Monthly Archives: July 2014

“Vegas Nocturne” Closes at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Inside The Cosmopolitan

The popular “Vegas Nocturne” has closed at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

As we first reported July 6, 2014, cast members were told the show was closing ahead of time, but even as late as the day of the show’s final performance at Cosmo (July 12), the show’s box office and online ticket site Ticketmaster were stating tickets were available for purchase.

The cast of “Vegas Nocturne” performed 100 shows, or 300 “cantos” (self-contained segments that made up an evening’s entertainment at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.), during the show’s short run.

Vegas Nocturne

“Vegas Nocturne” was a irreverent collection of top-notch variety acts.

Despite “Vegas Nocturne” being an integral part of the Rose. Rabbit. Lie. experience, the hotel says the venue will remain open, including an entertainment component, although no specifics have been given.

A statement from The Cosmo says, “The Cosmopolitan is excited about the next chapter in the venue’s evolution. Rose. Rabbit. Lie. will remain open and continue to create extraordinary experiences for guests blurring the lines between restaurant, bar, club and live entertainment.”

Those who purchased advance tickets for “Vegas Nocturne” can get a refund by contacting the box office at 877-667-0585. Use the refund to see “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace. We’re just saying.

Hope remains for “Vegas Nocturne,” as the show’s producers, Spiegelworld, are shopping it around in an attempt to find a new venue.

Vegas Nocturne

Sad news. We were a fan.

No official reason has been given for the closing of “Vegas Nocturne,” but high production costs are a likely culprit (especially relevant given the recent sale of The Cosmopolitan to Blackstone Group, a private equity investment firm), as well as rumors of flagging ticket sales in recent months, possibly caused by confusion about what the show actually entailed. (The “cantos” thing didn’t help.)

Benny’s Bullpen at Binion’s Gets a Rebrand as Benny’s Smokin’ BBQ & Brews

Benny’s Bullpen, the inviting bar and restaurant at Binion’s Las Vegas, is going away. A rebrand of the space will turn it into Benny’s Smokin’ BBQ & Brews.

Signs for the new restaurant are already up, and the establishment officially opens July 16, 2014.

Benny's Smokin' BBQ & Brews

Good BBQ is surprisingly hard to come by in downtown Las Vegas. That dilemma may soon come to an end.

A new menu and food photos have already been shared on the Binion’s Facebook page. Take a look.

We hear there will be some minor changes to the interior of the space, including the removal of couches to be replaced with more traditional restaurant seating.

Benny's Bullpen

It’s a little tucked away, but worth finding.

Benny’s Smokin’ BBQ & Brews will feature a streamlined menu with four BBQ options: a full rack of baby back ribs ($13.99), half rack of baby back ribs ($9.99), half chicken ($8.99) and a half rack, half chicken combo ($11.99). Each entree includes BBQ baked beans, corn on the cob, coleslaw and corn bread.

The menu and price points are reminiscent of our favorite BBQ spot near The Strip, Ellis Island Casino.

It should be noted those prices are discounted prices for Binion’s loyalty club members. Without a club card, prices are $2 higher for each item.


Out with the Bullpen, in with the Brews. Both Benny names refer the Benny Binion, the colorful, controversial former owner of Binion’s.

While we’ve yet to try the BBQ at Binion’s, we’re thinking the restaurant already has an edge given the venue’s impressive smoker.


This is serious BBQ. Which, we should add, would make a great band name.

The high-capacity smoker cost about $30,000 a decade ago, around the time Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) purchased Binion’s to acquire its iconic Horseshoe and World Series of Poker brands. The World Series of Poker now takes place at Rio Las Vegas, but if you want to play where the tournament was born, head downtown to Binion’s.

The industrial smoker sits in a secluded spot outside Binion’s and was recently re-certified and is back in action.

Benny's BBQ

The smoker is approximately the size of the Binion’s parking garage.

Having an outdoor smoker is a great marketing tool, it turns out. The smoker puts out a mouth-watering aroma that wafts its way onto Fremont Street Experience.

Along with the new BBQ menu, the restaurant will also serve micro brews from Chicago Brewing Company, a Las Vegas microbrewery owned by the same folks as Binion’s (and the nearby Four Queens, wherein there is an actual Chicago Brewing Company location).

Benny’s Smokin’ BBQ & Brews will be open 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day.

Modest, Thoughtful Exhibit at Downtown’s El Cortez Honors Casino Legend Jackie Gaughan

When casino executive Jackie Gaughan (pronounced “gawn”) passed away on March 12, 2014, at 93, he left behind a unique legacy.

Gaughan was a major influence on Las Vegas casinos as we know them today, and was revered not only for his casino operations prowess, but also for the way he treated his customers and employees.

Jackie Gaughan

Although he sold his interest in downtown’s El Cortez in 2008, Jackie Gaughan lived there through the end of his life.

As a humble way of honoring Jackie Gaughan, the El Cortez is currently hosting an exhibit of memorabilia from several of his casinos.

The exhibit, entitled “Jackie Gaughan’s Downtown Las Vegas,” is free and can be viewed near the casino’s players’ club desk.

Jackie Gaughan exhibit

The exhibit is a treasure trove of Las Vegas history, especially for those who love downtown.

The exhibit is being presented in conjunction with the Museum of Gaming History, something this blog didn’t exactly know existed. Here’s more.

The exhibit is a graphic reminder of just how many Las Vegas casinos Jackie Gaughan owned or operated, several of which are now part of Vegas lore.

At various times, he was involved with the Boulder Club (1946), Las Vegas Club (1961), Club Bingo (1962), El Cortez (1963), The Western (1970), Union Plaza (1971), Golden Nugget (1973), Nevada Hotel (1974) and Gold Spike (1993).

Jackie Gaughan

Chip collectors like this blog are currently several shades of green with envy.

A handy brochure tells more about Jackie Gaughan’s impact upon Las Vegas and the exhibit at El Cortez. What, you thought we knew all those casinos and years off the top of our head? We are a Las Vegas blog, not a historian.

Jackie Gaughan exhibit

The exhibit has chips and memorabilia from nine different casinos.

The exhibit brochure says none other than Steve Wynn said of Jackie Gaughan, “I am one of those people whose life was brightened by a friendship and association with that delightful man.”

Jackie Gaughan

While it’s unlikely Jackie Gaughan invented casino fun books, he certainly perfected them. He was big on personally giving fun books to his customers. This hands-on approach to customer service made him a rarity.

The Jackie Gaughan exhibit at El Cortez is an elegant reminder of the indelible impression this man made on the town we love so much.

Oh, after your visit to the exhibit, make sure to take the El Cortez up on its $5 burger and beer (or soda) deal. It’s our new favorite burger in Las Vegas. Given the exceptional value, we’re thinking Jackie Gaughan would’ve approved.

El Cortez

One can work up quite an appetite taking a stroll through Las Vegas history.

Take a gander at more photos from the Jackie Gaughan exhibit at downtown’s El Cortez Las Vegas.

Jackie Gaughan's Downtown Las Vegas Exhibit

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We’ve All Been There

Haven’t we?

Olivia Newton John

An all-too-familiar feeling. And facial expression.

“Vegas Nocturne” Set to Close at The Cosmo, May Move to SLS Las Vegas

The cast of “Vegas Nocturne” has been informed the show will close soon at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. inside The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

The well-reviewed show, from Spiegelworld, the folks behind one of the best shows in Las Vegas, “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, has been an integral part of the Rose. Rabbit. Lie. experience that includes dining, bars and a nightclub.

Rose. Rabbit. Lie. opened January 18, 2014.

Vegas Nocturne

Here’s hoping the bendy girl in “Vegas Nocturne” finds a new home soon.

Here’s our look at one of the more extraordinary nights out in Las Vegas, or any other city for that matter, at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Details are hard to come by at this point, but there’s a good chance “Vegas Nocturne” will close after its 300th performance at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Producers of the show are apparently looking for a new home for the irreverent variety show, and the hotel that appears to be a frontrunner is SLS Las Vegas. Our contacts at SLS haven’t heard anything about a potential deal, however.

Vegas Nocturne

The bendy guy needs a new home, too, by the way.

The closure of “Vegas Nocturne” comes as a shock to many fans of the quirky show, despite faltering ticket sales in recent months.

Should the show move to SLS Las Vegas, it will add a compelling new element to what’s already expected to be the hotel’s focus on idiosyncratic nightlife.

More news sure to come!


Official at Last: The Quad Las Vegas Will Become The Linq Hotel & Casino

Hey, we aren’t always right about everything, but when we are right about something, you can bet your ass we’re going to brag about it.

Back in October of 2013, we reported hearing from extremely inside sources that The Quad, formerly the Imperial Palace, would be renamed. Again. (The Imperial Palace became The Quad on December 21, 2012, at a cost for the rebranding of about $2.3 million.)

Caesars Entertainment has now, finally, confirmed The Quad will be renamed the Linq Hotel & Casino.

Linq Hotel & Casino

It appears the new Linq Hotel & Casino will cater almost exclusively to translucent travelers.

Casinos don’t get new names, of course, if the current name is working. The Quad was a misfire from the start, on any number of levels. First, one meaning of “Quad” is “four.” Four is bad luck to Asian gamblers. Asian gamblers are sort of important to casinos in Las Vegas.

Also, The Quad brings to mind college life, but because of responsible gaming policies, Caesars Entertainment was never able to market to college-age customers. Oops.

The Linq Hotel name made the most sense from the beginning, but internally it was thought the name would cause confusion given the proximity to The Linq shopping district. Apparently, those concerns have now been set aside. (The runners up in the name game, by the way, were H.Q. and Rendezvous, but The Quad prevailed.)

Imperial Palace

The name before the one that’s now going to be something else. Before that, from 1959 to 1979, it was the Flamingo Capri.

It will cost $223 million to “reimagine” the Quad into the Linq Hotel & Casino, which includes long-awaited room renovations (see below).

We’d expect the renovations will dramatically increase the price of rooms at what has, for some time, been the go-to mid-Strip hotel for value-seekers. Introductory rates at the Linq Hotel have been advertised “from $89 a night.” (Just try and find that rate. We double dare you.)

Linq Hotel & Casino

Is there any chance those letters on the wall spell out “Jackass”? Please, oh, please.

The Quad will change over to the Linq Hotel & Casino on October 30, 2014. The hotel will have 2,256 rooms, including 204 suites.

The fate of the hotel’s beloved, and Petri dish-like, Luv Tubs is, alas, unknown.

The Quad

The Quad can fairly easily be “reskinned,” as large portions of the building are wrapped in vinyl. The vinyl can just be swapped out to match the new look.

Despite the misstep in the naming of The Quad, the hotel itself has made some huge positive improvements in recent months, most notably the return of O’Sheas (a smashing success from day one), and two inviting bars, Catalyst Bar and Tag Lounge and Bar.

Tag Bar

Tag Bar. This ain’t your racist grandpa’s Imperial Palace.

We won’t step foot into the hotel’s Chayo Mexican Kitchen due to some world-class dipshittery, but loved our visit to the new Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar and Squeeze, the hotel’s juice bar. The hotel also has a Hash House A Go Go restaurant.

The diverse, but consistently entertaining, shows at The Quad should get a nice boost from a rebranded (and finally completed) hotel, including “Divas Las Vegas,” Jeff Civillico’s Comedy in Action and “Recycled Percussion.”

Jeff Civillico

We’re only including our buddy Jeff Civillico in this blog post because he gets so excited when we talk about him.

The casino’s sports book has been relocated, and is now more accessible and comfy, and the Quad’s (it’s not the Linq Hotel quite yet) “dealertainers” are still crowd-pleasers.

There are more changes to the casino planned, including another bar, described as a “casino lobby bar.” We’re thinking that’s going to be the 3535 Bar (Caesars trademarked the name some time ago), but if we’re wrong, this is a blog, so we’ll just change that prediction later and nobody will know the difference. There’s a big space in the middle of the casino, enclosed by a construction wall (see below). We keep poking our head in, but have never seen an progress on this new lobby bar, even as other offerings have sprung up around it.

The Quad

Let’s get moving, dudes in hard hats! We need more Las Vegas newness.

The Quad’s shopping promenade has closed and appears to be getting a significant revamp.

Overall, we’re pleased to see this hotel getting a much, much better name. Or at least one that makes more sense.

The $223 million isn’t new debt for Caesars Entertainment as far as we know, so it won’t add to the company’s $23 billion debt load. Hopefully, the renovations of The Quad will be completed before the company’s upcoming bankruptcy reorganization. (Again, it’s the Internet. If we’re wrong, we’re wrong, but if we’re right, we’re awesome.)

There’s no denying The Linq shopping district, with its High Roller Ferris wheel, has created a new reason to visit The Strip and Las Vegas. We look forward to seeing what’s in store at the Linq Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.