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Return of Strip club scene ‘a celebration of life’

Updated June 18, 2021 - 5:41 pm

Jason Strauss is as impressed as anyone by the booming return of club business in Las Vegas. No small statement, as he’s not readily impressed by nightclub atmosphere. As the co-CEO of Tao Group Hospitality, Strauss is accustomed to thousands of merrymakers bouncing under an LED chandelier to the wizardry of Steve Aoki.

The veteran nightlife exec doesn’t even flinch at the blast of party cannons.

But after 15 months of inactivity, Strauss is looking at the mega-club events through a new prism. He’s been inspired by the strong revival of nightclubs and dayclubs as those venues have reopened to 100-percent capacity this month.

“What is amazing now is, all this explosive volume is without conventions, group sales without big group leisure sales that team up a thousand guest rooms,” Strauss said in an interview days after clubs reopened to full capacity. “This has been straight, individual travel business.”

Strauss says business has spiked because of the drive-in crowd from Arizona and Southern California, and also a high volume of incoming tourists from such Texas feeder cities as Dallas and Houston.

Two weekends ago, Strauss attended Chris Lake’s Full Bloom Sundays party at Marquee Dayclub and DJ Pauly D’s appearance at Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and also Aoki’s slammed return to Omnia at Caesars Palace. Everywhere, party raged as if it was summer 2019.

“Everybody came in and it filled up, and then it was like they didn’t know what to do, exactly,” Strauss said of the returning throngs. “There was a look-and-see moment, and then when the headliner came on, it was as wild and as big as any night we’ve had in the past 10 years. We haven’t seen that kind of energy since the Marquee and Tao openings. It was a celebration of life.”

Omnia’s “Wild At Heart” industry night on Tuesdays has also returned, as busy as ever, Strauss says.

Tao Group and Hakkasan Group merged in April, forming a partnership between two colossal Las Vegas nightlife companies. But it’s not all behemoth nightclub and dayclub concepts for the newly formed Tao Group. A hang we are especially eager to experience, Soirée Supper Club launches Sunday night at Lavo inside Palazzo.

The dining destination is adding entertainment, in and around the dining room, to its menu and tableside cocktail format. The early explanation is, a 1960s-era New York cabaret club meets modern-day Las Vegas Strip.

The vibe feels a little like what has been presented at Mayfair Supper Club and the now-closed Rose. Rabbit. Lie. dinner club-entertainment stage at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The difference being the dinner-theater influence, where the staff is part of the show.

“While you’re having dinner, you might see a busboy turn into a crazy acrobat, or the cigarette girl become a full comedian,” Strauss said with a laugh. “The maître d will be belting Sinatra songs into the mic. The line-chef might or bartender might become the house-music violinist. Anything can happen.”

And, the columnist at the next table might suddenly bust into “Mack The Knife.”

Kidding. Or are we? We’ll feel out the room, chat up the maître d, and check back.

Time out for measurement

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis ordered the Mark Davis sandwich at Siegel’s Bagelmania last week. It’s an extra lean, thin-sliced corned beef, horseradish and deli mustard on rye.

Not toasted, incidentally. Davis says you don’t toast rye. Is this worth a debate? Speaking for the rye-illiterate.

Davis said Friday he might call an audible on this menu item, and have the sandwich presented in pieces, ready for assembly. “It’s too tall!” Davis said. “I’m going to have them redo it when they update the menu.”

Getting Harry

“Potted Potter” is back to re-calibrate production-show entertainment at The Magic Attic at Bally’s. A satire of all seven “Harry Potter” books, the show is back July 18, tickets onsale now.

“Potted Potter” achieves the improbable by eliciting laughter from even those who know little about the “Potter” series (hello). The 8 p.m. show (with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays) is paired with mentalist Frederic Da Silva’s “Paranormal” show at 4 p.m..

The Magic Attic did achieve some magic of its own. The venue has reappeared — ta-da! — as one of the venues that has survived Caesars Entertainment’s cutting of live entertainment. Corey Ross, who co-produces with James Seabright says, “Rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

Ross is also bringing “Immersive Van Gogh” to Vegas, at the new Lighthouse Las Vegas at the Shops at Crystals, on July 26. He has an eye (and yes, an ear) for what works in Vegas.

Cool Hang(er) Alert

Our first men’s fashion Cool Hang entry comes from Stitched, which on Thursday celebrated the opening of its pop-up shop at Tivoli Village. Stitched Senior Vice President Sam Glaser, who puts the “dash” in haberdashery, is presenting the store’s first Father’s Day special: “Cut From the Same Cloth,” which offers fathers and sons the opportunity to design new suits together.

The entire experience package, with two custom suits, is $2,000. A single suit at Stitched can easily run at that price. The “Cut From the Same Cloth” special runs through June.

Maybe Daddy Kats and I can dial up a couple Ben and Jerry Stiller replicas from “Zoolander.”

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, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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