“Mystery Pillar” at The California Casino Turns Out to Be a Time Machine

Rumblings about a “mystery pillar” at The Cal started on a Las Vegas message board. We tend to love a challenge, so we had to seek out the pillar in question at this downtown casino.

The rumors, it turns out, were true. There was, in fact, a pillar in the casino hidden from view, floor to ceiling, by construction wall material. Just the one. Right in the middle of the casino.

California mystery pillar

This Las Vegas blog is drawn to construction walls like gold diggers are drawn to whales.

Come to find out, the mystery pillar was, in fact, a time machine. Why? Because inside the construction walls was a glimpse at things to come at the California. The casino is slated for a major overhaul, including a new decor, new carpeting and a massive new bar.

Rather than just creating a mock-up of the new decor somewhere off the casino floor, it appears management decided to test drive four versions of the casino’s new interior design. One variation of the design was on each side of the pillar.

Recently, the construction walls came down, and it looks like two variations remain.

Cal mystery pillar

The upper panel on the left is tricked out with fabric. Oh, yes, we caressed it. So sue us.

The new design will update the look and feel of the casino that originally opened in 1975. One variation, pictured above, integrates fabric as part of the scheme. It looks like the ceiling tiles will also be updated to the new, cleaner look.

California mystery pillar

The reverse view, sans fabric. Which also happens to be how we prefer our exotic dancers. Hypothetically.

Another Las Vegas mystery solved.

The Cal is being pretty tight-lipped about all the changes in store, but we promise to keep digging up details about the downtown Vegas newness. (You’d think we’d be able to get some inside skinny given our day job is at Fremont Street Experience, and The Cal is in the Fremont Street Experience family, but not so much.)

We do know the casino’s San Francisco Pub is going away. We hear employees are taking part in a contest to re-name the casino bar.

California San Francisco Pub

A remnant of a time when the California was more about California than “80% of our customers are from Hawaii.” No, really.

We did note another change at The Cal worth mentioning.

For many years, the hotel’s Pasta Pirate restaurant had a neon sign outside.

Pasta Pirate neon sign

We called dibs on the Pasta Pirate neon sign before it went to Davey Jones’ locker. Apparently, dibs aren’t as binding as they used to be.

The restaurant closed weeks ago, replaced by the quite good California Noodle House, and the last remaining vestige of the Pasta Pirate has now been retired and replaced by some new neon.

California Noodle House

Neon lights are made by shooting electricity through neon or argon in sealed glass tubes. Well-made neon signs can last 20 years or more. LEDs and bulbs can suck it.

Thanks to our friend at Royal Flusher for pointing us in the direction of the mystery pillar.

Stay tuned for more California casino news, and possibly time travel. Actual results may vary.

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  • boulder steve

    I like the California. Its downtown but not on Fremont street so you avoid the crowds and noise at the Fremont Street Experience.The paytables on video poker are

    • Yep, those changes are coming, and it sounds like all the changes will be for the better from what we’ve heard. They’re looking for a new name for the S.F. Pub, so not sure if that one’s going to close, but the others in the main casino will.

      • boulder steve

        Maybe they should rename the San Francisco pub the Honolulu Pub considering their clientele..keep up the good work Scott and I will keep reading and posting my not so accurate comments

        • Ha! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. The place is definitely straddling California and Hawaii at the moment.

      • I hope these changing will be seen soon. I am going there after my new york tours packages and I hope till then there will be a good chance and it will be nice experience for me to visit that main casino.