downtown Las Vegas, including colorful
characters, sibling rivalry, tax problems and numerous legal battles.

It’s likely we’ll be hearing more about this story, and we look forward to interviewing many, many dancers to hear their thoughts on the closing of OG’s Gentlemen’s Club.

The sacrifices we make for you.

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Bonanza Gift Shop Sold for Whopping $50 Million

The long, winding, sometimes WTF saga of the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Gift Shop” continues with news the Bonanza Gift Shop has been sold for $50 million.

The massive gift shop sits at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Ave.

Bonanza Gift Shop

It’s on a sign, so it must be true.

A couple of years ago, there were rumors the Bonanza Gift Shop would be sold and closed. We should know because we started them.

In 2015, records showed the property actually was sold, but it’s a little unclear who bought what. The building? The land it sits on? Welcome to the sometimes murky world of Las Vegas real estate.

Now, though, records show the Bonanza Gift Shop was definitely sold to Haim Gabay, a Las Vegas businessman.

Bonanza Gift Shop

That’s a lot of gift shop.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gabay purchased the gift shop, in part, with proceeds from a sale of two retail shops on Fremont Street. The shops were acquired by Derek Stevens for $13.5 million, and will become part of a new resort currently called 18 Fremont. Read more.

The balance of Gabay’s purchase was in the form of a $25 million bank loan and a $10 million loan floated by the sellers.

Bonanza Gift Shop

Ah, the memories. Sadly, this clever sign was changed the last time the gift shop changed hands.

For the time being, it appears the Bonanza Gift Shop will stay open, so Las Vegas visitors will continue to have a source for their dice clocks, shot glasses and tchotchkes, a word we have to look up every time we write a story about the Bonanza Gift Shop.

Which is pretty farkakte. A word, we should mention, we’ve never seen written out until right this second.

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