Speakeasy Vegas; High Roller Opens at Last; Where to Park; Vegas Goes Country


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Seven bars with a speakeasy vibe in Las Vegas

by Renee LiButti


You won’t have to search hard in Las Vegas to uncover the spirit of speakeasies. Several bars in Sin City re-create the glamour, secretive attitude and stiff cocktails that were hallmarks of the Prohibition Era.

Holly Madison is involved in 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque, a new speakeasy-style bar opening at Mandalay Bay on April 17.

In fact, Mandalay Bay recently announced the debut of a joint designed to transport guests back to a time when a hidden door led to an illicit night of drinking and decadence. The 4,648-square-foot venue called 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque by Holly Madison will be tucked away just off the escalator at the entrance to The Shoppes at Mandalay Place. It officially opens on April 17.

Madison, who formerly starred as Bo Peep in the now defunct striptease spectacular “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and is well known for her reality TV stint on “Girls Next Door” as one of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, is lending more than her name to the venture. She’s choreographing “Bourbon Burlesque,” a sensual revue that will be showcased there on Fridays and Saturdays. It will feature steamy striptease vignettes backed by a live jazz band.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this new project,” said Madison in a statement. “We look forward to introducing Las Vegas to glamorous burlesque set inside an intimate 1920s-style speakeasy.”

A centerpiece of the décor in 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque will be a classic automobile from the Roaring Twenties. Other design elements evoking a Gatsby-esque vibe will include dark woods, plush banquettes and dim lighting provided by elegant chandeliers.

Near the main entrance there will be a walk-up bar surrounded by brickwork and barrels of whiskey. The signature drink from the bar’s Prohibition Era-inspired mixology program is the 1923 Barrel-Aged Manhattan.

An intimate space with 15 VIP tables, 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque can accommodate up to 325 people. In addition, there will be a 25-person cigar room with a humidor that boasts premium hand-rolled stogies.

Here are six more bars in Las Vegas where you can wet your whistle as well as satisfy your thirst for the long-gone days of mobsters, bootleggers and Jazz Age cool.

The Prohibition Drink Menu at Bar Prohibition! in the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

• Bar Prohibition! at the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino If you’re looking for history in Vegas, head to the Golden Gate in downtown at the corner of Fremont and Main streets. This boutique resort can trace its roots back to 1906. It actually lived through the wild years of Prohibition, which stretched from 1920 to 1933. In order to pay tribute to its past, the Golden Gate gave its casino bar the name Bar Prohibition! on Dec. 5, 2013, which was the 80th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal. Stop by and select a tipple – like the Flaming Side Car or the Italian Kiss – from the bar’s Prohibition Drink Menu. All of them are served in discreet coffee mugs, which was how Prohibition drinkers used to elude lawmakers.

• Downtown Cocktail Room at 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd. It would be easy to walk past Downtown Cocktail Room (also known as D.C.R.), which sits on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Fremont Street, without even noticing it. A door is covertly hidden along a brick façade and marked only by a neon sign in lower-case letters that reads “downtown.” Inside this 3,000-square-foot watering hole created by Michael Cornthwaite, you’ll find a shadowy, bohemian chic setting. Another indication that you’ve entered a speakeasy is the presence of absinthe, which is offered in three different preparations (traditional, panache and scorched). Plus, the menu has classic cocktails like the Blood and Sand, made with scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry Heering and orange juice. It bears the same name as the 1922 bullfighter film starring Rudolph Valentino and Rita Hayworth. At Downtown Cocktail Room, there is also a back room where a DJ regularly spins an eclectic mix of music.

• Commonwealth at 525 E. Fremont St. This pre-Prohibition Era bar is part of downtown’s bustling Fremont East Entertainment District. Commonwealth’s exposed brick, subdued lighting and grainy woods contribute to the secretive tone. Although it feels like something sneaky may be going on in here, people are more likely to get rowdy from a DJ set or live music performance than a police bust. You can order finely crafted cocktails, such as the Monkey Flower, from the 20-foot-long bar. In addition, there’s a rooftop patio as well as an exclusive backroom speakeasy dubbed “The Laundry Room” (the number to text for access can be found on Commonwealth’s logo clothespins).

• Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan This is one of Vegas’ hottest new venues. It boldly combines the atmospheres of a bar, nightclub, show and restaurant in what has been hailed as a “grand social experiment.” Practically taking a page from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” Rose. Rabbit. Lie. will immerse you in a world of lavish parties and privileged opulence. You’ll enter a chamber with multiple mystery doors. Regardless of which one you pass through, you’ll discover a truly unique, ever-evolving world made up of clever theatrics, globally inspired small plates and specialty cocktails like the gin-based Monkey Gland, Survivor and Down the Rabbit Hole.

• Savile Row at Luxor Evoking London’s famous fashion district through the idea of “made to measure” exclusivity, Savile Row is a low-lit speakeasy of sorts. Spanning just 2,000 square feet, you can partake of the elite, Old English atmosphere and creative mixology program only if you can find its mysterious unmarked entrance on the appropriate night (i.e., Savile Row is only open on Sundays and Mondays). Starting on March 31, Savile Row will host Provocouture on select Monday evenings from 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. This LGBT event is devised to tap into guests’ sensual sides with seductive performances, unique cocktails and vintage pop music.

• The Mob Bar at Downtown Grand Just a few steps across the street from the front door of The Mob Museum (more formally known as The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement) lies this bar. The décor is reminiscent of a 1920s supper club, and here the staff re-creates the traditions of the Prohibition Era year round. The Mob Bar’s handcrafted cocktails are certainly mob-worthy. Three great picks that are sure to satisfy your inner need for lawlessness are the Ambush, Smoking Gun and Bloody Italian.





Take a spin: High Roller observation wheel opens for riders

By Ed Komenda (contact)


High Roller Observation Wheel Opens to Public

The world’s tallest observation wheel opened for business today in Las Vegas.   Tickets are now on sale to ride the 550-foot-tall High Roller at the Linq, between the Flamingo and the Quad.   Attendants welcomed the wheel’s first ticketed passengers at 1 p.m. today   Ticket prices range from $24.99 to $59.99.   The observation wheel’s 28 cabins are designed to hold up to 40 passengers for a 30-minute ride, the time it takes for the entire wheel to rotate.   The High Roller, taller than the London Eye and Singapore Flyer, is located within the Linq, a $550 million entertainment complex.   Executives with Caesars Entertainment, which built the complex, have said they expected between 4 million and 5 million riders in the wheel’s first year of operation.


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Where to Parq at the Linq

By David G. Schwartz www.vegasseven.com

Now that the Linq is open, one big question remains—at least for locals: How do you access an attraction designed for walkers if you’re arriving by car? Visitors strolling down the Strip have it easy; they just hang a left or right at the Linq’s 130-foot Strip-front marquee. But most locals checking out Brooklyn Bowl or the reborn O’Sheas want to know where they can park. Here are a few insider options (shhh—don’t tell anyone):

• If you’re coming down Flamingo and want to valet park, head north on Linq Lane (formerly Audrie Lane) east of the Strip. You’ll find the free valet in the shadow of the hard-to-miss High Roller.

• From Koval Lane, you can take Winnick Avenue or the Venetian/Harrah’s access road south of the Sands Expo to access the valet. You can also try the Quad’s self-park garage. In addition, self-park surface lots are directly behind the Linq.

• The Flamingo self-park garage and surface lots are slightly less convenient (from there, to get to the Linq you have to hike through the back of the Flamingo). But this option may actually save time when traffic is heavy, including during special events such as next month’s two-day Academy of Country Music Party for a Cause.

• If time is not of the essence (or it’s particularly busy on Koval) and you’re coming from the west side, you can always park at Caesars Palace (entering, of course, via Frank Sinatra Drive) and trek through the property, brave the porte cochere and cross Las Vegas Boulevard.


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Las Vegas goes country in April with superstars, ACM Awards

By Jay Jones


Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. are among the country stars who will gather in early April in Las Vegas for an awards show and what’s called “The Week Vegas Goes Country.”

That’s the phrase coined by the Academy of Country Music, which hosts its annual awards ceremony at 8 p.m. April 6 inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Bryan and Shelton will host the show again this year. The ceremony is, of course, the crowning event. But others in the days both before and after will also showcase superstar musicians. Here’s a day-by-day rundown:

April 4 and April 5: Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban host “ACM Party for a Cause.” The two-day outdoor festival, a fundraiser benefiting various charities, will be staged at the Linq, a new entertainment and retail district along the Strip.

April 4-April 6: The Fremont Street Experience  will host three nights of free country concerts. Singing duo LoCash Cowboys will headline at 9:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the First Street stage.

April 5: Darius Rucker will host the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic at TPC Las Vegas. Singers Frankie Ballard, Scotty McCreery and Cole Swindell will be among those teeing off for charity.

April 6: As the awards presentation unfolds at the MGM Grand, thousands more fans will be entertained during the ACM Fan Jam at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. ACM New Artist of the Year nominees Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore and Kip Moore will be among the performers.

April 7: A two-hour TV special, “ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops,” will be taped at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Performers include Merle Haggard, George Strait and Carrie Underwood.

Tickets for the various ACM-sponsored events are available from Ticketmaster.

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