89109 Travel Guide
You're in Vegas. You need a cup of coffee (or 12) before you can even speak to another person, much less hit the tables for an early-morning craps session. You're bored with the Starbucks you'll find at just about every hotel on the Strip and want something different. We've got you covered. Monte Carlo might have local coffee roaster Sambalatte but Paris has Mon Ami Gabi and bottomless cups of Intelligentsia Coffee to kick off your day.
Mon Ami Gabi has been such a staple in Las Vegas for years that many people don’t realize the restaurant’s flagship location is based in Chicago. Intelligentsia Coffee originated in Chicago and has grown into a small chain of coffee shops by expanding to California and a few other states. The brand generally buys its beans directly from growers in Central America, South America, East Africa and Ethiopia to create its own unique roasts. You'll taste the difference with each sip.
VegasChatter Reviews / Circus Circus / The Adventuredome / El Loco / Roller Coasters / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Here at VegasChatter, we love what’s new. It’s no surprise that we’ve covered El Loco, the most recent ride addition at The Adventuredome, quite a bit. But, what about the rest of the ‘Dome? It's been up and running for over twenty years, but is it worth your time? Or, is it a tourist trap better left for the Clark Griswolds of the world? This writer set out to answer these questions while conquering the new El Loco coaster during a recent visit to Circus Circus.
Gay Vegas / Closings / Krave / The Strip / → All Tags
Krave has announced its closure while simultaneously clinging to the tagline of being America's #1 LGBT nightclub.
The nightspot, which seems to have had its greatest days when it was located on the Harmon side of Miracle Mile, will close at its current location as of this Sunday, July 27. After a disastrous downtown move, Krave popped up on The Strip at the Tommy Wind Theater (formerly the Empire Ballroom) last November and even invested in an remodel that brought new furniture, lighting, and a new sound system to the space.
SLS Las Vegas / Openings / Casinos / Bazaar Casino / Blackjack / Video Poker / Craps / Poker Rooms / Sportsbooks / Gaming / → All Tags
SLS Las Vegas opens in a month on August 23 and this gambler gets more and more excited with each bit of news he hears about the casino. And, now I'm hearing SLS could have the most player friendly gaming on The Strip!
Last May when SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara) shared that it wouldn’t open with a poker room (execs will reconsider if there is demand) or a traditional sportsbook, I was slightly concerned about the kind of gaming that might be offered. A combination sportsbook-slash-restaurant sounds like a very modern way to extract revenue as opposed to offering an amenity to guests.
Earlier this year, however, promising details were revealed about the SLS Las Vegas casino itself. I became cautiously optimistic given the tagline, "generous pay tables you love." When details were revealed on Bazaar Casino (an evenings only gaming concept), I was pleased to learn there would be some very playable blackjack games available.
WTF / Mamma Mia / Tropicana / Closings / Openings / Entertainment / Shows / → All Tags
It's another grand opening, grand closing for Tropicana.
After debuting May 8, Trop's version of the Broadway hit, Mamma Mia!, has turned into a big miss. It's been announced the show will close August 3. We once had high hopes that the production would finally turn things around for the WTF-plagued property, but that changed after we actually saw it and felt the vocals (kind of a major thing here) did not stand out.
Music / iHeartRadio / Festivals / Concerts / MGM Grand / Luxor / Events / The Lot / MGM Grand Garden Arena / → All Tags
In with the old and in with the new? This seems to be iHeartRadio's plan this year as the newly announced lineup reflects a few acts who have previously graced the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena along with some first time performers.
This fourth edition of the two-day, multi-genre music festival includes performances by Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Motley Crue, Zac Brown Band, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Iggy Azalea, Train, Eric Church, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Bastille and Steve Aoki. The acts will be spread out over September 19 and 20, with a detailed schedule still to come.
VegasChatter Reviews / Eating / Dining / TAO / Venetian / Restaurants / → All Tags
After quite some time of not daring to touch their food lineup, the highest-grossing and most-profitable restaurant in America has deigned to make a change. The 62,000-foot behemoth that is TAO at Venetian made its bones off of being one of the first to bring clubs and restaurants together and one of the first to really popularize Asian-fusion cuisine. But, it also really needed to update the somewhat dated menu.
When not wrangling in the celebrity crowd with a fishing trawler, the staff has to push thousands of people every night, something only a buffet kitchen could usually do. Here they have whole teams dedicated to skewering sea bass or sautéing the shiitake in one of their still most popular dishes, the Sea Bass Satay ($19), which has been featured on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Festivals / Elvis / Westgate Las Vegas / LVH / Events / Off Strip / VegasChatter Emails / → All Tags
VegasChatter reader Barbara E. is a big Elvis fan and a regular Las Vegas visitor from California. After visiting an Elvis Festival in San Diego, she knew she had to experience one in the city Elvis helped make famous.
With 837 performances since 1969 in the hotel now known as Westgate Las Vegas (formerly LVH, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, formerly the International Hotel when Elvis performed there), Barbara knew this would be the spot to meet up with other Elvis-minded fans. She submitted the tale of her trip to VegasChatter so read on to hear more about her experience.
I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was 16 in 1956. I remember a radio host announcing “a new and controversial singer,” or some such phrase that got my attention, before he played “Heartbreak Hotel.” Those were the days when there were portable radios in the bedrooms, not TVs. I bought all his records and still have them. Unfortunately, termites ate Elvis’ first album–the little buggers.
It may not look like it from The Strip just yet, but The Linq Hotel is already starting to make a splash in Las Vegas. An on-going metamorphosis of the soon-to-be renamed Quad (which was Imperial Palace before that) is refocusing on the hotel-casino's exterior.
After receiving a tip from VegasChatter friend @paperposter, VC photographer Greg Clarke visited the center Strip property to capture photos of the changes now underway. Greg reports all the balcony walls have been removed from the rear of the hotel and that work is now taking place on the center portion of the building that faces the pool. Here's a rendering of the finished project:
Music / Events / MGM Grand / MGM Grand Garden Arena / Phish / Vegas Rumors / → All Tags
<>Update at bottom of post!
It’s been ten years since the iconic, exaltation-inducing Vermont quartet known as Phish last delivered a brain-melting performance in the city of Las Vegas. But as gamblers in this town are keenly aware, all streaks — hot or cold — are inevitably destined to be broken.
In the midst of a 3.0 summer tour confined mainly to the east coast and on the heels of their first studio album release since 2009’s Joy, VegasChatter has learned from a high-ranking source at MGM Grand that Phish are finally ready to return to Sin City for the first time since rocking the Thomas & Mack Center in 2004 with a run of shows at MGM Grand Garden Arena for this fall’s yet-to-be-announced tour.
The Mirage better prepare itself for swooning guests who will be succumbing to cuteness overload at the sight of the newest additions to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Three white lion cubs, all boys, have arrived at the Strip attraction straight from Johannesburg, South Africa.
The three brothers, not to be confused with VegasChatter’s 3Brothers, are named Madiba (the tribal name of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela), Timba-Masai and Freedom.
Happy Hour / MGM Grand / Hecho en Vegas / Dining / Eating / Deals / → All Tags
Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand should be on your happy hour radar, if it isn’t already. It used to have a more straightforward weekday special but even if it’s gotten more complicated lately, it’s worth your consideration.
On Sundays and Wednesdays, the Mexican restaurant offers half-off appetizers from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The “primeros” menu includes tres quesos fundido, short rib taquitos, mesquite-grilled chicken quesadillas, Hecho wings, shrimp chicharron, a variety of street tacos and “the chimichanga experience.”