Commissary Restaurant at Downtown Grand Closes, Converts to eSports Lounge

The long-struggling Commissary After Dark restaurant at the Downtown Grand resort has closed.

The space is still being used, however. The restaurant’s tables and chairs have been removed, and now the space has been reconfigured as the Downtown Underground eSports Lounge.

Commissary

Out with the underperforming restaurant, in with the millennials playing first person shooters.

The eSports lounge could once be found in the former high limit slot room in the casino at Downtown Grand.

Moving the eSports lounge across the street makes some sense given the fact eSports tends to draw a younger crowd, but only those 21 and older can be in a casino. The move to the former Commissary space means another, even younger, crop of video game competitors and enthusiasts can join in the fun.

The Downtown Underground eSports Lounge hosts events and tournaments Fridays and Saturdays, 4:00 p.m. to midnight.

Downtown Underground eSports

For better or worse, everybody in Vegas is jumping on the eSports bandwagon, but Downtown Grand was way ahead of the pack.

You can stay abreast of all things eSports at Downtown Grand on the official Facebook page of the Downtown Underground eSports Lounge.

Downtown Grand had big plans for Commissary After Dark when it opened, including using the space as a nightlife venue. In recent months, the restaurant had been reduced to serving coffee and snacks for a few hours each morning.

There are tons of great dining options in the immediate vicinity of the closed Commissary, including Freedom Beat inside Downtown Grand, the reliably excellent Triple George Grill and the incomparable, must-try Pizza Rock.

Who knows if eSports is going to be a thing for Las Vegas casinos. If it is, though, now it has a new place to be it. A thing, that is. Please try and keep up.

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Circus Circus Expands Pool Complex, Including 50-Foot Waterslide

Circus Circus has begun an expansion of its pool complex, including the addition of what professionals in the waterpark industry call a “big-ass waterslide.”

Circus Circus pool expansion

Do not let your kids see this or they will badger you about it for the rest of your life.

The towering, 50-foot waterslide will give guests three distinct experiences. There’s a “speed slide,” an “aqua tube” and a four-lane “mat racer.”

Here’s a closer look at the slide and its various parts.

Circus Circus waterslide

1. Aqua tube. 2. Mat racer. 3. Speed slide. Take care to not hit your head on the numbers on the way down.

The slide is just the beginning of the Circus Circus pool expansion, however.

There will also be a “Splash Pad” area, including water features like water cannons, “splash falls” and “tilting buckets,” whatever those might actually be.

The expansion will also have shade structures, lounge chairs, cabanas and personalized lockers.

The pool will also have its own food truck. With food. Please try and keep up.

Circus Circus waterslide

The pool expansion abuts the current pool area at Circus Circus. Again, don’t let your child learn the word “abuts” or expect to hear it approximately 47 million times.

The pool’s existing snack bar will be refurbished, and new showers and restrooms will be added to the pool complex.

Circus Circus pool expansion

Restrooms, lockers, showers. Who knows? We are a blog, not a building psychic.

A highlight of the Circus Circus pool expansion will be an area reserved for guests 18 and older. Because hallelujah.

A news release about the pool expansion said the project will be completed in the second quarter of 2017. In terms human beings use, that’s June 2017.

Circus Circus pools

Despite the lack of diving boards, the pool complex at Circus Circus is surprisingly well-maintained and welcoming. Thanks a lot, lawyers.

There’s one caveat about the expanded pool at Circus Circus. It will be available only to hotel guests.

We’ve enjoyed our stays at this underrated Las Vegas resort, and there’s a lot to love about Circus Circus, including the fact parking remains free.

Here are a photo gallery of the new waterslide at Circus Circus, mainly because it’s much too late in the game for us to get a life at this point.

Circus Circus Pool Expansion

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World’s Largest Hooters to Close at Palms Resort

Rumors we’d heard back in January 2017 appear to be true. The world’s largest Hooters restaurant is set to close at Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas.

Hooters restaurant opened at Palms Las Vegas in June 2015, and is expected to close May 11, 2017.

At 15,200-square-feet, the Palms location was touted as the world’s largest.

Hooters at Palms

Don’t freak out. Las Vegas still has a good number of Hooters.

Hooters management and employees were given a 30-day notification of the restaurant’s closure around April 11, 2017.

Following this story, representatives of Palms confirmed the restaurant will close, stating “Hooters will be closing in the coming weeks to make way for exciting new enhancements we are planning for The Palms.”

The closure of Hooters doesn’t come as a huge surprise, and not just because of rumors it was struggling.

Hooters at Palms Vegas

Any excuse to share a photo of Hooters girls works for us.

In May 2016, Palms was purchased by Station Casinos (Red Rock Resorts, Inc.) for $312.5 million, and a number of restaurant and venue rebrands are in the works at the resort.

There’s no word on what will replace the world’s biggest Hooters, possibly the best sentence we’ve ever written, to be honest.

Thanks to Jeff G. for the tip on this scoop.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Episode 48: Circus Circus Makes a Splash, Dean Martin Croons

Are you ready for some Vegas? Oh, you will be.

In this week’s dog and pony show, we share what gets us in the mood for Sin City, including one of the most Vegas songs, ever. Thanks, Dean Martin.

We also share an update from the Circus Circus pool expansion site, including details about a five-story-tall water slide that almost makes us want to step outside. Almost.

Circus Circus pool expansion

The 50-foot tall water slide being built at Circus Circus is three slides in one. They’re going to have to pay gravity some serious O.T.

This week’s news includes stories about the Las Rageous “music” festival, All Net Resort, cornhole and darts tournaments at major Las Vegas casinos, “Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Straight Man” coming to Paris Las Vegas and rumblings Amazon might pull the plug on Zappos.

Zappos headquarters

Not going to lie, downtown’s Zappos headquarters is a little on edge right now.

This week’s history segment covers Elvis Presley’s first stint in Las Vegas, in 1956, considered by many to be an unmitigated flop.

We’ve also got a listicle, “10 Things Infinitely More Entertaining and Profitable Than eSports.”

Help your earbuds fulfill their destiny and take a listen to the Las Vegas podcast your mother would’ve warned you about were it not for the fact she has a life and doesn’t have time to listen to podcasts.

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All Net Resort and Arena is Doing Its Best to Impress

Like many Las Vegas observers, we’d pretty much written off All Net Resort and Arena as yet another whimsical project with no actual financing behind it.

In March 2017, All Net Arena generated some buzz with news it would begin work installing utilities and building underground parking on the site situated between SLS Las Vegas and the abandoned Fontainebleau.

All Net Arena

Yes, there’s a lot of nothing. We’re interested in the not nothing.

We figured a few trucks would show up, push some dirt around, and the project would again fade away.

But that didn’t stop us from taking another look, and what we saw was a genuine surprise.

It seems not only have the trucks not gone away, they’ve multiplied, dramatically.

A veritable fleet of dirt-hauling trucks (23 rigs, to be exact) are now on display on the 27-acre site, along with other earth-moving equipment.

What does it all mean? Who knows? But it certainly is impressive.

All Net Arena

It looks like a North Korean military parade, but without all the goose-stepping.

Ultimately, we suspect there’s a bit of resort development theater going on at the All Net Resort and Arena site.

It’s likely All Net Arena’s developers are putting on a show to impress upon potential investors how viable the “full steam ahead” project is.

Here’s a closer look at all the hardware currently adorning the the All Net Arena site.

The All Net Resort and Arena is supposed to cost $1.4 billion, and the project has pushed back its opening date numerous times. Most recently, project officials stated construction will be completed by 2019.

If, by some miracle, the project gets financing, it will have a 44-floor hotel, 20,000-seat arena and a shopping and dining district.

While skepticism is warranted with All Net Resort and Arena, it’s important to remember longshots hit in Las Vegas all the time, and we absolutely love shiny new things.

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Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse to Close on Las Vegas Strip

A fixture on the Las Vegas Strip, Smith & Wollensky restaurant, is set to close on May 26, 2017.

The three-floor steakhouse, with its distinctive facade, is located across from Monte Carlo resort.

Smith & Wollensky

Thanks a lot, Smith & Wollensky, for photobombing our picture of these palms trees.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there are plans in the works for Smith & Wollensky to open in another location, but no specifics been provided by the restaurant.

The Smith & Wollensky steakhouse on the Las Vegas Strip is one of nine locations throughout the U.S. and U.K. The chain was founded in 1977 by partners Alan Stillman and Ben Benson. Stillman is best known for creating T.G.I. Friday’s.

Surprisingly, Smith & Wollensky isn’t named after people. Those names were chosen randomly from a Manhattan phone book. (Note to millennials: Yes, people used to look up phone numbers in books.)

The announcement of the very first Smith & Wollensky restaurant used the names Charlie Smith and Ralph Wollensky, but founder Alan Stillman later confided Charlie and Ralph were the names of his dogs.

Dog

This is neither Charlie nor Ralph. We just like dogs.

Smith & Wollensky opened on the Las Vegas Strip in December 1998. The restaurant chain changed hands in March 2016.

A rep for Smith & Wollensky said it’s anticipated the company will share information about their new location closer to the restaurant’s closing date, but that remains to be seen. Smith & Wollensky is a rare free-standing steakhouse on The Strip (we can’t think of another one that’s not inside a hotel-casino), and we’ve never heard much about it, good or bad.

The reason for the restaurant’s closure is unknown, but a good rule of thumb is financially successful restaurants don’t tend to close in Las Vegas.

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