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Snapshots / Vegas Observations / The Strip / The Harmon / Harrah's / Casino Royale / Bally's / Grand Bazaar Shops / Caesars Palace / PURE / The Quad / The Linq Hotel / → All Tags
The Strip of today is not the Strip of tomorrow. And, when we say tomorrow, we don't just mean the near|distant future, we mean tomorrow tomorrow.
On-going construction continues to bring us a slightly different Vegas each day. Last week, we checked up on six different projects, from the tear-down of a never-completed resort to a casino remodel. The 18 photos below, snapped by Greg C. and @paperposter, were captured between August 19 and August 22. So, yeah, expect five of these projects to be slightly more advanced today.
At The Harmon, the latest phase of a year-long demolition brings a crane and black barrier drapes. The condo-hotel never opened due to construction errors.
Gay Vegas / Gay Days / PRIDE / The Center / Bally's / Clark County Amphitheater / Caesars Entertainment / MGM Resorts / Luxor / Pool Parties / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Temptation Sundays / The Smith Center / The Strip / → All Tags
Las Vegas is ready to show its colors once more as the city's annual PRIDE celebration will blanket the valley in rainbow hues September 2-7. This year’s gathering of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community features a slimmed-down roster and a new host hotel.
If you happened to catch our wrap-up of last year’s PRIDE events, you may remember this writer remarking on the chaotic presentation. Three separate organizations (Las Vegas PRIDE, Orlando’s GAY DAYS, and MGM's FABULOUS) were all vying for the pink dollar, consequently stepping on each others’ kinky boots (I’ll explain that reference later).
Comedy / Strip / Bally's / Comedy Clubs / LA Comedy Club / → All Tags
LA Comedy Club has been hopping around Las Vegas since 2007, staying at some venues longer than others. As a live comedy fan, this writer has traced the club’s evolution and followed it from place to place as it seems to typically have the best acts. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic structure of a comedy club, there are at least three basic “acts,” the host (or MC or opener), feature and headliner. The set lengths of these performers vary from club to club and from night to night at the same club, depending largely on crowd response and which other comics stop by and finagle a few minutes at the mic.
This is the beauty of live comedy. It’s a fluid animal and if a big name (or an established small name who has a good rapport with the bookers or other performers) stops by, crowds may be in for an extra bonus on top of the lineup they came to see. LA Comedy Club, now located in the Windows Showroom at Bally’s, has cultivated a reputation for having solid lineups and some of the most interesting “special guests.”
VegasChatter Reviews / BLT Steak / Bally's / Eating / Dining / Fine Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
At Bally's, the hotel's eponymous steakhouse is now BLT Steak (related to BLT Burger at The Mirage, part of ESquared Hospitality). With thirteen locations around the world, plus many other sister restaurants and concepts, how would BLT compare to the one it replaced?
One glance at the past menu and the current one and you'll notice they are quite similar, covering the basics of crab cake, tuna tartare, lamb chops.. you know the drill. One great, big fat difference would be they've 86'd a ton of very expendable Italian dishes. Not that it was an "Italian steakhouse" before, mind you; it was just an American steakhouse that had lasagna and Shrimp Fra Diavola for... some reason.
Lounge Acts / Bally's / Music / Entertainment / Chase Brown / → All Tags
Bally's Indigo Lounge now features Chase Brown every Sunday evening. Who is Chase Brown? We've no idea. His Facebook page says he is "an extremely versatile singer/entertainer who caters to his audience's needs." Those needs apparently include seeing a man belt it out while straddling, gyrating and thrusting on a ladder.
Future Vegas / Vegas Signs / Construction / Openings / Grand Bazaar Shops / Vegas Rumors / Bally's / → All Tags
A VegasChatter tipster tells us a T-Mobile flagship store has been signed for the corner across from The Cromwell. It will join some 150+ brands at the outdoor mall that will mostly feature retailers of the tiny kiosk variety but with a few larger shops and a handful of eateries sprinkled in, too.
Gay Vegas / Openings / Nightlife / Nightclubs / Bally's / Liaison / → All Tags
The times, they are a-changing. Once hidden on side streets as private, members-only bars (that typically went unnoticed by the general public), the LGBTQ establishments of today are advertised on billboards and frequently share the same space with mainstream clubs (on alternate evenings, of course). This summer, Caesars Entertainment took a bold step forward by opening Liaison, the first gay nightclub in a Strip casino (Bally's). And, from what this writer has seen, it looks like founder Victor Drai could have another hit on his hands.
I’ll be the first to admit that the notion of a gay bar (let's use that term for brevity’s sake) inside a casino seemed like a daring proposition, but my first visit to Liaison this past July 4th was a flawless experience. Well-placed signs led guests from the Bally’s/Paris parking garage to Bally’s casino proper and the nightclub entrance was just past Indigo Lounge. This location may be familiar to some as the temporary home of Drai's After Hours (which has returned back to The Cromwell).
Future Vegas / Construction / Bally's / Grand Bazaar Shops / Shopping / Dining / Restaurants / Eating / → All Tags
Each day, we get a better sense of what Bally's Grand Bazaar Shops will really look like and it's, in a word, meh.
Is it wrong for us to wish for the return of that (more than a little) spot of Vegas serenity, non-moving sidewalk and all? Instead, this.
Gay Vegas / Openings / Nightlife / Nightclubs / Bally's / Liaison Nightclub / → All Tags
Gay night and day life has been reaching new levels in Las Vegas, from the debut of Saturgays at Tropicana to the launch of Altitude Fridays at the Strat. Now, in just a few weeks, the Strip's first dedicated gay club in a casino (sorry, Krave, they found a way around you on that one) will open at Bally's.
The promenade replaces the fountains and space age-y (non)moving sidewalk along Bally's Strip-side frontage. When it makes its debut, it will instantly bring some 150 shops and eateries to The Strip.
VegasChatter Photographer Greg Clarke and reader Juan Gonzalez both pointed their lenses at the construction site over the weekend with Greg capturing the images you see above and at the very bottom of this post and Juan snapping the photos displayed in the gallery.
BLT Steak / Bally's / Bally's Steakhouse / Brunch / Sterling Brunch / Vegas Returns / Openings / Restaurants / Eating / Dining / → All Tags
Brunch is back at Bally's and not just any old brunch. The famous Sterling Brunch from Bally's Steakhouse makes it return this weekend under the now open BLT Steak banner. A brunch so famous one reader asked if it would make a comeback when the former steakhouse's demise was announced.
Since BLT Steak was announced soooo long ago, this writer had long forgotten his look at some first bites last year, back when The Cromwell was no longer Bill's but still Gansevoort. BLT Steak is, in fact, a sister brand to BLT Burger across the street at The Mirage. Other BLT Steak outlets can be found around the world in locations like Atlanta, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Washington DC, Miami, Seoul, and New York.
Sterling Brunch returns this weekend to build on its 40 year-old history and will be offered Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at a cost of $90 per person ($85 for Total Rewards members). It promises to deliver "the same excellence in service and fare but in a more modern and stylish presentation synonymous with BLT Steak." What fare pushes the fee to nearly a hundo? Caviar, lobster tails, fresh-shucked oysters, Alaskan king crab legs, and bottomless Perrier Jouët Champagne, mimosas and bloody marys. Pricey for sure, but we're confident we could eat and drink enough of that to make it a value.
BLT Steak has been open less than a month now and, of course, also offers dinner. While we haven't steaked up to the plate ourselves yet, we're curious if Las Vegas' newest steakhouse will give us a reason to write a new list of top beefhouses. Only a handful of Yelpers have rated the place to date, some of which admit they were invited diners so proceed with caution, but here's the early word:
The Strip / Bally's / Blackjack / Gambling / → All Tags
The best days of finding good blackjack games at every casino are a thing of the past. It's possible to find good blackjack games, but now we have to hunt for them.
The blackjack game at El Cortez is as good as it gets, however, it’s a low limit game. It’s rare that you’ll walk away from a session of $5 or $10 blackjack too rich or too poor. It’s a great game for a fun time but, if the pit bosses see you on an epic hot streak, they'll either ask you to leave or close the table.