weather icon Clear

Ellis Island family honored; Kind Heaven at Linq delayed

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the bar at Village Pub & Cafe at Ellis Island. We’re all singing the chorus of “Margaritaville” on a sorta lazy Vegas afternoon.

The event provides an opportunity to applaud the business’s founders, the Ellis family, being honored Friday night at the JDRF Hope Gala on Friday night at Mandalay Bay. Gary and Cindy Ellis, along with daughters Christina, Anamarie and Michaela are a Vegas family dynasty that opened Village Pub tavern in 1968.

The business on Koval Lane has blossomed ever since, growing into a 301-room hotel and casino with the largest beer-producing brewery in the state. The long-awaited Front Yard party space is lurching to a July 4 opening, Clark County permits permitting.

But in all of this growth, Ellis Island remains a family operation. Every Ellis is involved in operations. Customers are loyal. The staff is on top of it. You can devour the famous fish and chips dinner for $10. Parking is free, and the Village Pub & Cafe is open 24 hours.

The casino’s loyal customers love to warble it up at the Karaoke Bar from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. weeknights, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. weekends. Karaoke is so popular at Ellis Island that customers actually cash in their Passport Players Club points to move up the line to sing.

As Gary Ellis says, “We understand that family businesses can be fragile in Las Vegas. You have to take care of people.” Righteous.

EDC sells out

Electric Daisy Carnival has sold out all of its three-day, general-admission passes for event set for May 17-19 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Upwards of 140,000 tickets, at least, were made available for this year’s festival. GA+VIP tickets are still offered, starting at $499; and VIP Experiences are posted, starting at $799. Find those options by clicking right here.

Heaven can wait

Originally planned for an August opening, Kind Heaven at Linq Hotel is set to launch in spring 2020. Construction delays are the stated reason for the pushed-back opening.

The Southeast Asia-themed attraction is to be peppered with live entertainment, restaurants and a technologically advanced, 360-degree walking tour. At a cost of nearly $100 million, the entertainment fortress is a partnership between Cary Granat, chief executive office of Immersive Artistry, Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction and Caesars Entertainment.

As noted in the project’s announcement in March 2018, Kind Heaven will be divided into two segments: family friendly by day (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) and adult at night (8 p.m.-3 am.). Gaming is not in the plans. The attraction will face the Strip from the upper levels of The Linq Hotel, taking up the space once occupied by the hotel’s sportsbook and Vortex special-event venue. The entrance will be on the west side of the Linq Promenade.

Prices are not formally set, but officials have estimated $30 during the day and $65 at night. That’s what Jane says, anyway.

‘Jersey’ to Broadway

Travis Cloer, who played Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” at Palazzo Theater and Paris Las Vegas from 2008 through the show’s closing in ’16, headlines at the Space at 8 p.m. Friday. His “Broadway” show will feature a few Four Seasons numbers, and is jammed with a backing band of music director Keith Thompson, Don Meoli on drums, Kevin Mullinax on trombone, Eric Tewalt on sax, Mike Robb on trumpet, Trey Ordaz on bass, Crystal Yuan on violin and David Warner on cello.

‘Absinthe’ wire act out

The Frat Pack has been grounded, at least for now, at “Absinthe.” The act, a favorite since the show opened in April 2011, has been out of the show for about six months, when original cast member Almas Meirmanov left. The act also featured original artist Paul “Fat Frank” Lopez, and served as the suspenseful, comedic climax to the performance. Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison says the act could well return, and rotating numbers is commonplace in “Absinthe.”

But for now, Fat Frank’s sprint around the tent in his emerald-colored G-string is (sad emoji) left to memory.

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 Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.