Mark Wahlberg’s tequila-fest opens chic Strip restaurant
Mark Wahlberg leads a fleet of celebs to the chic, spacious Cathédrale at Aria
Updated May 3, 2023 - 6:51 pm
We’ve set a system of how to experience the Mark Wahlberg Empire in Las Vegas.
Slip into some Municipal sweats and P448 sneaks for a workout at F45 training center in the Arts District. Clean up. Grab a bite at Wahlburgers at Mandalay Place. Swing into Cathédrale at Aria for a shot of Flecha Azul Tequila, which we will passed to the nearest individual who drinks tequila.
And if this is during the holidays, catch the drama-comedy flick “The Family Plan,” filmed on-location in VegasVille.
Wahlberg brought his one-man corporation to the debut of Cathédrale at Aria on Friday night. The A-list actor and tireless entrepreneur brought along cases of Flecha Azul. The event was to throw open the doors of the lavish restaurant and nightspot.
Cathédrale is the latest creation from Tao Group Hospitality, conceived by renowned architecture and design firm Rockwell Group.
For Cathédrale’s signature design effect, walk in and look up. The venue’s ceiling installation is 25 miles of chain weighing 6,000 pounds (we will take their word for it).
“The best moment of the entire opening was watching everyone’s jaws drop when they saw the ceiling,” Tao Group Hospitality co-CEO Jason Strauss said Tuesday.
The 266-seat dining experience is positioned coyly in Aria’s lobby entrance. The opening party was impressively next-level, remarkable for the stature and pure volume of the crowd. It’s not often do you run into Anderson .Paak and Flavor Flav while pushing your way to the cheese station.
“I have known Mark, forever, and now he’s a Las Vegas resident,” Flav said in a phone chat Tuesday. “I’ve known him since he was Marky Mark. To me, he is still Marky Mark. That’s my boy.”
(Flav’s a reference is to the Wahlberg’s early 1990s hip-hop act Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. It is never too late to introduce yourself to Marky Mark’s recording career.)
Hundreds of VIP guests jammed the event, during which .Paak (in his djpee.wee alter-ego) entertained the throng. Along with .Paak and Flav, those in the mix included snowboard icon Shaun White with his actress-girlfriend Nina Dobre; Raiders receiver Davante Adams and his wife, Devanne; newly transplated Vegas celeb journo Perez Hilton; actor Emile Hirsch; actress Karreuche Tran; music duo Sofi Tukker; celeb podcaster Sofia Franklyn; and rap star; and yours truly, hanging by the cheese.
At some point during the festive scrum, Wahlberg toasted with his favorite offering, Cristalino, from Flecha Azul. We can’t partake in the beverage. But like Wahlberg himself, it seems smooth, impressively branded and packs a punch.
The Chicks at Charlie’s?
Impress your friends, or not, by knowing then-Dixie Chicks once headlined Arizona Charlie’s Decatur’s Palace Grand Theater in 1993, in the days before they landed a record deal and before they could fill an arena.
The late Ron Lurie, former Las Vegas mayor who ran the hotel at the time, famously said to me, “They did very well for us.”
The Chicks have far outlasted Palace Grand Theatre, which closed in 2000 (with a performance by Bobby “Blue” Bland). The trio of Natalie Maines, Emily Robinson and Martie Maguire open a six-show run at Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood on Wednesday night.
He could sit anywhere, but …
Kevin Costner took up a position in the back row Sunday at AMC Town Square Theaters, during a screening for his upcoming epic feature film, “Horizon.”
None of those in the film’s test audience realized Costner was in the house. The passion project involves 170 characters over 15 years during the country’s post-Civil War expansion period.
Afterward, Costner headed to the nearby Milano Italian Restaurant, where he dined with a group that included cast members Luke Wilson and Jeff Fahey. Costner most recently headlined Vegas in November 2021, playing Sunset Station’s Sunset Amphitheater with his band, Modern West.
A true Maverick
We always enjoy our succinct phone chats with Vegas hospitality icon Freddie Glusman. Monday night it was Glusman, in his characteristically gruff voice” “Mark Cuban. Party of 10. In the restaurant. Right now. Bye.”
Cuban is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a “shark” on the entrepreneurial reality TV series “Shark Tank.” The restaurant was, and is, Piero’s Italian restaurant. Like Glusman, Piero’s is a Las Vegas institution.
Great Moments in Social Media
Barry Manilow reuniting with Dionne Warwick and Charo in a scene pulled from the 1970s, on the @officialcharo Instagram feed. The moment was captured at Carnegie Hall, just after the New York Pop’s tribute to Manilow.
Tease this …
A bonafide entertainment legend spanning more than seven decades is announcing a headlining appearance in VegasVille next week.
Cool Hang Alert
Yacht-rock faves The Docksiders are anchoring — anchoring, I tell you! — their second off-Strip residency. Kevin Sucher’s crafty, tuneful production returns at 7 p.m. Thursday to Notoriety Live. Plenty of 1970s-era hits, themed cocktails and “yacht-rock flare” (mostly captain’s caps and blazers) are promised.
The band first docked in Vegas at The Duomo at the Rio from September-November. It is now running every Thursday, booked through the end of the year, at Notoriety. Go to NotorietyLive.com for intel.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.
Cathédrale at Aria
From a news release announcing Cathédrale restaurant at Aria:
Guests arrive through blue velour cascading drapery revealing a dramatically lit tunnel with flickering candles and carved artwork, leading to the lounge where a sculptural metal beaded chain canopy awaits. Further inside the space, a theatrical and monumental ceiling installation draws attention in the main dining room, which is lined with blue leather banquettes.
Cathédrale’s elemental, ingredient-driven menu, helmed by Tao Group Hospitality’s Chief Culinary Officer Ralph Scamardella and created by Executive Chef Jason Hall features coastal cuisine influenced by the regions of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Offerings include Faroe Island Salmon with baby leeks, sun gold tomatoes, couscous and salsa verde, Black Truffle Fettuccine made with French butter, cracked pepper and parmigiano reggiano, and Lobster Arrabbiata made with sundried tomatoes, Calabrian chili, spinach and VSOP cognac.
Complementing the fare, Cathédrale showcases inventive craft cocktails along with an extensive wine offering. The cocktail menu features signature drinks that are expertly crafted with premium spirits and fresh ingredients. Guests can indulge in the refreshing Sainte-Marguerite Isle’ made with lemongrass-infused Botanist Gin, pamplemousse, ginger, lemon, and Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic or the Adagio per Miele created with 22 Barr Hill Gin, basil eau de vie, Dolin Blanc Vermouth and orange bitters, rested on Barr Hill beeswax.
Desserts such as a Greek Napoleon with shredded phyllo, thyme honey, almonds and fresh fruit and the Paris-Brest with hazelnut cream, chocolate sauce and Pâte à Choux, along with a creative collection of composed ice cream and sorbets deliver a sweet ending.