Tag: Downtown Vegas

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The New Occupant Of Bar and Bistro Space May Not Be So Artsy

July 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

Sometimes rumors turn into truths minutes after we hear about them. Last week there were rumblings that Bar+Bistro in the Las Vegas Arts District in Downtown Vegas might be closing. By the end of the week, this rumor was confirmed when operators of the Arts Factory said that Bar+Bistro would indeed be closing.

While the artsy environment worked for the area, the food was just okay when we first tried it. In the end crowds didn’t flock to Bar+Bistro like the owners would have hoped.

Now comes a follow-up rumor that a much less artsy concept will be taking the place of Bar+Bistro. British pub Crown & Anchor is heavily rumored to be opening their third Las Vegas location in the now vacant space. Crown & Anchor currently has locations off the Strip on Spring Mountain and Decatur and on Tropicana near the campus of UNLV.

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Is El Cortez 'Amenities Fee' About To Nearly Double?

Where: 600 E. FREMONT STREET LAS VEGAS, NV [map], 89101
July 20, 2015 at 12:51 PM | by | ()

Update 7/22/15: A small victory for VegasChatter fans? Our helpful tipster "Brad" has tipped us off that El Cortez has possibly changed their mind about raising their "amenities fees" (or perhaps just delayed the decision) after reading our post. In his own words: "Vegas Chatter was responsible for rattling the cages and having El Cortez think twice about an increase. Hotels.com was contacted to change the resort fee back to $10.02. LMAO..." We checked hotels.com, using the same selections as earlier this week. Sure enough, the old rate has been restored.

An entire seven days has passed since our last update on controversial resort fees. We’d be thrilled to let another seventy pass by before the next announcement…but no such luck. VegasChatter fan “Brad” tipped us off on Saturday that El Cortez was raising its daily mandatory surcharge to $15.00.

It all began three years ago this week, when the newly-renovated Plaza Hotel, which caps off the west end of Fremont Street, became the first major Downtown hotel to impose a mandatory daily fee (the little Gold Spike beat them to that dubious honor back in 2010 with a negligible $1.99 fee).

Since then, the primarily Strip-centric resort fee trend has rolled down Fremont Street like a bowling ball, eventually striking into the old-timey El Cortez Hotel Casino.

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Male Exploitation Is 'On The Rise' In Vegas

Where: 301 Fremont Street [map], 89101
July 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM | by | ()

When the former Fitzgerald’s Casino was renamed The D, many wondered if that new monicker stood for “Downtown”. Or perhaps “Detroit”, where owners Greg and Derek Stevens grew up. Starting this month, that fourth letter could also represent “Daring”, “Down Under”, or perhaps “Daily Dose of Derriere”, with the July 31 premiere of "Aussie Hunks".

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Game Over: Insert Coin(s) Has Closed

July 10, 2015 at 11:11 AM | by | ()

The way they were. This was the sign going up at Insert Coin(s) just before they opened four years ago.

There are no more quarters left to play at Insert Coin, the video game arcade/bar in Downtown Las Vegas. At least not for a little while.

DTLV.com reports the bar closed last night, however, owner Christopher LaPorte later said the closure was just temporary. He then provided DTLV.com with this statement:

Due to a rapidly changing DTLV business environment, INSERT COIN(S) will be temporarily closing its doors. We are immensely proud of our four-and-a-half years being a landmark for Downtown Las Vegas, and of our numerous philanthropic contributions made to the Vegas community at large.

Being a part of the transformation of Downtown Vegas and enduring the highs and lows of these changes, we thank you for allowing us to present the INSERT COIN(S) brand as the unique combination of videogame and nightlife entertainment that we never lost belief in.

Unfortunately, that commitment to the brand and the DTLV economic environment have resulted in financial challenges over the past year that we cannot currently sustain. We will continue to work to bring back to the community the INSERT COIN(S) brand that you loved and we thank you again for your patronage and support as your favorite videogame and music venue.

This is just terrible. Insert Coin(s) was only open for four years but it was a place where many could relive their 80s and 90s gamer lifestyles, at least for a few hours. Here's hoping Insert Coin(s) finds a new console somewhere soon.

And on that note, let's take a look at all the recent nightlife closures in the past few weeks in Vegas.

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Downtown's Inspire Theater Showcases Free 'Boozy Movies' Series

Where: 107 Las Vegas Blvd S Las Vegas, Nevada [map], 89101
July 1, 2015 at 5:37 PM | by | ()

There have been plenty of new additions to the Fremont East scene for us to crow about. Want a new Urban Market? You got it. A Downtown gay nightlife event? Round two is coming up. An assortment of new restaurants and nightclubs? Ta-da, they're everywhere. And right under our nose is a sorta-free weekly screening of fun films that apparently nobody felt the need to tell us about. For the price of a drink, you can experience "Boozy Movies".

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Are We On The Verge Of Downtown Grand 2.0?

Where: 206 North 3rd Street [map], 89101
June 30, 2015 at 1:17 PM | by | ()

Sometimes it doesn’t take long for a project to be declared an utter failure. In the case of Downtown Grand, what started out as an less-than-Grand opening quickly spiraled into near-irrelevance. Now signs are pointing (both literally and figuratively) towards a relaunch of the ill-fated property. But is it too late to restore good fortune to the former Lady Luck?

This writer was the first VegasChatter-er to publish a review of Downtown Grand’s contemporary new rooms. Initially as a pampered invited guest, then two days later (incognito and on my own dime) for a different perspective. Feel free to look back at those write-ups here and here.

The former Player's Club desk, now a bank of empty slot machines

During that first stay, the Grand’s marketing team described ambitious future offerings, like “Commissary After Dark”, a nightclub-style venue that was to rise nightly inside "The Commissary" food court. And “Picnic”, downtown’s first and only daytime pool club.

Well, "After Dark" never happened and "The Commissary" went from an elaborate concept to a scaled-down food court with limited choices and hours. It now exists primarily as a place to get your "Grand Experience" (resort fee) coffee and maybe a sandwich or bar bites.

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One New Restaurant Open, One to Go in Downtown Las Vegas

June 15, 2015 at 7:37 PM | by | ()

Today is the first day of Las Vegas Restaurant Week so why not kick it off with a story about...restaurants. Specifically, two new restaurants on the scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

Opening today is Siegel's 1941 at El Cortez Hotel & Casino. The restaurant, as you probably guessed is named after gangster and Vegas pioneer, Bugsy Siegel and it takes over El Cortez's beloved former spot, The Flame.

Siegel's 1941 (can we just call it 1941 from now on?) has new floor-to-ceiling windows inside, a tiled ceiling with vintage style-lighting, 150 seats with extra at the bar, wooden tabletops and red leather booths.

The restaurant is open 24-hours a day and its “Morning, Noon and Night” is overseen by Chef Aaron Neeley, featuring "modern twists on American standards." Here's a bit on what to expect. If you were a big fan of The Flame, you'll be happy to see some old signature items on the new menu. Also, prepare to eat meat. Lots of meat.

As promised, Chef Neeley honors The Flame with beloved signature items including Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus, Seasonal Stone Crab and Matzo Ball Soup with Challah. Diners can enjoy the Fat Irish Green Corned Beef Hash with three eggs from the Breakfast Anytime menu, the Seven Layer Lasagna Bolognese from Al & Lucky’s Favorites, the Classic Shrimp Scampi from the From the Sea menu, and the Monte Cristo with ham, gruyere cheese, and grilled brioche or the Carolina Pulled Porkwith slaw on top and sesame bun from the Nation’s Best Sandwiches menu.

In a nod to Bugsy’s inner circle, the menu also hosts a selection of Bugsy’s Burgers featuring charbroiled half-pound burgers including the Lucky Luciano Burger with marinara, caramelized onion, Romano cheese and fresh mozzarella, the Meyer Lansky Burger with pastrami, Swiss cheese, house made coleslaw, pickles and Russian Dressing, the Virginia Hill “Flamingo” Burger a turkey burger with avocado, tomato marmalade, Monterrey jack cheese and onion rings and the Moe Green Veggie with grilled Portobello for the vegetarian mobsters.

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Downtown Grand Shuffles Its Executive Deck

June 15, 2015 at 6:47 PM | by | ()

Downtown Grand recently shuffled their executive staff. The casino replaced their initial CEO, Seth Schorr, with Jim Simms. Schorr, has transitioned to a newly created position of chairman while Simms was brought in from a non-Las Vegas property to lead Downtown Grand’s operations. His main job will be to grow its restaurant and entertainment offerings.

Downtown Grand is owned by CIM Group and operated by Fifth Street Gaming who also operates Downtown 3rd which is home to popular and successful restaurants and bars like Pizza Rock, Triple George and Hogs and Heifers.

Simms isn’t a stranger to Las Vegas but he hasn’t worked here in a while. He was most recently president and general manager of Miami Valley Gaming in Ohio. He’s been in the gaming and hospitality business for 20 years and before Miami Valley Gaming he worked in West Virginia, Chicago and at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas.

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A Staggered Start for Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky

May 28, 2015 at 7:38 PM | by | ()

At the start of this month, VegasChatter got a sneak preview of Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky, a new restaurant in Downtown. One month later, another VC contributor has a more in-depth, but still underwhelmed take on Itsy Bitsy.

The star attraction for Itsy Bitsy is not on their menu nor is it found in the space (which is rather small), but rather, in the names behind it. In our original piece on the opening of the restaurant, as well as in the press materials, the concept was billed a partnership between restauranteur of Raku (Micheal Koleff) and Corner Bar Management (the group behind Whist: Stove and Spirits and Park on Fremont.)

One would guess that this means the food for Itsy Bitsy would be created by the minds behind Raku (a place known for food) while the design and cocktails would be created by CBM (a group known for crazy awesome design and cocktails, but not so good food). Makes sense, right?

Turns out, this is not the case.

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Life is Beautiful Announces Eclectic Line-Up (With VIP Tickets That Include Massages)

May 20, 2015 at 7:57 PM | by | ()

The moment you have all been waiting for is here! Tickets on sale today: http://ticketf.ly/1L6Pn4b

Posted by Life is Beautiful Festival on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Since we've already covered food festivals and craft beer festivals today, why not talk about music festivals too?

The line-up for the 2015 Life is Beautiful Festival, happening in Downtown Vegas from September 25-27, was released yesterday and boy, is it an interesting mix.

For starters, it's headlined by legendary Stevie Wonder, followed by hometown band Imagine Dragons and then rapper-of-the-moment Kendrick Lamar. Rounding out the other performers is an eclectic but rather awesome mix of bands and musicians such as Duran Duran, Hozier, Kid Cudi, Weezer (!!!), Death Cab for Cutie and The Killers frontman (and Vegas native son), Brandon Flowers.

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Locals Only Beer Fest Coming To Neonopolis This Weekend

May 20, 2015 at 2:58 PM | by | ()

There are moments where by the time certain trends reach Las Vegas, they’re already on their way out of being trendy. That’s not the case with craft beer, which has moved beyond just being a trend as craft beer sales continue to grow nationwide as do the amount of brewing companies.

Put it this way--five years ago, you had to search up, down and all around Las Vegas to find a craft beer. Today you can find craft beer on just about every menu all around Las Vegas.

Further, there is a rapidly growing local craft brew scene in Las Vegas. And they will finally get their day at the Locals Only Beer Fest at Neonopolis in Downtown Vegas on Saturday, May 23.

The Fest takes place from 2p.m. and 6p.m. and will feature Nevada Craft Brewers Association members Banger Brewing (hosts of the event), Barley’s, Hop Nuts, 777, Joseph James, CraftHaus, Bad Beat, Tenaya Creek, Big Dog’s, Chicago Brewery, Ellis Island, Old School, Gordon Biersch and Sin City. There will also be a couple home brewers featured at the beer fest.

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The Slot Machines from The Riviera Will Live on at These Two Casinos

May 18, 2015 at 2:17 PM | by | ()

The new location of the slot machines that were once inside the Riviera was revealed about an hour before the casino closed its doors on May 4th at noon. Not too many people saw or heard the news as it happened since it was revealed during a live video tour by part-owner of the Riviera, Derek Stevens, who was sharing with his followers through Periscope.

If you’re the kind of dork that has to be up on the latest everything in technology like this writer you may have been one of the few hundred people watching and listening Stevens' last walk through the casino while it was open.

Periscope is a live video streaming app that’s currently available to those who use Apple iOS mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad (Android versions are being worked on). The company that created Periscope was purchased by Twitter for approximately $100 million in March last year but the app wasn’t released until earlier this year. The technology of live video streaming isn’t entirely new but this new version of live streaming links directly with the operators twitter account and with their followers through the app on their mobile devices. You can learn more about Periscope here.

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