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July 28, 2015

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Booze and beef: Oscar Goodman to open speak-easy in downtown’s Plaza

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Courtesy of Plaza Hotel and Casino

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will be opening a steakhouse inside the dome of the revamped Plaza Hotel and Casino. The downtown hotel-casino is currently undergoing a $35 million renovation and will reopen later this month.

It was inevitable, of course. Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is opening a speak-easy, and yes it will be named after him.

The mob lawyer-turned-public servant-turned-entrepreneur is opening a steakhouse and bar this fall in the Plaza downtown, in the space previously occupied by tapas restaurant Firefly.

The three-term former mayor and martini connoisseur had long floated the idea of opening a food-and-booze joint “where all the inebriates can come down and have a drink on me" but wanted to wait until he left office. Goodman was forced out of City Hall last month because of term limits. His wife, Carolyn Goodman, replaced him as mayor.

“Oscar’s” will be the Plaza’s new marquis establishment, set in an upstairs glass dome that overlooks the Fremont Street Experience and which became available after the Plaza’s $35 million renovation and the decision of Firefly to close that location.

Goodman hopes that name recognition and his infamous Vegas flair will carry him through the still-sour economy. His restaurant will pay homage to his time as a mob lawyer, will be adorned with memorabilia from his tenure as mayor (think horse head and throne) and will feature classic photographs of the city. The lounge is slated to serve Goodman’s signature gin martinis.

“Goodman epitomizes the spirit and nostalgic tradition of vintage Las Vegas, and Oscar’s is the perfect brand for the Plaza’s iconic dome,” Poju Zabludowicz, chairman of Tamares Real Estate, the company that owns the Plaza, said in a statement.

Goodman also has plenty of history with the property. He twice called for the Plaza to be imploded to make room for a “gateway” to Symphony Park, although he now describes the hotel as the “coolest place in Vegas.” And, it’s one of the spots where Goodman was featured in the movie “Casino.”

“Oscar’s” is being pitched as a fine dining restaurant and will serve dinner nightly, as well as Sunday brunch.

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