Despite tough economy, restaurants still supplying performers to entertain

It’s said that music can soothe the savage beast. Whether it can aid digestion is open to question, but despite the tight budgets most of them are enduring these days, several local restaurants are featuring live music during dinner hours.

"The music just really completes the picture," said Rhonda Wyatt, who owns Marche Bacchus with her husband, Jeff. "Our customers just love the experience, and we also think it sets us apart from a lot of other restaurants in town."

Wyatt said Marche Bacchus tries "to mix it up a little bit." They have a live saxophonist on Wednesdays and Fridays and a flamenco guitarist on Sundays and Mondays.

"A Wednesday/Friday-night crowd is going to be a livelier crowd," she said. "We try to fit the music to the mood of the day."

Mood also had a lot to do with the decision to feature live music at Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis at Green Valley Ranch, said Judy Alberti, Station Casinos vice president of entertainment.

"When we were opening Hank’s (in fall 2005), Frank Fertitta wanted to put a baby-grand piano in there to provide ambience, particularly in the bar area," which is somewhat separated from the restaurant, she said. Alberti said Fertitta had seen a similar arrangement in a Phoenix restaurant and liked the idea. Live music also is featured at MRKT Sea & Land at Aliante Station, which has the same sort of restaurant/bar arrangement.

"It particularly lends ambience to the bar area," Alberti said, adding that customers can have a drink in the bar before or after dinner or dine in the bar area; in the dining room, the music can be heard but is softer.

"Some people like it as background music, some people like it as foreground music," she said.

The arrangement at Hank’s even gave birth to a star. Michael Grimm, who won "America’s Got Talent" in September, played at Hank’s from November 2005 until earlier this year, and also performed at MRKT Sea & Land.

"I think the ambience, for one thing, keeps people coming back again," Alberti said. "I also think you have people coming earlier and staying later.

"I think it could be your decision-maker: ‘This is so fun, let’s go there and have a drink before and after dinner, request some songs, sing along.’ "

Following are some restaurants in the Las Vegas Valley that provide live music during dinner. It is not intended as a complete listing, and is subject to change without notice.

Agave, 10820 W. Charleston Blvd.: Uptempo Latin and American rock and pop, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays.

B.B. King’s, The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South: 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sundays; 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Mondays; 7-11 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays.

Battista’s Hole in the Wall, 4041 Audrie St.: Accordion player, 5-9 p.m. daily.

Big Dog’s Draft House, 4547 N. Rancho Drive: Acoustic bands, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Bootlegger Bistro, 7700 Las Vegas Blvd. South: Kelly Clinton’s Open Mic Cabaret, 9 p.m. Mondays; pianist Gus Mancuso, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; Cirque du Soleil jam session, 10 p.m.-midnight every other Tuesday; Jerry Lopez & Friends, 10 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays; dinner shows, 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Buzio’s Seafood Restaurant, Rio, 3700 W. Flamingo Road: Acoustic guitarist, 8:30-10:20 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, beginning this week.

Cafe Heidelberg, 610 E. Sahara Ave.: Table-harp (zither) music, 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Cafe In the Park, Sam’s Town, 5111 Boulder Highway: Wes Winters’ 88 Key Club, 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Carluccio’s, 1775 E. Tropicana Ave.: Classical Cabaret, 7-9 Tuesdays; pianist and drummer, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays.

Casa Don Juan, 1204 S. Main St.: Guitarist, 5:30 p.m. daily except Tuesdays.

Charlie’s Lakeside Casino, 8603 W. Sahara Ave: 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

E-String Grill & Poker Bar, 2031 W. Sunset Road, Henderson: Jazz, 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; blues, 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 p.m. Fridays; big-band jazz, 2-5 p.m. Saturdays; acoustic guitarist, 6-9 p.m. Saturdays.

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge, 4480 Paradise Road: 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas, 4510 Paradise Road: noon-4 p.m. Sundays; 1-5 p.m. Saturdays; 5-11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 6 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Italian American Supper Club of Southern Nevada, 2333 E. Sahara Ave.: Singers and pianist, 7:30-10 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

Kahunaville, Treasure Island, 3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South: 10:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Lindo Michoacan, 2655 E. Desert Inn Road: 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 5:30 p.m. Sundays.

Lindo Michoacan, 10082 W. Flamingo Road: 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Lindo Michoacan, 7870 W. Tropical Parkway: 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

Lindo Michoacan, 645 Carnegie St., Henderson: 6 p.m. daily; mariachi, 7-9 p.m. Saturdays.

Lucio Ristorante, 8615 W. Sahara Ave.: Fridays and Saturdays every other week.

Marche Bacchus, 2620 Regatta Drive: Saxophonist, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; flamenco guitarist, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sundays and Mondays.

Mastro’s Ocean Club, Crystals at CityCenter, 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South: 6:30 p.m. daily.

Mrs. Geez Southern Home Cooking and Jazz Club, 2605 S. Decatur Blvd.: 8 p.m. Thursdays, 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Nora’s Cuisine, 6020 W. Flamingo Road: Jazz, 9 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Opa, 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd.: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Osaka Japanese Bistro, 10920 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson: Jazz from 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, piano from 7:30 p.m. Fridays.

Piero’s Italian Restaurant, 355 Convention Center Drive: Pianist and singer, 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The Range Steakhouse, Harrah’s Las Vegas, 3475 Las Vegas Blvd. South: Classics, 5-10 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays; jazz, 5-10 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Redwood Bar & Grill, California Hotel, 12 Ogden Ave.: Pianist, 6-11 p.m. Fridays through Tuesdays.

Roadrunner Saloon Eastern, 2430 E. Pebble Road: American and Latin rock and pop, 10 p.m. Fridays; classic rock and pop, 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Roadrunner Saloon Flamingo, 9820 W. Flamingo Road: Classic rock and pop, 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Salvatore’s, Suncoast, 9090 Alta Drive: Pianist, 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Sergio’s Italian Gardens, 1955 E. Tropicana Ave.: Pianist, 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Siena Italian Authentic Trattoria, 9500 W. Sahara Ave.: 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Tillerman Restaurant, 2245 E. Flamingo Road: Pianist, 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Harrah’s: 9 p.m. daily.

Tommy Bahama’s: 5-8 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 5-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Twin Creeks, Silverton, 3333 Blue Diamond Road: 6-9 p.m. Thursdays.

Viva Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, 3826 E. Craig Road: Guitarist, 5 p.m. daily.

Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@review or 702-383-0474.

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