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‘It’s a lot’: Famous Las Vegas dive bar finally reopening

Updated November 11, 2023 - 8:01 pm

Frankie Sidoris is opening the same 61-year-old dive bar for the second time in 14 months.

And how’s it goin’, rock star?

“You know, it’s definitely a lot. It is a lot, a lot, a lot,” Sidoris says on Friday afternoon, just hours before taking the stage with Mammoth WVH at Ford Field in Detroit, where the band opened for Metallica. “But at no point was I like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s it. It’s time to close up shop.’ I mean, it’s history. It’s a landmark.”

Sidoris spears of his prize project, Hard Hat Lounge at 1675 Industrial Road, an original Las Vegas beer-and-beat down bar established in 1962 and re-opening (re-re-opening, actually) on Dec. 1.

The Hard Hat has been taken down and locked up since May, as Sidoris and his band of workers finish infrastructure repairs. For Sidoris, plumbing fixtures and grease traps have been as important as guitar amps.

“There have been so many setbacks,” Sidoris says. “It’s one of those things that always comes back to, well, you know, if you buy an old house from the ‘50s, you’re gonna have to fix all of the plumbing, or all of the electrical. It’s a similar thing with Hard Hat.”

Sidoris’ food partner in the club’s next iteration is Bobby Meader of Stay Tuned Burgers, who Sidoris refers to as a “local hero” for his position in the culinary community. Stay Tuned is stepping in for original culinary partner Robby Cunningham of Guerilla Pizza of Las Vegas, before the two agreed to part ways before the May shutdown.

Stay Tuned is an apt participant in the club. Sidoris and Meader have been friends since grade school. The burgers and sloppy-yummy tots and fries could be served inside specially designed hard hats (these ideas always arrive during the writing).

Sidoris is also working alongside club GM Dillon Shines, which has been a name and a job description in the club’s widespread restoration. Sidoris and Shines have been friends since they were fourth-graders at Vandenberg Elementary School in Henderson.

Sidoris’ team is dependably close-knit. We’ve routinely mentioned he’s the son of Stabile Productions co-founder and original “Crazy Girls” cast member Angela Stabile, and esteemed Resorts World casino pro Frank Sidoris. Angela and Matt Stabile run the “X Burlesque” and “X Country” topless revues series, and the Piff the Magic Dragon show at Flamingo. Daughter Tiffany Stabile is co-producer. Las Vegas entertainment professionals abound in this family.

Even while on stadium tours, Sidoris maintains a taut Vegas affiliation. His “GKG” (standing for Go Knights Go) is Golden Knights’ theme song, played at every game at T-Mobile Arena. Throughout his career, Sidoris has recorded and toured with with serious rockers, and next year is actually opening for himself next year when Mammoth WVH opens for Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators on a European tour next year (he’s guitarist in both bands).

On Dec. 8, Mammoth WVH headlines House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. But ahead of that is the relaunch of the club on Industrial Road.

Whomever commits to playing this party will cut loose in a historic place with a fresh feel.

“All I can say now is that this place, from the bathrooms to the electrical to everything, you can feel the difference. You can smell the difference too, that’s for sure,” Sidoris says with a laugh. “But what’s cool is that it’s still the same Hard Hat that people knew and love.”

Prime-time lineup

Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child is singing the national anthem and Richie McDonald, late of Lonestar, is to lead a halftime military tribute at Sunday’s Raiders-Jets game at Allegiant Stadium. We can say the honorary lighter of the Al Davis Memorial Torch is one very cool individual.

David Perrico and the Raiders House Band is performing along with McDonald on “I’m Already There.” McDonald was a pre-game guest in the 2021 season, whose performance impressed even those not familiar with Lonestar. Kickoff is 5:20 p.m., broadcast on “Sunday Night Football” on NBC. Get their about an hour early for all the hype.

Laliberte bounces back

Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberte’s Frooogs Camp is set up at Resorts World’s former Enchant parcel just off the Strip. Laliberte is residing on that plot throughout Las Vegas Grand Prix. On Friday he entertained a group described as “potential clients,” for a project moving forward in Las Vegas. We’re checking in next week, Frooogy costume or not.

The Babyface play

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has been seen around town as a new Las Vegas resident. Sunday he sang the national anthem at the Raiders-Jets game. Monday afternoon he toured Fontainebleau’s under-development rooftop club (which is apparently VIP enough for a 12-time Grammy Award winner to check out).

That night, Edmonds took up a booth at the Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns show at the Copa at Bootlegger Bistro.

Edmonds arrived with Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health co-founders Larry and Camille Ruvo, and was also seated with Bootlegger owners Dennis Bono and Lorraine Hunt Bono. Edmonds hit a hot night. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Danny Seraphine, late of Chicago; and Carlos Santana percussionist Karl Perazzo were also in the mix.

Perazzo was called to the stage early in the show and rocked the place until the end of the set.

Fantastic performance, though vocalist Tyriq Johnson said afterward he was as nervous as he’s ever been onstage. Having a person in the audience who has recorded with Whitney Houston, Usher, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Diana Ross will alter the trajectory of the evening. This is another reason why front man Jerry Lopez calls these shows “The Healing.”

Tease this …

On the topic of Fontainebleau, the hotel is hosting a significant civic event for a richly deserving organization in February in its BleauLive Theater. Exciting times for everyone.

Cool Hang Alert

The Windjammers pull into port at 9 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Station’s Club Madrid. Lopez leads this musically and vocally buoyant yacht-rock armada. No cover, which is just silly for all this talent. Ages 21 and over.

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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