Monthly Archives: August 2016

Vegas Fixture Tony Sacca to Open “Vegas, The Story” at Bally’s

Crooner and schmoozer Tony Sacca’s Web site says that over the last 30 years he’s “established himself as one of the city’s most successful entertainers and businessmen.”

That’s a lofty statement in the Entertainment Capital of the World, but soon Sacca will be able to add “Las Vegas headliner” to his resume.

He’s announced he’ll open a new show in the Windows showroom at Bally’s, “Vegas, The Story.”

Tony Sacca

Sacca has been doing local TV shows and hosting variety shows in Las Vegas since 1986. Don’t feel badly. We haven’t seen them, either.

Few details are known about the show, but it’s likely he’ll regale audiences with stories about Las Vegas. He says the content will cover the 1930s to today. Sacca also sings.

Sacca announced plans for his new Bally’s production at a media event for Jeff Civillico’s “The Weekend in Vegas.” See more.

Sacca’s show will be an afternoon show. Ticket prices and times aren’t yet available.

For fans of Vegas and throwback-style entertainment, Tony Sacca’s show has potential. Windows at Bally’s is also home to Wayne Newton’s latest effort, “Up Close and Personal,” featuring both singing and regaling.

Expect some similarities between the two shows, including the duration of their runs.

Riviera Casino is Finally, Sadly, Completely Gone

In the end, the Riviera hotel-casino went out with a bang and a whimper.

After months of demolition on the Riviera site, the two remaining structures of this classic Las Vegas hotel were imploded.

Riviera implosion

Unlike the implosion of the Riviera’s Monaco tower on June 14, this one eschewed fanfare. Related: Eschewed Fanfare would be a great band name.

The implosion downed both the hotel’s Monte Carlo tower and its iconic, mirrored facade. The implosion took place at 2:30 in the wee hours of August 16, 2016, and lasted for upwards of eight seconds. Or approximately three seconds longer than sex with this blog.

Rivera implosion

As if part of a Las Vegas magician’s act, the Riviera disappeared in a puff of smoke.

A day later, after the dust settled, we took what is likely to be our final pass over the Riviera site for posterity.

See more of our exhaustive, borderline obsessive, coverage of the Riviera demolition.

The Riviera closed on May 4, 2015, after a 60-year run on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Riv was purchased by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, and it’s expected the site will be used for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Before that happens, there’s quite a bit of sweeping up to do.

Riviera implosion

After months of demolition, Las Vegas a shiny new empty lot sort of thing.

The Riviera holds a special place in the hearts of Las Vegas lovers, despite the fact its popularity waned over the last few years.

Riviera implosion

The Riviera’s facade was better with neon. Then again, everything is.

For some, the end of the Riv marks the end of an era in Las Vegas. But the fact is there are no “eras” in Las Vegas. Las Vegas a continuum of building and demolishing and building again and evolving into whatever’s next and new and in demand.

Las Vegas is like a shark. Wait, no, a chameleon. Ooh, or maybe a lemur. They’re adorable.

Riviera implosion

This is all that remains of the Riviera’s Monte Carlo tower. We chose the word “remains” for a reason.

Lemurs, you see, don’t waste time pining for the past. Lemurs are all about living in the now. It’s not about the fruit and insects they had yesterday but don’t have now. It’s about the next fruit and insect. It’s about tail rings. It’s about copulatory plugs, whatever those might actually be.

Riviera implosion

Just so much nothing.

It should be noted that lemur society is distinguished by female social dominance. Which, in Las Vegas, happens to be a thing, too. Typically, for a small surcharge.

So, be a lemur. If one tree falls, find another tree. Hopefully, one with low table minimums and a topless revue.

Riviera Demolition Update: August 16, 2016

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Five Epic Rum Cocktails at Downtown Las Vegas Bars for National Rum Day

Of all the made-up holidays our nation celebrates, there’s one to rule them all. August 16 is National Rum Day!

Given this Las Vegas blog’s love of rum, we would be remiss if we didn’t provide the ultimate list of our favorite rum-based cocktails in honor of this most hallowed of days.

Here, then, are some of our favorite rum cocktails served at bars in downtown Las Vegas. Collect all five!

1. Captain and Diet at Therapy

The cocktail menu at downtown’s Therapy is replete with temptations, but we’re partial to this knock-out drink, the classic Captain Morgan spiced rum and diet. Simple, effective, perfect.

Captain and diet cocktail

Our bartender hinted a new cocktail menu will soon be unveiled at Therapy. We’d try those new cocktails, too. Probably.

2. Captain and Diet at Binion’s

With one of the most generous pours on Fremont Street, Binion’s is a classic name and one of the best places to get this classic cocktail, the Captain and diet.

Captain and diet Binion's

The standard pour at Binion’s is two shots, but even when you order one you get two. It’s the Binion’s way.

3. Captain and Diet at Pizza Rock

It’s the perfect pairing to Pizza Rock’s world-class pizza, the Captain Morgan and diet Coke. Prepared by friendly bartenders, this exceptional concoction is the perfect party fuel for a Las Vegas adventure.

National Rum Day

Pizza Rock is the Captain Morgan of restaurants.


4. Captain and Diet at The D

While we frequent a number of downtown bars, Longbar at The D is far-and-away the winner, at a 20-to-1 margin. This perfectly prepared Captain and diet has body, brightness and a spectacular finish.

Captain Morgan The D

The go-go dancers at The D are fine, but this sexy thing is the real draw.

5. Captain and Diet at Nacho Daddy

Nacho Daddy is a favorite haunt of Las Vegas visitors and locals alike, just half-a-block north of Fremont Street. While tourists opt for the establishment’s scorpion shot, we prefer the reliably delicious Captain and diet. While Nacho Daddy’s pulchritudinous bartenders are secretive about the drink’s exact recipe, we have it on good authority it contains both Captain Morgan and diet Coke. Exclusive!

National Rum Day

Shout-out to straws, the unsung heroes of many of our most beloved Captain Morgan and diets.

That’s it! Five epic rum cocktails for National Rum Day. You’re welcome.

May your National Rum Day be filled with revelry and questionable decisions!

Vital Vegas Podcast Ep. 23: New Nacho Daddy, Best and Worst Las Vegas Movies and More

It’s time to fill your ears with the self-proclaimed gloriousness that is the Vital Vegas Podcast.

In this installment, we do a walk-through of the new Nacho Daddy on the Las Vegas Strip.

Nacho Daddy scorpion shot

The new Nacho Daddy on The Strip will feature a custom terrarium with live Emperor scorpions.

We blast through a couple dozen perfunctory Las Vegas news items, too.

googie Three potential names have surfaced for the new NHL franchise in Las Vegas: Desert Hawks, Red Hawks and Nighthawks. Because, apparently, the Las Vegas Meh wasn’t available.

googie On Oct. 3, Monte Carlo will close its pool and retail outlets on its Street of Dreams, including The Pub. Andre’s restaurant is closing at Monte Carlo, too.

googie Libertine Social has Opened at Mandalay Bay, in the former Shanghai Lily space. We loved the space!

Libertine Social Mandalay Bay

This art adorns the new Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay. Shout-out to everyone who said, “The Vital Vegas podcast will get 35,000 downloads when rabbits fly!”

googie In a Las Vegas Review-Journal story, Binion’s has hinted at “an outdoor restaurant with a view of the Fremont Experience in the near future.” We’ve got more details in the podcast.

googie Mercato della Pescheria has opened at St. Mark’s Square at Venetian.

googie The plug’s been pulled on Zowie Bowie’s residency at Downtown Grand.

googie A new show, “One Epic Night,” debuts at the Plaza on Aug. 29, with finalists from talent competition shows, like “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Masters of Illusion” and “American Idol.”

googie “Showstoppers” at Wynn has been extended through the end of 2016.

googie Smashburger is open at Rio, formerly Burger King.

googie The Real Bodies attraction has opened at Bally’s, near the sportsbook. Bodies: The Exhibition is still at Luxor. Long story.

googie One of our favorite ice cream places on The Strip, Ice Pan is closing at Harrah’s on Aug. 30 according to our friends at

Ice Pan high five

We will miss your scrumptious ice cream and your high fives, Ice Pan.

googie A Chinese consortium will purchase Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s online games unit, Playtika, for $4.4 billion.

googie A new Italian restaurant, Fat Papa’s, will open at Neonopolis downtown, along with an arcade, the Fremont Arcade.

Also on this episode, we share the “10 Best and 10 Worst Las Vegas Movies.” We’d love to hear what you think, especially if you agree with us about our picks.

A First Look at the New Nacho Daddy on the Las Vegas Strip

A locals’ favorite, Nacho Daddy, opens its first location on the Las Vegas Strip on Aug. 18, 2016, and we’ve got a sneak preview of this expansive new eatery. And drinkery. Hey, we have our priorities straight.

Nacho Daddy Las Vegas Strip

Funny, but you never hear about people having “nacho issues.”

Nacho Daddy is one of our favorite haunts downtown, just off Fremont Street, and the new Nacho Daddy is more and bigger and better. Hey, it’s Las Vegas, so more and bigger and better is just part of the deal.  Like resort fees and regret.

Nacho Daddy scorpion shot

Scorpions are recognized by their pair of grasping pedipalps. And you can bet your arachnid ass if we ever have a band it will be called The Grasping Pedipalps.

The newest Nacho Daddy is located just east of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Note: You can’t actually get to Nacho Daddy from inside the Miracle Mile Shops. The main entrance is on Harmon. You’ll figure it out. It’s next to Buffalo Wild Wings.

Nacho Daddy bar

We like our drinks “tall,” so Nacho Daddy’s bar fits the bill.

The original Nacho Daddy restaurant, in Henderson (motto: “We barely know where we are, so don’t feel badly”), closed several months ago. The good news is a Chick-fil-A will open on the site. (We’re so engorged right now.)

If you frequented that Nacho Daddy location, you’re likely to see some familiar faces at the Strip location.

Why, here’s a familiar face now!

Nacho Daddy margarita

Wasting no time, we dive headlong into a strawberry margarita. One does not live by Captain Morgan alone.

This section of the Miracle Mile Shops is a hotbed of activity lately.

There’s another new restaurant on the way, right next door, Hot N Juicy Crawfish. This Cajun seafood restaurant is set to open in late 2016.

The new Nacho Daddy is about 6,100-square-feet, which are the sturdiest kinds of feet according to podiatrists.

Nacho Daddy Strip location

Nacho Daddy has ample seating. In case you’re visiting with amples.

The interior of Nacho Daddy is easily three stories tall. Which makes sense when you realize the restaurant sits in part of the space previously occupied by the defunct Krave Nightclub.

Nacho Daddy Strip location

Bonus points if you can spot our cocktail on the bar.

Nacho Daddy accommodates about 230 people and the interior is punctuated by more than 20 video screens, both large and larger.

The new restaurant features a lively bar and open kitchen whence your delicious Mexican and Mexican-inspired food comes. That’s right, “whence.” Which reminds us of a pet peeve. “Whence” means “from where.” So, if you hear someone redundantly say “from whence,” you have our permission to cuff them soundly about the ears and forehead.

Thus providing another great example of why one shouldn’t blog while intoxicated.

Moving on.

Nacho Daddy open kitchen

Hit me with your best fajita.

The newest Nacho Daddy features all the drinks and dishes guests have come to know and love, including the restaurant’s notorious scorpion shots. All the cool kids are doing it!

Scorpion shot

Note: We are neither cool nor a kid.

One feature of the new Nacho Daddy has yet to be installed, a display with live Emperor scorpions. The enclosure will greet guests just inside the main entrance and is being designed and built by the team at Animal Planet’s “Tanked.”

The process of building and installing the custom enclosure will be featured on “Tanked,” which will provide some great exposure for Nacho Daddy. The program will also raise awareness of just how utterly horrifying scorpions are, in case there were any lingering questions about that fact.

Watch for some unique elements at Nacho Daddy on the Las Vegas Strip.

For one, the restaurant’s beer cooler is front and center, so you can keep an eye on it.

Nacho Daddy beer cooler

You know where we’ll be in case of a nuclear event.

Also, check out the massive overhead fans, described by Nacho Daddy’s congenial Director of Operations Mark Evensvold as “big-ass fans.” It’s like he was reading our mind.

Update: Alert reader Jerry D. brought to our attention that’s the actual name of the fans. Who knew?

Nacho Daddy Las Vegas

Nacho Daddy? We’re a huge fan.

Oh, and don’t miss the temperature readings on the beer taps. Or the tables made of reclaimed wood. Or the exceedingly hot bartenders. But mostly the reclaimed wood thing.

Nacho Daddy beer thingys

We have never personally had a beer, but were we to have one, frostiness would be paramount.

This grand new outpost is a welcome addition to the Nacho Daddy family. It should thrive on The Strip once folks become accustomed to the somewhat tricky location.

One tip if you’re parking: Miracle Mile Shops self-parking is quite far away (possibly an actual mile), but there’s a convenient parking lot just feet away from Nacho Daddy. You’ll find the entrance between Buffalo Wild Wings and Harmon Corner. You won’t be able to enter traveling east on Harmon, so do a U-turn at the entrance to the Miracle Mile Shops and turn into the hidden lot before you reach Las Vegas Boulevard. The lot’s never full and it’s always free. Valet parking just outside Nacho Daddy will be offered soon.

Nacho Daddy

The Signature Taco-Enchilada is highly recommended, mainly because we love making the burritos jealous.

Enjoy more exclusive pics, and sorry we didn’t get more photos of the aforementioned reclaimed wood, if you get our drift.

Nacho Daddy Las Vegas Strip

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“Absinthe” Will Pull Up Stakes at Caesars Palace and Move to Cosmopolitan

One of the best shows in Las Vegas, the R-rated variety show “Absinthe,” has announced it will close at Caesars Palace on Oct. 21, 2016.

The show is wildly successful, so it’s definitely a money thing.

Absinthe Melody Sweets

We took this photo of featured “Absinthe” performer Melody Sweets for a magazine cover. What, you think we can only take photos of hotel demolitions?

Fans of the bawdy show have nothing to fear, however, as the show will be moving into Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, taking up residence in the former ballroom space of Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

Yes, Rose.Rabbit.Lie. is a thing. Don’t get us started on the random punctuation.

Rose.Rabbit.Lie. billboard

Didn’t get it then, don’t get it now.

“Absinthe,” performed in a structure resembling a tent (it used to be an actual tent, but upgrades were needed when heavy rains damaged it), opened in 2011.

The official “Absinthe” site says the show will re-open at Cosmopolitan on Nov. 1, 2016.

Absinthe balancing act

No matter which acts are featured in “Absinthe,” you’re guaranteed to see something amazing.

The producers of “Absinthe,” Spiegelworld, have a long and colorful history with the Cosmopolitan, specifically, a metric ass-ton of litigation.

An “Absinthe” knock-off, “Vegas Nocture,” previously played in Rose.Rabbit.Lie., but was an expensive disappointment. We broke the news it would close, of course, like we have anything better to do with our free time.

The financial losses of “Vegas Nocturne” led to a strained relationship between Spiegelworld and the Cosmo, but those issues have apparently been resolved. Read more.

Base Entertainment, one of the show’s equity partners, whatever that might actually mean, has said it will try to stop “Absinthe” from moving to the Cosmo, but a news release says it’s happening, so it has to be true.

Absinthe tent

If you can, see “Absinthe” in its “tent” at Caesars. The funky venue adds to the charm.

Behind-the-scenes drama aside, “Absinthe” will be around awhile. It’s an irreverent, thrilling stand-out in the world of Las Vegas shows, and deserves its stellar reputation, no matter where it pitches a tent.

Oh, like we were going to pass that one up.