Champagne well-wishes for Robin Leach to flow at UNLVino

Robin Leach has built a career around “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” The champagne will be flowing in his honor at Saturday’s 44th UNLVino at Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland Clinic.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist and avid fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic will be honored with a Dom Perignon 21-cork salute during the UNLVino festivities. The tribute is among many highlights of the gala, which runs for a single night from 7-11 p.m. inside the Ruvo Center’s Keep Memory Alive Event Center and adjacent outdoor property.

“This is a chance for students to recognize role models past, present and future,” said UNLVino organizer Michael Severino, who also is the senior director of special events and marketing for sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “This is a nod to Robin. Before there was Food Network (which Leach helped launch) and Travel Channel, there was ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ Robin has unselfishly contributed his knowledge and support to this industry and to this event.”

Leach has been an an annual attendee at UNLVino and a major supporter of the program that raises scholarship funds for UNLV’s’ William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. He is unable to attend this year, though, as he remains hospitalized in Cleveland during his recovery from a stroke he had in November.

Leach has been alternating between the Cleveland Clinic ICU and a nearby rehabilitation center.

Robin’s son Steve Leach said he hopes to have his father back in Las Vegas within 30 days. Robin is undergoing speech therapy. The younger Leach said his dad is speaking some clear words and is eager to be home to see his friends.

Apart from the salute to Leach, the event will honor late French chef Paul Bocuse with the release of 1,926 red, white, and blue balloons. Bocuse was born in 1926 in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, France. He emerged as a trendsetter in nouvelle cuisine and has been an inspiration to generations of culinary students.

Saturday’s event also will posthumously honor Donald Louis Carano with a Dom Perignon Award of Excellence, which recognizes leadership in the wine, culinary and hospitality industries. A Reno native, Carano founded Eldorado Resorts, the McDonald Carano law firm, and Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery. The other Dom Perignon honoree, Ann Hoff, is president and chief operating officer of Excalibur on the Strip.

Everybody loves this guy …

Comedy Cellar operators Bill Grundfest’s and Noam Dworman’s promise of pop-ins at the new Rio comedy club already is fulfilled. Ray Romano ducked into the club, unbilled, at the 7 p.m. show Saturday and performed a 15-minute set. Pop-in performances from established stars are a hallmark of Comedy Cellar in New York.

I caught the opening show Thursday, and it was super strong, with Mark Cohen and pianist Rick Crom emceeing a lineup of Mo Amer, Kyle Dunnigan, Nathan Macintosh and Jessica Kirson.

Amer unwittingly procured a moment I’ve not seen (nor has he) in a comedy club: actual bloodshed. He nicked his left elbow on the stage’s handrail while walking to the mic. As he started his act, a guy in the front row called out, “You’re bleeding!” and handed the comic a cocktail napkin.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and have never had this happen! This is a night I might actually die onstage!” Amer said in a string of jokes as blood streamed down his arm. A woman named Gretchen finally handed him a bandage from her purse. The packed house applauded as Amer said, “Gretchen! You are magic!”

Emerge, and history

The first Emerge Impact + Music festival, held this weekend at eight Vegas venues (six on the Strip) reminded of a similarly idealistic music festival from a bygone era.

Emerging Artists & Technology in Music, or EAT’M, was held annually in Las Vegas, primarily on the Strip, from 1998-2002. The festival was conceived as a showcase that connected music executives with emerging contemporary acts. About 200 bands played on 15 stages at EAT’M, which featured such industry heavyweights as Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.

But the EAT’M concept unraveled. Casino guests complained about all the racket emanating from open lounges. Musicians complained that they were restricted to 20-minute sets and were told to turn down the volume. EAT’M showcased Papa Roach, Slipknot and Michelle Branch (and also Keanu Reeves’ Dogstar outfit).

EAT’M ended its run 16 years ago and never returned. I thought of that festival while listening to Jason Gastwirth, senior vice president for Caesars Entertainment Corp., express his company’s commitment to Emerge. “The time is right for this,” he said, noting today’s more youthful and entertainment-focused Vegas tourists.

Emerge is of its time and would not have worked 20 years ago. EAT’M learned that the hard way.

Channing’s plight

Channing Tatum’s statue is suddenly a hot draw at Madame Tussauds at The Venetian. The attraction has posted a photo of the wax version of the Hollywood heartthrob on Twitter, surrounded by a quartet of adoring ladies. The succinct message: “Stop by @shopgrandcanal and say hi to the newly single #ChanningTatum!”

ICYMI, Tatum and his wife, Jenna Dewan, announced Monday that they plan to separate.

This dissolving relationship has not quelled Tatum’s business interests in Las Vegas, where he remains co-producer of “Magic Mike Live” at Hard Rock Hotel. That show figures prominently in redevelopment plans by the incoming ownership group, led by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and new hotel CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth.

The hotel’s next phase will include a new nightclub near the Magic Mike Theater to go with the previously announced club opening in an expanded, and renamed, Vinyl next year.

The new Pearl

The refurbished Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms is ready for review. I’m mostly impressed by what has gone unchanged: the great sight lines and seating configuration. Pearl always has felt more intimate than its 1,500-2,500 capacity implies. Around the hall, VIP rooms were redesigned with marble, stone and leather effects. The bars offer specialty cocktails and craft beers. The venue’s seats have been reupholstered in three shades of red (cherry, burgundy, crimson) in seemingly random patterns. In short, it’s a general refresh for the hall that opened in 2007.

Pearl’s next upgrade, a new sound system, will be installed in time for Blink-182’s first performance in its 16-show “Kings of the Weekend” residency May 26.

Cool hang alert

“Alice” returns to Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort at 9 p.m. Monday. Anne Martinez’s steampunk/rock adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” continues to evolve. Aerial acts, kinetic choreography and a blazing backing band push co-vocalists Martinez and Ashley Fuller through this production.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter and @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Working cats at St. John the Baptist Church
Parish councilmember John Koutsulis talks about the two cats St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church have adopted as part of a working cats program.
Lee Canyon snow makes skiers smile
Skiers and snow boarders took advantage of the Presidents Day holiday and the recent snowfall at Lee Canyon, outside of Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston gets fresh blanket of snow
A winter storm drops nearly four inches of fresh snow on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Mount Charleston outside Las Vegas. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow in the Las Vegas Valley
Snow accumulated in the Las Vegas Valley for the first time in more than a decade, with snow falling mostly in the western, northwestern and southern areas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal) @bizutesfaye
Snow at US 95 and Lee Canyon Road
Passers-by pulled off Lee Canyon Road northwest of Las Vegas Monday to play in the fresh snow. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Road truck on an empty I-15
Snow and ice contributed to the closure of Interstate 15 near Primm. Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal
I-15 traffic diverted at St. Rose Parkway
The Nevada Highway Patrol has closed Interstate 15 in both directions between south Las Vegas and the California state line due to icy road conditions, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ice on roadway shuts down I-15 south of Las Vegas
An overnight snowstorm left an icy roadway, causing the Nevada Highway Patrol to shut down Interstate 15 south of Las Vegas to the California state line. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
I-15 closed at St. Rose Parkway
Ice on Interstate 15 caused the Nevada Highway Patrol to close the highway from St. Rose Parkway in south Las Vegas to the California state line on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driving a snowy Sunday night in Summerlin
Several inches of snow have fallen in Summerlin on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. This shows street conditions between Charleston and Far Hills in Summerlin. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Winter wonderland at Summerlin park
A snowstorm hit Fox Hill Park in Summerlin on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
February snowstorm in western Las Vegas
A snowstorm hit Summerlin and parts of western Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow in Summerlin
Snow near Far Hills and Fox Hill Drive.
Valentine's Day Brings Wet Weather To Las Vegas
Parts of the Las Vegas Valley received more than an inch of rain by 1 p.m. Thursday, triggering numerous vehicle accidents, sparking flooding and prompting at least two swift-water rescues in flood channels. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Artist sends love from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
Artist Chris O'Rourke has a giant heart mounted in the back of pickup positioned for photos at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the Las Vegas Strip on Valentine's Day 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rain doesn't dampen weddings on Valentine's Day
Charolette Richards, owner of A Little White Wedding Chapel who has been performing weddings for 60 years, started Valentine’s Day 2019 by performing a wdding for Las Vegas couple David and Elaine Cook at the chapel’s Tunnel of Love drive-thru. Richards has over 100 weddings booked for Valentine’s Day. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Swift-water rescue in Las Vegas
The Clark County Fire Department rescued one person from the flooded Durango Wash in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
It is a rainy Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - Video
These scenes come from the Las Vegas Stadium LiveCam (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rainy and soggy on Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day across the Las Vegas Valley will be soggy and wet. A flood advisory has been issued for Clark County. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Early morning rainfall in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas valley was hit with rainfall early Thursday morning. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Janelle Veith, Quest Academy principal, talks about her school success
Janelle Veith, Quest Academy principal, talks about her school success. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Learning how to create your own comic book
Jean Munson talks about the class she teaches at the Maximum Comics in Henderson on creating and publishing your own comic book.
Top Ladies of Distinction unveils second Las Vegas chapter
Officers Clair Hart and Rose Coker discuss the service organization’s work and mission.
The Animal Foundation Opens New Wing
On Tuesday, The Animal Foundation opened the doors to its new Engelstad Foundation Adoption center. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
North Las Vegas firefighter skates from ice to fire
Darcy Loewen, a former pro hockey player, finds a new career as a North Las Vegas firefighter. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Carnival AirShip floats over Las Vegas
Carnival Cruise flew a blimp over the LAs Vegas Valley on Thursday in a promotion for its new Carnival Panorama ship. (Mat luschek/Review-Journal)
Pedestrian dies after crash at Decatur and Alta
Las Vegas police investigate a fatal crash that killed a pedestrian at Decatur Boulevard and Alta Driver about 6 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Jessica Terrones/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars Cosplayers Visit Sick Kids At Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
Members of Coruscant Base, a Star Wars cosplay group, visit kids at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Hail and wet snow in Las Vegas
The western edges of Las Vegas saw some hail and wet snow on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Developer Jim Rhodes lists his mansion for $30 million
Jim Rhodes, a developer, has listed his mansion in Spanish Hills community for $30 million. The mansion is situated on 2 acres of land and features 19,345 square feet of living space. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Court ruling brings hope to local Vietnam veteran
Blue Water Navy Veteran Michael Yates talks about possible medical benefits he could receive after a federal court ruling this week. Yates claims he was exposed to Agent Orange and attributes that to his health problems, which include cancer.
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing