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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.