The KATS! Bureau at this writing is brunch at RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, a round-table chat at a square table headed by Chef Rick Moonen. The celeb restaurateur is seeking strategies to return to form at his casino-level eatery, across from House of Blues and next to the 1923 Bourbon Bar speakeasy.
The hotel’s overall business has sagged since the Oct. 1 shootings. But Moonen’s restaurant continues to prepare and present a great menu (try the salmon).
Looking across at that 1923 Bourbon space, which has just about fallen out of conversation since Holly Madison was in partnership with the hotel, I am reminded of its potential as a chic nightspot. In the days of Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce, which flamed out in 2009, and the early days of Madison’s burlesque-themed project, the club was a reliably cool little hang.
The 1923, with its vintage, mustard-yellow convertible roadster out front, still hosts private functions and is open to the public three nights a week (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). But as someone at the table asked, “Is that place still open?” Not good.
If only a well-known Strip performer who just left a hit show were to sprinkle some fairy dust on that place … I can think of one who could make it happen. Just a thought.
More from the scene:
Sisolak lauded, and lauds
Clark County Commissioner and Nevada gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak, an increasingly active and ubiquitous elected official, was honored Thursday night at the 26th annual Camelot gala at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest on West Oakey Boulevard.
Opportunity Village President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Brown, who presented Sisolak with a commemorative Key to the Village (Sisolak is the one usually giving out such items, the Key to the Strip).
“I’ve never received a key before,” Sisolak said. “This is very special to me.”
Sisolak introduced one of the night’s special guests, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
“I said I wasn’t going to talk politics when I got up here, but I’m going to change that. You’re not going to find a better sheriff in the United States than that gentleman right there. That he even has to run for re-election is a travesty, as far as I’m concerned. Joe, you should be sheriff as long as you want to be sheriff.”
Sisolak also introduced two of his tablemates: Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos and building engineer Steven Schuck, the first to respond to the shooting on the hotel’s 32nd floor (Campos was wounded in the incident but has since returned to work). “If it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t be 58 people dead, there would be hundreds,” Sisolak said. “There wouldn’t be hundreds injured, there would have been thousands.”
The event was emceed by KLUC-FM (98.5) personality Chet Buchanan, its auction led by Christian Kolberg. The take has yet been announced, but the table donations alone exceeded $100,000, and a Dodge Ram pickup fetched a winning $70,000 bid.
For the uninitiated, Opportunity Village is a Las Vegas-based charity serving the developmentally challenged children and adults through vocational training and job placement. The organization was founded in 1954, and became famous as the manufacturer of the scarves Elvis Presley draped around fans’ necks during his days at the International and Las Vegas Hilton.
Tyson’s Chile reception
Mike Tyson was denied entry to Chile on Thursday, raising the question, “Why is Mike Tyson trying to get into Chile?”
Because he was hired to host an awards show to air on a Chilean TV network, but the country’s leading law-enforcement agency ruled the ex-heavyweight champ didn’t meet requirements for entry because of his 1992 rape conviction and subsequent prison sentence.
“When we checked, they said there were no special visas needed. We get there and they said he couldn’t enter because of the conviction he had, so we came home,” Tyson’s wife, Kiki Tyson, said Friday. “The production that paid for us to come was totally apologetic, and so were the PDI (the country’s equivalent of TSA workers). The production team was shocked because no one saw this coming.”
She added: “Mike is totally fine. Things happen. He respects the laws of all countries and realizes he’s an easy target, so he doesn’t sweat these kinds of things.”