Monthly Archives: October 2021

Le Cirque Restaurant at Bellagio to Reopen

It’s been a year-and-a-half, but the acclaimed Le Cirque restaurant will reopen at Bellagio.

The date: Oct. 28, 2021.

You know it’s a big deal because we made the reopening date its own paragraph.

“Cirque” is a French word meaning “we can’t afford it.”

Le Cirque fans will be relieved by this news, as there was a lot of chatter among industry insiders the restaurant wouldn’t be back after the pandemic. Don’t get mad. Just because someone’s an insider doesn’t mean they’re psychic.

Le Cirque has been at Bellagio for more than two decades, since the place opened in 1998, in fact.

The original Le Cirque was in New York City, but our version is better because, well, Las Vegas. And, also, the original closed (sorry, “currently relocating”) in 2018.

Chef Dameon Evers will be at the helm for the reopening of Le Cirque at Bellagio.

Evers clearly knows his stuff (sorry about the complicated culinary jargon).

Evers honed his skills at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills, Gordon Ramsay’s former spot in West Hollywood and Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak.

The chef also earned a Michelin star as executive chef at Angler Restaurant in L.A. This makes us think Chef Dameon Evers has exceptional wet-weather grip and excellent steering response, but this is unconfirmed.

We, too, aren’t entirely sure about the definition of “perennial,” but these are the hazards of cutting and pasting from news releases.

Fun fact: About 81% of chef photos involve arm-crossing. The rest are holding a knife or sitting on a backwards chair. It’s the law.

Why did it take Le Cirque so long to reopen? Well, if this place is anything like other restaurants in town, it has a lot to do with unions and staffing.

Even as demand has increased, there’s still a big challenge finding staff. Yes, even at the high-paying fancy places.

Kitchen cooks are even more prized than lap dances or hot dice rolls in Las Vegas at the moment.

We’d love to give you our review of Le Cirque, but that would involve us having visited a French restaurant at some point, and that seems extraordinarily unlikely due to the fact they serve snails and the enlarged livers of waterfowl.

Still, some people are into that kind of thing.

Le Cirque is back at Bellagio starting Oct. 28, 2021.

You know that’s a big deal because we just repeated the reopening date we already mentioned earlier in this story. We know how you like to skim.

Rise Bar at Area 15 Construction Update

You know we’ll always keep you in the loop about new Las Vegas erections, so here’s the latest from Rise at Area 15.

Construction of the bar-slash-attraction is moving along at a brisk pace.

Area 15 Rise bar

Shout-out to DNA.

The structure is now so tall, it can be seen from the I-15 freeway.

Guests and their cocktails will sit in 16-person gondolas, rise 131 feet in the air and enjoy some sweet views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Rise is built by Aerophile, a company specializing in tethered balloon structures.

Rise bar Area 15

Are you up for this?

Area 15 is a quirky mall a minute or two from The Strip, and has a collection of oddball,  interactive tenants.

Here’s more about Rise bar and ride at Area 15, and we’ll keep an eye on this new attraction as it makes its way toward the heavens.

Tickets will be $18 for adults and $12 for kids. Note: These prices are not adjusted for inflation.

We’ll wait.

“Sexxy” Revue Closes Abruptly at Westgate

The seemingly unstoppable “Sexxy” is on a break. The topless show closed abruptly at Westgaste on Oct. 17, 2021.

The show ran at Westgate for six years, with more than 1,000 performances.

There was a lot of P.R. jibber-jabber about the show closing after reaching a “mutual agreement with the resort,” which is Vegas showbiz lingo for “draaama.”

Whenever a female revue closes in Las Vegas, an angel loses its pasties.

“Sexxy” is what you might expect in a Las Vegas revue. It features copious amounts of both “T” and “A,” along the lines of “X Burlesque” at Flamingo or the recently-closed “X Rocks” at
Bally’s.

The show’s indefatigable producer, choreographer and dancer Jennifer Romas (stage center in the photo above) says the show will look for another venue.

It’s going to be tough to find a comparable arrangement, as it sounds like Romas got a sweetheart deal for the space from her good friend and Westgate owner David Siegel.

Yes, the same David Siegel featured in the 2012 documentary, “The Queen of Versailles.”

During the pandemic, Romas took the show on the road, creating “Sexxy After Dark” at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. The show will continue there three nights a week.

The good news for “Sexxy” is the demand for magumbos and cakes transcends place and time.

The art of tease is woven into the very fabric of Las Vegas. Hello, it’s even called the “Las Vegas Strip.”

We’ll be keeping an eye on “Sexxy” on your behalf, and hope to share that the lubricious production has found a new home soon.

Oh, that’s right, “lubricious.” We knew that liberal arts degree would come in handy someday.

Celine Dion Residency Delayed at Resorts World for Medical Reasons

Today’s swift kick to the party favors—Celine Dion announced she’ll have to delay her Resorts World residency due to medical issues.

Dion’s residency was set to begin Nov. 5, 2021. Now, not so much.

Her shows through at least February 2022 have been canceled.

Celine Dion

Remember when Celine wasn’t relevant, then she came to Vegas and now she could buy Jupiter?

According to a news release, Dion has been “experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing.”

The statement continues, “Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat her. However, the symptoms she is experiencing are prohibiting her from participating in the ongoing rehearsals for the new show.”

First, let us say we hope Celine’s medical situation improves. She is beloved in Las Vegas, and we trust she’s as heartbroken by this delay as her fans are.

Second, if you think Celine’s muscle spasms are painful, they’re nothing compared to what Resorts World executives are experiencing right now.

Resorts World

Las Vegas loves it some new and shiny, and Resorts World has a lot of shiny.

Dion’s residency was set to be a shot in the arm at the new resort, reportedly struggling as the reality of opening during a pandemic has begun to sink in.

While Resorts World is poised to take advantage of conventions, as it’s virtually on top of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion expansion, big gatherings have yet to pick up steam.

International travel is still limited, although that could change when restrictions loosen Nov. 8, 2021.

Resorts World continues to deal with some built-in challenges, like a location with virtually zero foot traffic.

We’re a big fan of Resorts World, so we’re hoping the ramp-up of its residency line-up will deliver some much-needed guests and gamblers. Residencies like Celine Dion’s draw an ideal casino customer, as was evident at Caesars Palace during her record-breaking run.

Celine Dion Resorts World

Oh, like we’re going to miss an opportunity to remind everyone we broke the news Celine would have a Vegas residency a year before it was announced.

The delay of Dion’s residency is a blow to Resorts World, but ultimately, it’s about this national treasure getting well. Yes, she has an accent, but she’s ours. Our legal team is reviewing whether one can be a national treasure in two nations.

Celine Dion defied the odds and changed the landscape of Las Vegas residencies, it’s a safe bet she can whoop the ass of some muscle spasms.

Unsolicited advice, Celine. Read Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno. No, we don’t get a piece of the action, it just changed our life, spasmwise.

Interestingly, Dion’s “Courage World Tour” is still scheduled to begin March 9, 2022. We’re trying not to take it personally.

Get better, Celine!

Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill to Close at MGM Grand

A longtime fixture on the Las Vegas Strip, Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill, is set to close at MGM Grand.

The restaurant will close permanently in the next few weeks.

A new restaurant and bar will take its place by winter 2021, but few specifics have been given, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Hecho en Vegas

“Hecho en Vegas” means “made in Vegas.” One of the only reasons we do photo captions is we have to learn new things to share with you.

Hecho en Vegas has been around since 2013. It replaced (basically a rebrand) another Mexican restaurant, Diego.

Recently, Hecho’s hours became erratic, we trust as fallout of the pandemic.

The restaurant was known for its impressive selection of more than 100 tequilas.

In order to pad this article to meet the recommended blog post length for search engine optimization, we are now going to use some filler related to tequila.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. The machete used to harvest the blue agave plant is called a “coa.”

Tequila comes from the heart (the “pina”) of the agave plant. In Spanish, “pina” can also mean “pineapple.”

Hecho en Vegas MGM Grand

You will be missed, peculiar statue.

A blue agave plant takes 8-12 years to mature and can grow to be up to seven feet tall.

There are three kinds of tequila: Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Some tequila lover should totally name their kids Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Tequila can only be made in five regions in Mexico: Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco. If the aforementioned tequila lover is Mormon, they’ll need more names for their kids, so there you go.

The most expensive bottle of tequila ever sold, Platinum and White Gold Tequila, cost $225,000.

Tequila is a type of mezcal. All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. In gringo terms, it’s sort of similar to how scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey.

While party animals in the U.S. often do tequila shots (with salt and lime), in Mexico, it’s  usually sipped slowly and savored.

Tequila has been made into diamonds.

Medical experts say tequila helps with weight loss and improves the digestive system.

According to tequila experts, blanco tequila doesn’t give hangovers. That’s because it’s 100 percent pure agave.

The next time you’re winning a bar bet using this entralling tequila trivia, please send a thank-you note to Google.

We’re sorry to see Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill closing, despite the fact we rarely went there.

Hecho en Vegas

We will miss you fresh torta bread, whatever that might be.

The next restaurant in the space will still have to grapple with the odd location in an awkward part of MGM Grand, called the District.

The restaurant sits next to CBS Television City, near the entrance to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. You’d think the place would thrive before and after events, but events have taken a hit in the last year or so. Time for something new.

While we suspect the new concept won’t be Mexican food, we hope the new restaurant will have tequila so we will not have wasted upwards of 15 minutes collecting tequila trivia for this story.

Salud!

LVCVA Sells Chunk of Riviera Site to Bond Villain

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is selling a 10-acre section of the former Riviera casino site to “a Chilean businessman” who sounds a lot like a Bond villain.

Mainly because this news is fairly boring otherwise.

The land is being purchased for $120 million, which is pocket change to an evil genius who probably has a secret hideout in a volcano somewhere.

Riviera parking lot

That time they turned a classic casino into a parking lot and everyone thought of the same song at the same time.

According to the sale agreement, the parcel has to be used for a “new resort.”

Which, of course, is code for a building that looks like a resort but which only exists to disguise a laser so powerful it could evaporate entire lakes so a certain “businessman” can cause, and “miraculously” solve, a collapse of the world salmon market.

Insert malevolent laugh here.

Actually, the buyer of the site is Claudio Fischer, owner of Sun Dreams, billed as the largest casino resort operator in Latin America.

Sun Dreams owns 19 casinos in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru.

Fischer also gained a good deal of his wealth from salmon farming. Hello, it’s called foreshadowing.

Fischer. Salmon. It’s all a little too perfect, isn’t it?

One of Fischer’s casinos is called the Monticello. Which doesn’t sound make up at all, right? Nothing like Montecito, the casino from the fictional TV show, “Las Vegas,” right?

Please. Somebody needs to get M or Q or whoever’s in charge now on the line immediately.

Riviera Las Vegas

If the new place could have some nods to the old place, that’d be great.

Anyway, the sale of the four hectares of prime real estate on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to close in June 2022. Um, hello. Who uses the term “hectares” except Bond villains?

Construction of the new “resort” would presumably start in 2023.

If Fischer doesn’t start work on his lair, sorry, resort, by Jan. 1, 2031, the LVCVA will have the option to buy the land back.

The Riviera took up 26 acres. The LVCVA didn’t need all of those hectares, so here we are.

The Riviera, of course, was a smelly Las Vegas casino prior to its closure in 2015 and demolition in 2016.

We chronicled the whole damn thing, of course. Obsessively. For unknown reasons. Other than our obsession with Las Vegas. In case that weren’t readily apparent.

While 10 acres doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s important to remember Cosmopolitan is built on a relatively petite 8.7 acres. Circa Las Vegas was built on less than three acres.

So, there’s plenty of room for Claudio Fischer and his henchmen (sorry, henchpersons) to build a beautiful casino resort to conceal a scheme so diabolical we may have to clone Sean Connery, clearly the best Bond, to come back to handle the smackdown.

Dibs on the laser.

Does this mandatory resort get built? Depends.

It’s a great location for convention business, obviously, as it pretty much sits on top of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion expansion.

A lot of hopes are riding on growth in the convention and meetings realm (looking at you, Resorts World), and nobody’s really sure if those hopes will become a reality.

Vegas has lost more big gatherings than it’s gained recently, but it’s an upside down world at the moment, so the jury’s still out.

A casino resort? We’ll go with nope on that one, unfortunately. While Fischer is a casino guy, there’s no way he gets through the gaming licensing process. Did we mention Fischer’s done business in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru? Just saying.

Riviera Las Vegas

We knew there was a reason we took so many photos of The Riv.

It would be a miracle if Fischer and his family members somehow managed to be graft dodgers. Not impossible, but gaming regulators go deep when they license a new casino owner in Las Vegas.

The process is brutal, and many who dipped their toes into these waters have fallen through a trap door into a school of piranha. Sorry to make it awkward, Sam Nazarian. Who, you have to admit, also would’ve made a great Bond villain.

We look forward to hearing more about Claudio Fischer’s plans for this parcel on the former Riviera site.

While we usually get excited about such announcements, this one left us neither shaken or stirred.