Brooklyn Bowl Delivers a Strike; Vegas – the Ultimate Man Cave; 7 Wonders of Vegas

brooklyn bowl

Rock and funk find a home at Brooklyn Bowl  

by Nicole Lucht

Where else on this planet can you eat a heaping plate of soul food, slip on some bowling shoes, hit a few pins and watch great performers, such as Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction wail through the band’s 1988 album, “Nothing’s Shocking?”

Turns out Brooklyn, London and now, Las Vegas.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas recently opened at The Linq, an entertainment district nestled between the Flamingo and The Quad. Early shows included top-tier acts, such as a collaboration between Elvis Costello and The Roots.

Las Vegas is the largest of the three locations, the first Brooklyn Bowl in New York opening in 2009. Las Vegas’ cousin on the other side of the pond, in London, opened a few months before the Strip venue. At 80,000-square feet, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas is the size of the Brooklyn and London venues combined. A fourth Brooklyn Bowl in Chicago is being considered, Brooklyn Bowl partner Peter Shapiro said.

“It’s a similar feel — the couches, the floor, the walls, the artwork, the bowling check-in,” he said of the Las Vegas venue. “A lot of it is modeled after New York pretty closely.”

Shapiro described the Las Vegas venue as mimicking the original Brooklyn Bowl, housed in an old warehouse from the 1880s. The decor uses plenty of distressed wood, brick and wide-planked floors. Carnival-like paintings and figurines give the venue a soulful-feel.

“That’s a look that will stay with us,” he said.

Brooklyn Bowl, of course, isn’t the only game in town when it comes to music venues. Comparable venues include the long-standing The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, and its sister venue, Vinyl, which offers concert-goers a chance to get up close with the performers. The Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea and Boulevard Pool also have up-and-coming and alternative acts come through, featuring not only the mini-residency of Bruno Mars, but also performances by such artists as Lorde and Lana Del Rey. The Axis at Planet Hollywood is home to Britney Spears‘ two-year residency and will also host boy bands New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas has booked such acts as O.A.R., Gogol Bordello, Primus, Fishbone and Tedeschi Trucks Band through May.

Thirty-two bowling lanes flank the left side of the stage and standing area at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/

“It’s been awesome,” Shapiro said of the first shows. “To see the response from people and fans has been almost overwhelming. People have responded with an almost emotional reaction.”

A bowling alley to the left of the stage allows those with tickets to the show to hit the pins on 32 lanes. Also inside Brooklyn Bowl is a restaurant where you can dine without having to buy a ticket for that night’s show — at least most shows. You can hear the music just as well — even singing along to your favorite tunes — and if you’re seated in the rights spot, you can even see some of the performance.

“Maybe we’ll have Jane’s Addiction sold out and we’ll say the whole venue is ticketed,” Shapiro said. “Most nights, what’s typical is you can go in for free (to the restaurant) and eat and drink. … Some of it we’re still figuring out.”

Shapiro said bands are chosen who have a roots rock and rock ‘n’ roll feel.

“That’s the special sauce,” he said. “There is no rule. You feel it out, you vibe it and make it. We’re definitely trying to be eclectic.

“You don’t always know when you build a venue how it’s going to turn out in real life. I can say I’m really happy the way it turned out — it surpassed what I was expecting, and I was expecting pretty good.”

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday.



Grab your bros and make Vegas your man cave

by Aleza Freeman www,

Hey, man. Are you looking for a good time? Look no further than Vegas, baby. Fast cars, gun ranges and girls, girls, girls … we’ve got the ultimate mancation for you.

Maybe you’re a manly man. Maybe you’re a metro man. Maybe you’re the best man. No matter what kind of man you are (or aspire to be), you’re sure to find the Vegas vacation to fit your man-style. With so much to see and do, you won’t have time to worry about putting the toilet seat down — and that’s OK too.

So pack your bags, gather your bros and get the heck over here already.

Give it a shot

Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want to shoot a zombie in the face with an Uzi? I know I certainly do. Gather the guys, grab your gun and practice your life-saving tactics in advance of the approaching Zombie Apocalypse by shooting an AK 47 at facilities throughout Las Vegas including Range 702, Machine Guns Vegas, Guns and Ammo Garage, and the only gun range on the Las Vegas Strip, Strip Gun Club. Trust me, your brain will thank you.

If the idea of zombies eating brains is making you hungry, Bullets and Burgers is for you. This adrenaline-inducing gun range experience offers you a chance to shoot at a private outdoor range outside of town. We’re talking fully automatic machine guns, specialty weapons and belt fed machine guns, including the same guns used in action flicks like “Rambo” and “Terminator.”

Once your tour guide picks you up at your hotel, you and your buddies will pile into a van and head to the range just outside Nevada, checking out the iconic Hoover Dam on the way. Or you can opt for a view of one of the seven natural wonders of the world from a helicopter on the Grand Canyon Air & Bullets and Burgers Adventure.

Upon arrival at the range, it won’t be long before you’re staring down the barrel of some pretty serious guns, including a .50 Caliber Browning, .50 Caliber Barret Sniper Rifle and more (depending on what package you buy).

Shooting heavy-duty guns in a Desert Storm atmosphere builds up quite the appetite, so the experience is followed up with a juicy burger and a beer, well drink or soda at the quirky World Famous Arizona Last Stop restaurant. You will then head back to the Las Vegas Strip fully satisfied and ready to conquer anything that comes your way!

Chicks, man

She is so slippery from her dip in the pool that her top fell right off. Photo courtesy Moorea Beach Club.

Vegas and topless women — they go hand in hand. (I know what you’re thinking. That’s naughty.)

It’s no secret that Vegas is home to many a strip club, which is something entirely different from a Las Vegas Strip club (see the ABCs below). Whether you’re here for the impromptu guys’ trip or even a bachelor party, Vegas offers the full spread of gentlemen’s club experiences, ranging from trashy to somewhat less trashy. But rather than pontificating on the virtues of half-naked women gyrating on laps, I’ll just provide you with this handy link to a full list of strip clubs.

If it happens to be pool season (which is most of the year), here are some of the topless optional Vegas pool clubs where the “girls” are hanging out:

¦Moorea at Mandalay Bay ¦Bare at The Mirage ¦Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace ¦Naked at Artisan

If you want to appear dapper and cultured while shamelessly ogling women you may opt for a Vegas adult show, such as X Burlesque or Fantasy. Or experience rigor mortis at Zombie Burlesque.

Born a gambling man

Whether you have a passion for playing the ponies (see Vegas sports books here) or poker is more your game (see Vegas poker rooms here), the gambling options in Las Vegas casinos are hard to beat (see what I did there?).

Some Vegas casinos, such as Planet Hollywood and Caesars Palace, even have party pits with sexy dealers who dance on poles in between hands (there is just so much that’s wrong with that sentence, why does it feel so right?).

You may even be able to play blackjack at — or in — the pool at hotels including Palms, Tropicana, Hard Rock and Downtown Grand. But considering the size of the bathing suits people are wearing these days, I’m not exactly sure where you’re supposed to keep your chips.

Hot wheels

Vegas is THE town for playing fast and loose, so slip into the driver’s seat of a high-performance vehicle and do just that. From a NASCAR-style race car to an exotic beauty like a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche, Vegas offers several ways to slip behind the wheel of a fancy car and take her for a spin.

At Exotics Racing, you can push the limits on a real racetrack with one-on-one coaching from an instructor. Drive a Porsche Cayman S, a Ferrari F430 F1, or if you prefer your driving experience to be shaken, not stirred go with the James Bond-inspired choice, the Aston Martin. You can even do a ride-along with a real race car driver and experience the speed from the passenger seat.

The Richard Petty Rookie Driving Experience teaches you to drive like a pro at speeds up to 137 miles per hour in a V-8 NASCAR-style stock car. You can also try pumping it up to 150 miles per hour as a passenger in the Richard Petty Ride-Along Experience.

For an added rush, drive a Ferrari F430 GT race car — a car that isn’t even street legal — at Dream Racing Experience.

Hot rodders will get their kicks by hopping into a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 and 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 at the Richard Petty American Muscle Car Challenge.

If you want to take things slow (oh, how charming), and you’re looking for some nice photo opportunities, check out the American Muscle Car Driving Experience. You’ll drive a Shelby, Corvette and more through the scenic Red Rock Canyon with plenty of stops for photo ops and chances to update your Facebook profile pic.

If you’d rather hit the open road on a motorcycle, Vegas has a tour for that too!

Shave and a haircut

Even a guy needs a little pampering. They don’t call it a MANicure for nothing.

Most Vegas spas not only have men’s facilities with wet spa, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas — such as The Men’s Lounge at Reliquary Spa, which offers a fireplace and flat-screen TV – but many also offer treatments tailored to the male, such as the Men’s Purifying Facial at ESPA at Vdara or the Emperor Face & Body Ritual at Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace.

I’ve never actually been on the man side of a spa (go figure) but I hear you get to watch sports back there while sprawled out on a couch in your robe and slippers. The girls’ side usually has a time-elapsed video of different types of flowers budding. I’m totally serious right now.

With four locations in Las Vegas (Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian | The Palazzo, Fashion Show, Miracle Mile Shops and The Shoppes at Mandalay Place), The Art of Shaving turns the chore of shaving into a relaxing ritual involving hot towels, pre-shave oil, warm shaving cream, natural sea sponges soaked in fragrant lemon oil and a lavender oil-infused towel wrap. Men can also enjoy a hot shave in a private barbershop setting at The Spa & Salon at The Mirage.

The ABCs … Adrenaline, Beer and Clubs

Adrenaline: Whether you’re conquering your fear of heights and your fear of falling on SkyJump Las Vegas at the Stratosphere or driving a custom-made dune buggy through unpredictable sand dunes on the Vegas Mini Baja Chase, you’re sure to earn tons of street cred on one of our many Vegas thrill rides or an ATV tour.

Beer: Sometimes you just want to grab a brewski and chill. And when you do, we have plenty of options. Triple 7, located downtown at Main Street Station, offers six varieties of handcrafted beer and a great happy hour. Banger Brewing on the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas has several beers to choose from that you can order by the pint or as part of a flight. Also downtown, Bier Garten recently celebrated its grand opening at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, offering two dozen craft beers on tap as well as artisan sausages (tee hee, sausages) in a laid back  outdoor beer garden environment overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. With everything from classic lagers to obscure ales, Yard House offers locations at Town Square, Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa and The Linq. See our Las Vegas bar guide, here.

Clubs: In Vegas, the party lasts all night long and well into the day. Clocks are pretty much irrelevant. Pools clubs, also known as day clubs, offer some of the hottest party action around — no wet noodles allowed! While you won’t wear much at a day club, nightclubs are your chance to dress things up a bit and impress the ladies with your sexy style and smooth dance moves. If you don’t have either of those, no worries. It’s usually pretty dark in there anyway.



bellagio dancing fountains

The 7 wonders of Las Vegas


Las Vegas isn’t exactly known for leaving famous landmarks well enough alone.   The Eiffel Tower? Ancient pyramids? If we can’t have the originals, we’ll build our own.

That attitude isn’t limited to hotel developers. Seven years ago, we looked at the seven ancient wonders of the world and decided Las Vegas needed seven wonders of its own.   Times have changed, though, and Las Vegas keeps growing. So we made a few tweaks to our original list. What would you change?

Bellagio Dancing Fountains  

TripAdvisor named the Bellagio’s fountains the No. 1 landmark in the U.S. in July, above the LuxorGettysburg National Military Park, the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck in New York City.   The decision was based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor users.   The fountains were also the fourth-most Instagrammed location in the world in 2013, behind Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok, Times Square and Disneyland.

Red Rock

Who in Las Vegas could look at a photo of the Spring Mountains and not be able to identify them by the dark red horizontal stripe running across the range?   For that, the conservation area makes our list as Las Vegas’ most recognizable natural wonder. More than 1 million people visit the area every year.

The Luxor

Like the Paris and the Stratosphere, the Luxor is notable on the Strip because we took part of another skyline and made it our own, with a Las Vegas twist.   There may be nothing entombed (that we know of) in our pyramid, but it has its own reason to shine: the iconic Sky Beam, the only one of its kind on the Strip.   The beam is shrouded in mystery, but reporter Sonya Padgett got the inside scoop in 2012 about what makes the beam so unique.

High Roller

The centerpiece of the $550 million Linq is the 550-foot tall observation wheel known as the High Roller.   Opening in a few weeks, the High Roller will be the world’s tallest observation wheel until an even bigger one opens in New York City in 2016.   The High Roller showed off its impact on the Las Vegas skyline earlier this week when officials tested the wheel’s 1,500 LED lights during an awe-inspiring light show.   The High Roller opened to customers at the end of March.


There are a few things that come to mind when people think “Vegas,” and gambling, drinking and buffets will almost always make that list.   We may not have invented the wheel, but we sure know how to pretty it up and put one on every corner.   Check out this list of Las Vegas’ best buffets if you’re in the mood to overeat tonight.

Neon Museum

The Neon Museum makes the list for its showcase of some of the most striking objects from Las Vegas history: the neon signs.   You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who sees a flashing neon sign and isn’t reminded of Las Vegas. The Neon Museum exists to tell the stories behind the signage, from diners that only long-time locals will remember to some of the most recognizable hotel names on the planet. Walking through the graveyard of Las Vegas’ older skins is like stepping back through time.

Downtown Project

The urban renewal drive backed by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is at the heart of many of the projects that are currently transforming the city, including the recently opened Container Park.   We don’t know what Las Vegas will look like 10 years from now, but it’s safe to say the Downtown Project is playing a role in shaping it. Check out the RJ’s in-depth look at the Downtown Project here.   Contact Stephanie Grimes at Find her on Twitter: @steph_grimes


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