Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 | 3:02 p.m.
Map of Born and Raised Tavern and Lounge
7260 S. Cimarron Road, Las Vegas area (unincorp. Clark County), NV
As Scottie Godino tells it, the entertainment business is in his blood. One of his grandfathers founded a tavern and lounge in Rockford, Ill., as a young man. The other became the president of the Mint (now part of Binion’s) after stints at the Sahara and the Hacienda.
So, when Godino opens his own Born and Raised Tavern and Lounge in September, it comes as no surprise that the operation is all in the family.
BAR, for short, will strive to bring the “customer-first” philosophy of classic Las Vegas, Godino explained, to its location at 7260 S. Cimarron Road. He said he sees a growing coldness in the corporate-owned, profit-driven atmosphere of the Las Vegas Strip and wants to offer a place where locals can feel at home.
“It’s that small town mentality in a big city,” said Godino, who has worked at the Equity Group, his father’s real estate company, until venturing into the tavern business. “I knew the energy. I’m fascinated with Las Vegas. It’s in my blood.”
That philosophy starts with his staff.
Godino’s sister, Ali, is running public relations. His mother was heavily involved in conceptualizing and designing BAR. Good friends Ben Greber and Chris Phillips will man the bar and handle customer service.
Even his grandmother’s special spaghetti sauce will make an appearance on the menu.
Everyone has been involved with almost every decision, Godino said. He brought his family and friends to his test kitchen to taste an endless combination of French fry platters and slider sandwiches when he was trying to fill out the menu.
The tavern aims to give its guests a memorable and refined experience away from the glitz of the Strip, Godino said. Slot machines will be on-site. It will feature a full-service bar, a lounge area, private booths and a mini sports book to complement the 35 HDTVs adorning the walls.
Although currently under renovation, the interior will be laid with darkly stained woods, brick and a touch of copper to add to the atmosphere. Godino and company are taking the now closed Shark’s Sports Pub and giving it a complete makeover.
Godino credited a youth spent at the luxurious casinos and bars managed by his elders for inspiring Born and Raised. He said he remembers Andrew Zorne, his maternal grandfather, would walk through a casino and know every employee’s name and ask about his or her family.
That is the environment Godino said he wants to recreate.
Opening his own place has been Godino’s dream for all of his adult life. He said high school friends still ask him if he ever opened “Club 702,” his first idea for a Las Vegas location.
So, when Born and Raised opens Sept. 10, he hopes it will signal a return to the days when bartenders knew your drink.
“It could turn into the ‘Cheers’ bar,” he said. “Everybody knows your name.”