Live Music Venue Planned for Plaza, Disco-Inspired Photo Op Opens

Awhile back, we shared some sweet scoop about a new bar concept coming to Plaza casino, Carousel.

Now, we’ve got more Plaza news, and it’s going to make live music fans dreamy-eyed.

Plaza has a new live music venue in the works, and it’s going to live in a space formerly occupied by The Swingers Club miniature golf.

Yes, Plaza had a mini-golf attraction at one time, but let’s keep our eyes on the ball!

This space has played host to mini-golf, The Drink lounge and, most recently, special events. Next up, grooves.

The new venue, with live music and an ambitious beer program, is in partnership with “dive bar” beloved by locals. Don’t ask for the name. If we could share the name, we’d have shared it in this paragraph. We didn’t. That’s now it works. It’s called a “tease,” not a “here’s everything all that once.”

The new venue is expected to launch in October 2021. Here’s what it looks like pre-project.

Yes, there will be bartop video poker, too. We know how you are.

Word of a new live music venue should take some of the sting out of the fact the existing live music lounge, Omaha Lounge, at Plaza has closed permanently.

It was sort of an informal affair, anyway, and we weren’t a fan of live music in the casino. That area (pictured below) is expected to host stadium-style machines in the near future.

We love us some Wonderboogie, but time and place.

As mentioned, while the entrance to the new venue is in close proximity to the casino, the space is enclosed, so the music won’t bleed onto the casino floor. The way Mother Nature intended.

In other Plaza news, a new, disco-themed photo op just opened in the former party pit.

The space has been dubbed Studio 71 and it’s glorious, especially if you were alive during the era which inspired it.

We love us some party pit girls, but time and place.

The room, free and open to the public, is decked out with a disco ball tree, a wall of colorful skates, a neon-drenched backdrop with iconic gambling symbols and other “Grammable” flourishes.

Plaza 71 is five photo ops in one, so pace your pixels.

We like this quirky space so much, we’re not going to point out they got the pips wrong on the dice. We’re classy like that.

So many things to love, all in once place.

Oh, all right, it’s these pips. Four and three are across from each other, not side by side!

We’re seeking help about our pip obsession, thanks.

Studio 71 is open Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday noon to midnight.

The signs are explicit: No horseplay.

Please restrict the horseplay to Fremont Street, where it belongs.

While the visuals are great, we especially love the fact Studio 71 features non-stop disco music. Disco is our musical sweet spot, and the entire space is like a glittery time machine.

Studio 71 takes its rightful place among the many quirky photo ops on and around Fremont Street, including the vintage slot machines at Golden Gate, the Blarney Stone at The D, The Mint’s exposed facade at Whisky Licker Up at Binion’s, Vegas Vic, the weight scale at Heart Attack Grill, the abandoned bras and Jim Morrison mugshot at Hogs & Heifers, the semi truck cab at Pizza Rock, the laughing Buddha at The Cal and just about anything at Circa.

Here’s some slickly-produced video of Studio 71 at Plaza.

Just when you thought the cavalcade of Plaza newness was done, you thought wrong.

In addition to the new outdoor Carousel bar, there will also be a revamp of the now-closed beer garden space next to the hotel’s ogle-worthy porte cochere.

The venue will have a carnival theme, in line with the nearby Carousel bar, and serve snacks among other things.

We knew Plaza would replace its beer garden sooner or lager.

An additional upgrade at Plaza is mostly invisible, but involves a substantial investment in how guests experience Plaza. The hotel, which just turned 50 years old, is overhauling its 18 elevators at a cost of $350,000 each.

Plaza is also shopping for partners to develop an adjoining space formerly soiled by a Greyhound bus terminal. It’s telling a group of developers from Hawaii attended a recent Oscar
Goodman dinner series event.

Plaza could have its eye on visitors from Hawaii, as they flock to the nearby Fremont casino and The Cal. (No word on when Main Street Station will reopen, but the over-under is September

Greyhound station Plaza

Downtown currently has more big, red arrows than any time in its history.

In other Plaza news, the excellent “On the Corner of Main Street” podcast recently celebrated its 50th episode. Well worth a listen, despite our having appeared on two episodes (#10 and #40).

Plaza has a lot of plans in the works, no doubt spurred by a recent bump in business resulting  from not only a post-pandemic visitation increase but also the opening of Circa Las Vegas across the street.

The return of live music is drawing more visitors to the west end of Fremont Street, and Plaza has been a beneficiary. The re-launch of the free Downtown Rocks concert series has also been a boost for the neighborhood.

We’ll share anything else we hear about developments at Plaza, so stay tuned. If staying tuned is even a thing anymore, what with streaming or whatever the kids are doing now.

Update (7/16/21): Plaza officially announced its partner for the live music venue is Sand Dollar Downtown.

6 thoughts on “Live Music Venue Planned for Plaza, Disco-Inspired Photo Op Opens

  1. Rich Johnson

    Correction: You’re on episodes 20 and 40. And still, as of this morning, the #1 downloaded episode (#40).

    Buzz Kill: As someone who graduated high school in 1971, I can attest to ’71 still being the remnants of the 60’s hippie era. Disco, in its Paleolithic form, emerged in late ’74 and ’75. Think Barry White, BT Express and of course, KC & the Sunshine Band.

    The full-on hardcore Disco as we remember took hold in ’77 and ’78. Alicia Bridges, Donna Summer, Bony M, and of course, the Brothers Gibb.

    But hey, let’s roll with it.

  2. Michael Alexakis

    Disco is a label, its an inexact moniker for popular dance music, there were plenty of songs and albums throughout the entire 1970’s that you can call disco. My favorite all time artist David Bowie released the album and song Young Americans in March of 1975, I was initially crushed, it sounded like a sell out to me when I was 15 years old, I longed for the glitter Bowie of previous albums. Now I consider that title song to be perhaps my favorite Bowie song, as you get older you take out the social ramifications and high school coolness issues and let the music speak for itself. I now appreciate disco, “I Will Survive” is an anthem, a classic… And other disco songs like “Fly Robin Fly” and “Shake Your Booty” are hilarious and ripe for parody…

  3. MrBuzzKill

    Sorry, Scott. This is not a disco tribute.
    Studio 54, probably the penultimate disco club, opened in 1977. NYC would know disco.

    My white-guy filter is telling me the name Studio 71 is a reference to the opening day of the Plaza which was July 2, 1971. Except, there was never rollerskating at the Plaza, or any of this other iconic decor.

    But wait! What we’re seeing may be a very important disco precursor. There was a revolutionary TV show that featured fashionable young dancers who would strike poses for the camera in front of glittery studio set pieces. Dancers on roller skates were popular. The sets were often themed. There were always mirror balls. And every week a band would lipsync their popular dance hits in front of mylar decorations.

    The show, which first aired in 1971, was called “Soul Train.” The name Studio 71 could be honoring this milestone. The vignettes (Grammables) contain symbols of the tremendous influence of black America on the future of dance entertainment in Vegas.

  4. William Wingo

    Disco never made much of an impression on me, but I remember that in the early 1970’s several strip casinos had live music. Definitely Thunderbird and Stardust; and probably others. Usually it was in the evenings, just one or two instrumentalists and maybe a singer; and once even a multi-talented musical stand-up comedian, right there next to the Blackjack pits or on a dais off to one side. It was part of the casino experience in those days.
    Stardust even had a free-for-one-drink lounge show called “Bare Touch of Vegas,” at a bar in the middle of the casino: dancers, singers, comedians, the works. It was on a par with shows like “Midnight Fantasy,” or “X” today, but basically free. Circus Circus had something similar. Obviously the corporate bean-counters did away with all that over the years.
    It’s also good to hear about the Plaza elevators, but I wouldn’t say it’s invisible. Actually, the elevators are one of the most visible indicators of the general state of casino maintenance. Naturally they have to be kept legal to operate; but cosmetic effects can be neglected. Scratched doors, dead light bulbs, strange noises, etc.–just slap some duct tape on it. This was particularly true in Laughlin, and especially at the now-closed Colorado Belle.
    And as you say, Plaza will no doubt get a some overflow business from Circa, especially the food outlets from what I’ve heard of Circa’s prices. I predict the same for the restaurants and fast-food places near Resorts World, and Hofbrauhaus down the street from Virgin.
    As we come out of the pandemic, let’s hope the rising tide will float all boats–or at least the un-stove ones.


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