Chayo says adios to Clooney’s tequila

A Las Vegas restaurant is dropping a George Clooney-backed tequila brand and siding with casino mogul Steve Wynn in the aftermath of a booze-fueled shouting match about Obamacare.

Chayo Mexican Kitchen &Tequila Bar, newly opened at The Linq, will pull Casamigos tequila, according to the Florida-based ownership group.

“Steve Wynn has done a lot of good and provided tens of thousands of jobs for the city of Las Vegas, unlike the millions of jobs the Affordable Care Act will destroy,” said Tom Kelly, one of the owners of Chayo and its sister restaurant, Tequila Ranch in Hollywood, Fla. “We agree with Steve Wynn’s take on the Affordable Care Act and would like to show our support for him and the many other business owners it is hurting across the country.

“We don’t want to be associated with that brand due to Mr. Clooney’s disrespect for Mr. Wynn at his own property.”

A business dinner this month at Wynn’s Botero restaurant at Encore ended with Clooney exploding after jawing with Wynn over Obamacare.

In a telephone interview, Wynn said Clooney got intoxicated and stormed out when he took issue with Wynn’s comments.

Clooney, responding to a request for comment, sent a statement through his publicist, saying he took issue when Wynn called President Barack Obama an A-hole and called Wynn the same.

The two-time Oscar winner said he called Wynn a “jackass” for slamming the president, with whom Clooney is friends.

Clooney and his partners were dining with Wynn to solidify the Casamigos relationship. Wynn started carrying the tequila in early 2013.

Sources I’ve known for years tell me it was not the first time Las Vegans have seen Clooney turn combative while partying.

One source, who said he was at Clooney’s table while the actor was dating cocktail server Sarah Larson during 2007-08, said he erupted one night at Nove Italiano at the Palms.

“He thought a woman at the table said, ‘I hate Obama’ and he went off. She actually said, ‘I hate drama,’ ” the source said.

Another source who was in the company of Clooney and his Casamigos business partner, Rande Gerber, said they each had at least 10 tequila shots and, a few hours later, Clooney’s mood turned sour.

Clooney was back in the headlines on Saturday when reports surfaced that he recently got engaged to humanitarian attorney Amal Alamuddin.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six column, Alamuddin, 36, was wearing an engagement ring Thursday at Nobu in Malibu, where she and Clooney were dining with Gerber and his wife, Cindy Crawford.

They have been dating for less than a year, according to reports.


Carole King and Gloria Estefan, who teamed up on a duet of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala on Saturday, go back a long way.

Estefan was 13 when she bought her first album, “Tapestry,” King’s monster hit project released in 1971.

When Estefan faced paralysis after her 1990 bus crash, she turned to “Tapestry” and its many messages for inspiration.

Estefan endured six to seven hours of daily rehab to prevent what doctors said was inevitable — that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

“Carole is coming for that reason — their friendship,” said Larry Ruvo, who made Estefan and her husband Emilio honorees of the event’s 18th edition.

Ruvo recently saw “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” on Broadway.

“It’s as good as any play I’ve seen in 20 years,” he said.


Touring the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health on Friday: the Estefans, music icon Quincy Jones and Queen Latifah. Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss performed at the gala’s VIP Friday party at the clinic. ... “American Idol” Jordin Sparks, with friends at Boyz II Men at The Mirage on Friday. She was in town to perform at the Ruvo gala. ... At Elton John (Caesars Palace) on Friday: Sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson of the band Heart and supermodel Tyra Banks. ... Actor Andy Garcia, backstage after taking in David Copperfield’s “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion” at MGM Grand on Friday.


“Evil Vladimir Putin said this about President Obama. He said, ‘If I were drowning, I think President Obama would rescue me.’ And I thought: Well, give that a try.” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.