Curtain falling on Stage Deli

Any way you slice it, the closing of Stage Deli on Sunday is a sad day for cheesecake-and-corned beef lovers.

An original tenant of the Forum Shops at Caesars, the deli closes at 5 p.m. Sunday after a 15-year lease.

Pete Rose‘s spirits are reportedly in a slump.

“He’s our No. 1 regular. He eats here every day he’s in town. In fact he’s in here right now,” general manager Gary Bogel said Friday.

The most popular item on the menu, an artery-clogging breakfast platter called “The Hit King,” is named after the former baseball star, who signs memorabilia every weekend at the nearby Field of Dreams collectibles store.

Rose showed his appreciation to Stage Deli’s longest-serving waiter, Jack Norman, by hiring him as an assistant.

A tough-to-swallow rent deal is closing the doors. Rumor has it a high-profile retailer will fill the space.

The deli, operated by Ark Restaurants, is a spinoff of the off-Broadway landmark.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Lindsay Lohan alert: Her galpal DJ Samantha Ronson is playing at the Palms Pool & Bungalows on July 8. She’s part of the new four-week Tuesday night party series featuring 26,000 rubber ducks with prizes taped to them. The first installment of the party series is Tuesday. The last time Ronson was in town Lohan accompanied her to Las Vegas but didn’t go out in the public…

Louis Prima Jr. brings back his father’s black magic on Sunday at the Las Vegas Hilton’s main showroom. The show starts at 7 p.m. …

David Walzog, executive chef at SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas, is in New York City taping an episode on the Food Channel’s “Iron Chef.” He missed a fashion show appearance featuring Wynn chefs at Thursday’s appreciation event for local concierge and media members. Modeling the latest fashions from Wynn’s boutique stores were: Wesley Holton (Daniel Boulud Brasserie); Masa Ishizawa (Okada); Rene Lenger (Country Club Steakhouse); Richard Chen (Wing Lei); James Benson (Wynn Catering) and Pierre Catel (Wynn Pastry) along with nightlife impresarios Cy and Jesse Waits (Tryst); Ronn Nicolli (Tryst marketing director) and Patricia Richards (Wynn master mixologist.)

SIGHTINGS

NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce, with his Boston Celtics teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Sam Cassell, spinning heads at the Palms Pool & Bungalows on Friday. Thursday, Pierce, Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Tony Allen celebrated their world championship at Jet nightclub at The Mirage and Fix restaurant & bar at Bellagio. … Bette Midler, touring the Liberace Museum on Friday, all aglow over the glittering collection of costumes, pianos, stage cars and jewelry. … Toni Basil of “Hey Mickey” video fame, dancing on stage during The Time’s show at the Flamingo on Thursday. Basil, who is Midler’s choreography for “The Showgirl Must Go On,” was pulled on stage along with a number of her dancers. … NBA stars LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets at 40/40 Club (Palazzo) on Thursday. James also was at Tao. … Midler, at Tryst (Wynn) with cast members from her show after dining at Wing Lei (Wynn). Also at Tryst: Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor and soccer star Shaun Wright-Phillips of Chelsea of the English Premier League. … Holly Madison of “The Girls Next Door,” heading up the 2008 Bunny Hunt at the Palms Pool & Bungalows on Friday. More than 250 candidates were interviewed for a Bunny job at the Playboy Club and a possible shot as a playmate. … At The Time concert Friday at the Flamingo: Donny Osmond, Venetian headliner Wayne Brady and former NBA star Darrell Griffith. … Actor Dennis Quaid, checking into a suite Thursday at the Hard Rock Hotel. … Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, dining at BOA Steakhouse (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Thursday. … Poker star Phil Ivey, purchasing a $2,600 bottle of Roederer Cristal champagne for a bunny at the Playboy Club (Palms) after his bottle of 2004 Quintessa red wine was comped. … Actor Branscombe Richmond, dining with his wife and two children at Nove Italiano (Palms) on Thursday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“It’s very hard for firefighters to get them under control because the vegetation up in Northern California, where the fires are, is about 40 percent marijuana plants.” — Craig Ferguson

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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