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The Nevada Room gives boost to Commercial Center

Updated May 13, 2021 - 9:15 pm

The Nevada Room is a classic case of, “Build it, and they will come,” even if it was built 60 years ago.

The latest cool hang at Commercial Center (sorry, The Historic Commercial Center) on East Sahara Avenue is opening its Piano Bar Bistro this weekend. The 7,000-square-foot venue is in the old La Cueva del Pirata restaurant and club, facing Sahara Avenue and looking toward the new location of Vickie’s Diner, which (we understand) opens next week.

The Nevada Room, which serves fine-dining menu and a full bar along with its swinging entertainment, is the sister venue of The Vegas Room in the same Commercial Center suite. The Nevada Room is about three times larger than The Vegas Room, effectively shining a light on entrance of the venerable Commercial Center, which is home to about 150 businesses of every cultural underpinning.

Lotus of Siam, John Fish Jewelers, Cue Club, A Harmony Nail Spa and Hallow Gift Shop, and (yes) The Green Door adult club are all famous Commercial Center businesses. One to support, too, is the wonderful Balkan Bar & Grill, right next to The Green Door.

Tiffany Couture Cleaners and Serge’s Wigs (where Vickie’s Diner is moving in, now on West Sahara Avenue) are late, great Commercial Center outposts.

The Nevada Room President Tom Michel mulls for a moment when asked of the new venue’s greatest challenge.

“Well, I don’t think the challenge will be finding really, incredibly talented performers to play these rooms,” Michel said during a photo session in the Piano Bar Bistro on Tuesday. “I think the biggest challenge is going to be making sure everybody in this valley knows this is a home of great food and great entertainment. They can come here anytime they want, depending on what musical mood they are in.”

As evidence, The Swing It Girls and showcase singers Denita Asberry, Hannah Brady and Paula Dione Ingram are the debut entertainment at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Ruby Lewis, late of “Baz” at Palazzo Theater, is center stage in the Hollywood-themed “Starlet” at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and for brunch at 1 p.m. (show 2:30 p.m.) Sunday.

The fixed-price menu is $65 for Thursday, $85 for Lewis’ shows. The price which includes the performance and the five-course meal conceived and prepared by Chef David Robinson, who also owns the place. The room runs 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with a floating closing time of around 10 p.m.-midnight (for now).

Beginning Tuesday, the menu is a la cart, with a rotation of pianists at 7 to 10 p.m. including such aces as Patrick Hogan on Tuesdays; Keith Thompson on Wednesdays; Michael Joy on Thursdays; Mike Clark and Johnn Jones, with Dave Seigel at 10 p.m. midnight on Fridays; and Chris Lash, with Siegel 10 p.m.-midnight on Saturdays.

Headlining entertainment will be featured in Piano Bar Bistro, and the venue’s largest space, its 3,000-square-foot showroom, is due to be open by the end of the month.

The Nevada Room is steeped in history, just by its very existence in a shopping, retail and entertainment center that opened in 1960. The Bar Bistro decor leans into mid-century deco, with starbursts reminiscent of the Stardust’s neon sign and patterns cheekily reminiscent of “The Jetsons.”

The showroom’s retro design has been conceived by famed Vegas choreographer, director and showgirl costume designer Mistinguett.

You see all that baby-blue hue, the pink booths and gold-gleaming chandeliers, and ya kinda wanna dance.

“We feel like the new arts district, we really do,” says Chef David, as he’s commonly known. “Especially with Vickie’s Diner and all the stuff that’s going on, it’s really starting to percolate.”

As if to refer to that day’s headlines, new GM Bobby Watson cuts in with, “And, 1,000 free parking spots! Heeey!”

These guys drive a hard bargain at The Nevada Room, where it’s the 1960s all over again, at least in spirit.

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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