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Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay morphs from restaurant to club as evening progresses

Plenty of nightclubs around town like to tout how their guests easily can make an evening of their night out.

But perhaps nowhere is that statement as true as it is at rumjungle at Mandalay Bay.

Every day, rumjungle opens its doors for afternoon drinks and a bar food menu and, at 5 p.m., full dinner service featuring the restaurant’s popular rodizio menu.

But then, at 11 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, rumjungle transforms itself from a restaurant into a full-tilt nightclub that offers all of the amenities even the most avid clubber could want.

Rumjungle opened in 1999 as part of the Strip’s first wave of nightclubs. Today, the 26,000-square-foot club remains known for such eye-catching, tropical-flavored features as a waterfall, a 22-foot-tall wall of fire, and bright, multileveled banks of seats.

General Manager Gerardo Benitez estimates that about 50 percent of clubbers do take advantage of rumjungle’s restaurant-to-nightclub evolution, dining first and then sticking around for the party afterward.

"If they have dinner there, we don’t have any cover," he says, although "very rarely do we charge cover anymore. We want people to come in and have a good time."

Rumjungle’s human amenities include go-go dancers and a corps of resident DJs, whose work is supplemented by visiting celebrity DJs. The music predominantly is Top 40 and hip-hop, ’80s on Wednesdays, and a "very good mix" all the time, Benitez says.

Rumjungle has five bars and four rooms designated for bottle service. For those looking for libations that are a bit out of the ordinary, rumjungle offers more than 260 rums, categorized by region and other salient characteristics.

The atmosphere is "very high energy," Benitez says. "People have a great time. We’re pretty proud of our service."

While rumjungle does enforce an upscale dress code, guests will find few other obstacles to joining the party.

"We’re very good about just getting people in the door," Benitez says. "We don’t like to hold lines or anything like that. You’re there to have a good time. We don’t want you to wait. We’ll get you in as soon as possible."

Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay opens as a full-scale nightclub at 11 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (other nights, it transitions at 11 p.m. into a lounge). For more information, call 632-7408.

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280.

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