De Niro, Matsuhisa launch new Nobu

With a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured a samurai sword instead of scissors, the first Nobu Hotel was dedicated with a distinctly Japanese flair Saturday at Caesars Palace.

Oscar winner Robert De Niro, who teamed up with chef Nobu Matsuhisa in the mid-1990s, told the crowd gathered at the entrance that the hotel was an exciting culmination. “At one point, it was a dream, and we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We’re very lucky we started with Caesars.”

The ceremony included a Taiko drum troupe and models wearing origami dresses.

Gary Selesner, president of Caesars Palace, said the new hotel represents “another step in the long journey we took to bring back a level of luxury that this brand is known for.”

For the ribbon cutting, all seven participants, from Caesars executives to Nobu Hospitality partners, placed a hand on the sword.

With 181 rooms and suites, the hotel, in the Centurion Tower, includes the largest Nobu restaurant, with 327 seats in the 12,775-square-foot space.


Pia Zadora’s return to New York after nearly 20 years will be chronicled in a reality show.

A billboard on Times Square went up more than a week ago, announcing her Feb. 7-10, five-show appearance at the Metropolitan Room.

She was in Los Angeles last week being fitted by legendary designer Bob Mackie for her show “Pia Zadora – Back Again and Standing Tall.”

Zadora, 58, who moved to Las Vegas two years ago, will be accompanied by Frank Sinatra’s pianist and musical conductor Vinnie Falcone and his orchestra.

Las Vegas producer Gary Bernstein, who shoots TV projects for networks, said the reality show came together after Zadora’s cabaret show engagement in July at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Bernstein said a light went on after his mother raved about Zadora.

Bernstein, who knew Zadora during her act at the Riviera in the 1980s, called a Discovery Channel executive about making the show about her comeback. The show will be on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.

The deal was made quickly, which “speaks to her backstory,” Bernstein said.

At 7, she was on Broadway with Tallulah Bankhead. She spent two years, from ages 10 to 12, as Bielke, the youngest sister, in the Broadway hit “Fiddler on the Roof.”

She was touring with a musical production when she met multimillionaire Meshulam Riklis, whom she married in 1977 at 23. Riklis, who was 54, had bought controlling interest in the Riviera in 1973.

Good things happened after they got married. She became the Dubonnet Girl, appearing as the face of Aperitif in ads. She was nominated for a Grammy in 1984 for best female rock singer and opened for a slew of Las Vegas headliners, including Sinatra.

Zadora was unfairly criticized as an actress because Hollywood “accused her of being a trophy wife,” Bernstein said. “Her talent and career had been long established before she met him. It just wasn’t fair and it wasn’t true.”


Luxor headliner Criss Angel tweeted surveillance video Saturday that shows two men stealing puppies from a store, including his Yorkshire Terrier. He offers a $5,000 reward. …

Harrah’s headliner Mac King will be presented the Gold Heart Award Feb. 24, in recognition of his community involvement, during the Oscar Experience Las Vegas at the Palms, with proceeds benefitting Variety – The Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada. Information:


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, golfing at South Shore at Lake Las Vegas. In another group: Ed Henry, chief White House correspondent for Fox News. … At separate tables at STK (Cosmopolitan) on Friday: Actor Adam Sandler with his dad and brother; retired NHL star Jeremy Roenick; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden; and New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. … Toby Keith jumped onstage Friday at Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort and joined the weekly Nashville Unplugged. … Jake Hager, the Tampa Bay Rays first-round draft pick in 2011, at Blue Man Group (The Venetian) on Friday with former Sierra Vista High teammate Nick Kingham, a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.


“Lance Armstrong has turned down a spot on the new season of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Even weirder, Manti Te’o’s girlfriend said yes.” – Jimmy Fallon

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at Find more online at Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.

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