Monthly Archives: October 2017

“Purple Reign” Closes at Westgate, Dirk Arthur Returns

A popular Prince tribute show, “Purple Reign,” has closed abruptly at Westgate Las Vegas.

The show, which has performed at various Las Vegas hotels for decades, stars Jason Tenner. It’s easily one of the best tribute shows in Vegas.

Purple Reign

One of the show’s claims to fame is “Purple Reign” was the first tribute act to appear as a musical guest on “Late Show With David Letterman.”

The show will open again at Tropicana on Nov. 1, 2017.

As “Purple Reign” departs Westgate, longtime Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur is making a return to the resort.

Dirk Arthur

You know, just Dirk Arthur taking a stroll with his kitty around the pool. It’s Vegas, baby.

Arthur’s show opens Nov. 15, 2017, and this time around he’ll attempt to sidestep criticism of his exotic cat show by keeping the inclusion of animals to a minimum.

Arthur’s show will still feature a bobcat, snow leopard and birds.

We know Dirk Arthur, and have found him to be compassionate when it comes to his animals, but shows with big cats are a tough sell in Vegas these days.

Details about Arthur’s new show are slim at the moment, but there’s sure to be more information soon on Westgate’s Web site.

 

MGM Resorts Could Be Buyer of WNBA’s San Antonio Stars

Talk about a mixed metaphor. This one came out of left field, but we’re hearing a rumor MGM Resorts could be the buyer of the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars.

ESPN was the first to report the San Antonio Stars have an agreement in place to relocate to Las Vegas (contingent upon NBA and WNBA approval), but the buyer has eluded the media.

Could it be MGM Resorts is the buyer? A source says “yes.” The source also says the team would play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip.

San Antonia Stars

The Stars originally played in Utah and were called the Starzz, the grammatical equivalent of jazz hands.

Granted, it would be a strange for a casino company to own a professional sports team. But here’s the thing. MGM Resorts has made a concerted effort to shift away from being a “casino company” (declining revenue gave them a nudge) and the company now markets itself as an “entertainment company.”

That’s right, some people actually find sports entertaining.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren has said he and the company were actively seeking an NBA team. They were only off by one letter. The “w.” Please try and keep up.

The San Antonio Stars had the WNBA’s worst record for the past three seasons, so a buyer could probably get them for a song.

Here’s the announcement about the San Antonio Stars relocation.

Like it or not, Las Vegas is quickly becoming a sports town, and the purchase of a WMBA team by MGM Resorts could keep the rally going.

Update (10/17/17): Our story has been officially confirmed. The move has been approved by the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors, and the team will begin playing in Las Vegas starting in May 2018.

Gold Diggers Nightclub at Golden Nugget to Close and Get Renovation, Rebrand

Gold Diggers Nightclub at Golden Nugget will soon close for a renovation. Halloween is expected to be its final night of operation before a hiatus.

Rumor has it the night spot will get an overhaul that includes a name change.

Fremont Gold Diggers

Gold Diggers, seen upper right, provides one of the best views of the circus that is Fremont Street.

The club sits on the second floor of the resort, with a balcony overlooking Fremont Street.(Golden Nugget is a member casino of Fremont Street Experience, where we work in digital marketing as our day job).

Gold Diggers is one of the few dance clubs downtown, it’s next closest competitor being Gold Spike, a former casino but now a hotspot for millennials.

Details about the nature of the Gold Diggers rebrand are being kept under wraps at the moment, but expect a “new nightclub experience.” Hey, scoop’s scoop, no matter how vague.

Vegas beer tap handle

If the Gold Diggers renovation involves swapping out these awesome beer tap handles, we call dibs.

It’s expected Gold Diggers, or whatever it’s called next (see update, below), will re-open relatively quickly, even as soon as November 2017.

If you want to know some skinny about Las Vegas nightclubs, we’ve got this.

Update (10/26/17): We’ve learned the new venue will be named Troy Liquor Bar, a brand owned by Landry’s with an existing outlet in New York City’s Meatpacking District.

Troy Liquor Bar Golden Nugget

Troy Liquor Bar will featured a large video wall and will have a new focus on the lounge’s patio overlooking Fremont.

More details to come, so check back hourly for the latest scoop.

Flippin’ Good Re-Opens on Fremont East With Waitstaff, New Look, Better Food

Flippin’ Good restaurant is back in business on Fremont East in downtown Las Vegas after a significant renovation.

With its recent overhaul, Flippin’ Good has gone from fast food to casual dining, complete with the addition of servers.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Flippin’ Good isn’t fancy, but it’s downtown fancy.

The restaurant has tweaked its full name from Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes to Flippin’ Good Chicken, Burgers, Beer.

We suspect the restaurant’s pivot had to do with not only sagging business, but also the opening of a White Castle nearby.

All the changes have resulted in vast improvements over the former concept.

Flippin' Good Fremont East

Flippin’ Good features the four food groups: Chicken, burgers, fries and beer.

The new interior is a mix of wood, steel and brick.

Booths, with padded seats, are at a premium. During a recent visit, we asked about a lone unoccupied booth and were told it wasn’t available because someone had made a reservation for it. Note to self.

The new Flippin’ Good features a slick new bar.

Flippin' Good Burgers Las Vegas

You can’t Fremont and not beer. It’s the law.

At the moment, the bar serves beer and wine, but our hope is it becomes a full, Captain Morgan-enabled bar soon.

The menu’s prices have been bumped up a bit to reflect the restaurant’s new direction, but from the items we’ve had, it remains a solid value.

The grilled chicken sandwich was excellent, and the fries are as good as we remember.

Flippin' Good

Pavlovian response in three…two…one.

Here’s a peek at one side of the menu.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Please don’t rupture your eyeball. Here’s a larger version.

We wouldn’t leave you hanging, here’s the other side.

Flippin' Good menu

We’re fairly sure concretes are frozen custard, but we are a blog, not a flavor chemist. Here’s a better look.

We also took a stab at the chicken tenders. While they pale by comparison to Cane’s or Twin Peaks here in Las Vegas, they hit the spot, and the dipping sauces cover all the bases.

Yes, we made a sports reference. We won’t let it happen again.

Flippin' Good downtown

Sauces include Cluckin’, Tennessee BBQ, Carolina Gold, Buffalo, Buttermilk Ranch, Flippin’ Good and Honey Mustard. There will be a quiz.

On a return trip, we tried the Flippin’ Good Burger and found it to be, again, a satisfying offering.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Flippin’ Good gives good bun.

The previous iteration of Flippin’ Good had challenges with food consistency, and it still hasn’t worked out all those kinks entirely, but the new Flippin’ Good has made great strides in quality, variety, portion size and overall ambiance.

Flippin' Good Fremont Street

Flippin’ Good was once Uncle Joe’s Pizza and Kabob Korner. Consider our intestinal history preserved.

We’re hopeful Flippin’ Good will veer away from its decision to position itself as “the pioneer of Downtown Las Vegas honky tonk.”

First, we don’t know what that means.

Second, country music is to ears as Admiral Nelson rum is to tongues, and we don’t mean that in a good way.

From the Flippin’ Good Facebook page and menu: “Whether you like scorchin’ chicken eats, grass-fed steak burgers, shivery shakes or ice cold local brews, we gotta ‘lil somethin’ for everybody. Lip smackin’ and knee slappin’, we like to invite y’all home. Here, you’ll be treated like kin.”

We’d love to think they’re being ironic, but the country music says otherwise.

Flippin' Good Fremont East

Yes, Las Vegas has an “outside.” We just avoid it whenever possible.

Still, Flippin’ Good has upped its game in a big way and we recommend a stop to check out the new look and menu.

Flippin’ Good is located between Inspire Theater and a restaurant called The Smashed Pig, across Fremont Street from one of our favorite downtown haunts, Evel Pie.

Lotus of Siam Restaurant Announces Second Location

The acclaimed Lotus of Siam restaurant, forced to close after a roof collapse in early September 2017, has set its sights on a second location.

Lotus of Siam is a longtime favorite of foodies despite its challenging (seedy) location in a strip mall called Commercial Center on Sahara Ave., a few blocks east of SLS Las Vegas and Stratosphere.

Lotus of Siam

They can’t say it, but we can.

Lotus of Siam announced it will open a new location at 620 E. Flamingo Road.

That address is the former Roy’s, a pan-Asian restaurant, in an area known as “Restaurant Row” not far from Hard Rock casino and the National Atomic Testing Museum. The new location is about a block away from one of the best Indian restaurant in Las Vegas, Mint Indian Bistro.

The owners of Lotus of Siam seem committed to keeping their original restaurant open, so the Flamingo location will be a second outpost of the popular Thai eatery.

This message was posted on the Lotus of Siam Facebook page: “We finally got our location! It’s not too far from our original one. The address is 620 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119. We will be open by Nov. 1! We are happy to announce that this is our second home and it is on Flamingo and Paradise. We hope to see you guys soon!”

Judging by the exclamation points, Lotus of Siam appears very excited about its new location. If you’ve ever had the food, you know why.

Gird Your Loins, White Castle Opens on Fremont Street

The second White Castle restaurant in Las Vegas has opened for business, this time in downtown on Fremont Street.

We were the first to report White Castle would be coming to Fremont Street, news that proved to be polarizing.

That’s because people who love White Castle really love White Castle. Others, not so much.

White Castle

You can’t fool us, your loins aren’t even remotely girded. Shame on you. We’ll wait while you gird.

Business has been brisk at the new White Castle location, but the opening proved to be far more subdued than when Sin City’s first White Castle opened at Casino Royale on The Strip back in January 2015.

White Castle Fremont Street

White Castle was founded in 1921. Which is odd, because we didn’t even know it was losted.

Fremont’s White Castle is open 24/7 and even serves beer. It’s Vegas, so it’s the law.

White Castle Fremont beer

Come for the belly busters, stay for the giggle water.

While we weren’t thrilled when White Castle fancied up a classic Trader Bill’s sign, we enjoyed our first visit.

We tend to agree with those who say White Castle is an acquired taste, probably because the patties appear to be steamed rather than grilled.

Signs at White Castle assure the sliders are 100% beef, so we’ll take them at their word on that.

We passed on the onions, although purists probably consider that an unforgivable transgression.

White Castle Fremont Street

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut once ate 103 White Castle sliders in eight minutes. Competitive eater Joey Chestnut’s digestive system has never forgiven him.

The prices for the various slider combos and “Castle Packs” seem reasonable, making White Castle a good fit for value-conscious guests on Fremont Street.

White Castle Fremont menu

Yes, there’s a Veggie Slider. It was added to the menu by Lucifer, but it’s there.

Also a good fit is the location.

The Fremont White Castle sits at what amounts to the entrance of Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing as our day job), across from the Neonopolis shopping complex, at the intersection of Fremont Street and 4th Street.

White Castle sits smack dab in the middle (especially if you include the Fremont East Entertainment District) of what amounts to an endless, liquor-fueled street party attended by thousands of people each night suffering from “munchies,” “drunchies” or both.

White Castle Fremont Street

Look for the new White Castle on Fremont Street. You sort of can’t miss it.

As we predicted during the lengthy construction process, the White Castle on Fremont Street pretty much has a license to print money.

However you may feel about White Castle, there’s no denying it’s now a very visible and odoriferous part of Fremont Street.

White Castle on Fremont Street

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