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1923 Prohibition Bar expanding to second spot on the Strip

Updated February 23, 2024 - 7:32 pm

The 1923 Prohibition Bar has always attempted a delicate balance, a secret hideaway operating at a busy retail center on the Strip. It’s an underground concept, but up the escalators. Or at its next club, the elevator.

Long a popular draw at Mandalay Bay Place, 1923 Prohibition is opening its second Strip location at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian.

Club creator and owner Noel Bowman announced the new venture Tuesday and is hoping to open by the end of May.

Accessible only by elevator, the new club will sit above Bowman’s Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Grand Canal Shoppes (the location of the old Tao Group Hospitality offices). The new 1923 will hold a little more than 500 guests in a flexible, 8,000-square-foot space. The club will have a 300-seat performance venue and a smaller, parlor-style room.

This 1923 will be open for private events during the week, with live entertainment on the weekends.

An “ultra-secret, hidden chamber magic show,” similar to the “Ghost Stories” parlor performances at the original 1923, is also being developed. Bowman is also planning music performances (ideally for rising Las Vegas performers) for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

And in keeping with the hideaway concept, the private entrance is available to guests receiving secret instructions in the speakeasy/hideaway to the concealed location.

Bowman is an industry leader in the Vegas speakeasy community, as he opened 1923 — then in partnership with Holly Madison — at Mandalay Bay nearly a decade ago. The club took over the Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce nightspot, originally on the first floor, where the Flanker sports bar and restaurant now stands.

The 1923 club moved to the second floor when Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood restaurant took over that first-floor space.

Since Bowman opened in 2014, several hideaway-speakeasy ideas have blossomed on the Strip and elsewhere. He has remained true to his original vision.

”So I don’t know if we get that credit, of being one of the originals,” Bowman says. “But I hope it can somehow make its way through some of these story lines, because it’s something we’re proud of.”

Bowman said his motivation has been to fill the void for larger, private-event spaces. He’s also seeking to keep the legacy of intimate, live performances relevant as superstar headliners have moved in. The owner says, “I’d really like to keep the small-lounge act era alive, and our location is truly a hidden gem that will satisfy that need for exclusive, underground entertainment experiences as well as thrill private event planners and attendees with the expansive space.”

The venue overlooks the Grand Canal gondoliers. The space is decked out in 1920s-era décor with a stage, full audiovisual capabilities, branding and catering capabilities. Corporate receptions, cocktail parties, sports-watch parties and seated banquets are all possible.

Bowman has not wavered from his original vision for stylish, vintage entertainment and hospitality from his first 1923 spot.

“I have this saying, ‘The year is 2027. All Vegas is a speakeasy. And nobody can find it.’” Unless you know somebody.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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