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‘Sad to see it go’: Innovative Area15 venue closing at the end of the month

Updated April 4, 2024 - 5:32 pm

If only cool, innovative and bold concepts could promise profitability.

Lost Spirits Distillery at Area15 achieved innovation, but ran in the red too long to survive. The project that combined fine dining at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a rum distillery and Cirque-style side acts is closing April 30. The performers and crew were notified of the decision via e-mail Wednesday morning.

Lost Spirits opened in July 2021, taking over a building just adjacent to Area15’s primary facility.

Lost Spirits co-founder Bryan Davis confirmed the venue’s future Wednesday, after telling the Lost Spirit’s team of the sad reality. He said a total of 91 “amazing staff members” will lose their jobs at the venue.

“In the process of getting the whole thing to profitability, we took on a lot of debt. Add that to the COVID debt and it just became too big to satisfy,” Davis said in text. “It’s a bit sad to see it go after becoming profitable and running 1,000 shows for 250,000 guests. But it was out of my control.”

Prior to moving to Las Vegas Davis and business partner Joanne Haruta launched a distillery in Monterrey, California in 2010. Davis was known to build his own stills, with dragon sculptures topping every one.

Lost Spirits has featured the submarine-fashioned 20,000 Leagues restaurant, with a 16-course tasting menu that led diners though “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” by chapter. The experience was targeted toward the 21-over set, costing $355 per diner.

Magicians, cabaret-style bands and acrobats populated Lost Spirits’ live-entertainment roster. Guests moved through various, connected lounges, stages and sets. The company described the collected experience: “Like an amusement park for adults.”

A member of that park is veteran Vegas magician Mondre, who performed a side act in The Seance Room, among Lost Spirits’ entertainment enclaves.

Thursday was to be Mondre’s first night back since the cast and staff was informed of the impending shutdown. His fists anniversary at Lost Spirits was March 25.

“Show business is tough,” the entertainer said. “I’m always looking out for the next big thing. Although I’ve got no solid leads on anything right now, I’m confident that something will pop up for me.”

Davis’ e-mail to the Lost Spirits team is also the venue’s epitaph. “I assure you we have been working non-stop to explore every possible option. But in the end, nothing lasts forever.”

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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