Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Rock superstar Vince Neil is expanding his restaurant empire. Vegas DeLuxe has learned exclusively that he’s taking over the three Rocking Rita’s bars at Circus Circus and will transform them within 45 days into Tatuado Bar B Q.
Tatuado — the Spanish word for tattooed — is the brand name of Vince's cantina at LVH and his vodka and tequila lines. One of the new Tatuado venues at Circus Circus will be a replica of Vince’s tour bus.
Vince confirmed the new restaurant deal to me Sunday but would not comment on other rumors I'd heard — that another Tatuado will open in another Strip hotel, and then the brand will expand overseas.
WEEK'S RENOVATION: It's a slow day when only 3,000 people turn up to go through the "Pawn Stars" store run by father-and-son duo Rick and Corey Harrison. So many fans have invaded since the History Channel cable reality TV show debuted that they’ve closed it this week for a seven-day makeover. The drive-in window will remain open.
The stars will be on tour in Asia where "Pawn Stars" also is a No. 1 hit. Corey told viewers on Philippine television: "We never thought the show would be a hit in the U.S., much less around the world. Before the show began airing in 2009, we had fewer than 70 customers a day. Now it's 3,000 on a slow day. Even celebrities are starting to drift in. They see it on TV and want to come check it out," he said. Steve Carrell will be on an upcoming episode.
The Harrisons visit Singapore and Malaysia this week, returning after Friday's reopening.
MAGIC SHOWS: Luxor headliner Criss Angel has set Oct. 15 as the debut for his 11-week run of new "Believe" shows on Spike. In addition to the 11 weekly epic illusions, the hourlong shows will be packed with other magic and tricks. Criss says it's unlike anything he's ever performed before on television and he’ll even explain some of the secrets to the art of magic and the illusions for the first time.
REALITY TV SHOW NEWS:
No. 1: Magician Nathan Burton was filmed by VH1 cameras for its "LaLa’s Full Court Life" reality TV series. Segments from his comedy-magic show at Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile will be broadcast this weekend.
No. 2: It will be juicy television, even if it's partly scripted or partly stunted! One-time Hugh Hefner playmate Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett, who regularly hosts and films at Las Vegas nightclubs, is set to shock on the Season 2 premiere of "Kendra on Top" on Sept. 15 on WEtv.
Filmed drinking and smoking a cigar, she confesses, "I shouldn’t even been married" — and then shockingly suggest an "open marriage" with basketball husband Hank Baskett, who after one onscreen fight, says they should just be single and live together. It leads to her going off to party with some single guys, winding up in a car crash with doctors telling her she may have suffered a stroke behind the wheel. The episode closes with her weeping: "I’m just a failure."
No. 3: Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung, who worked for star chef Jose Andres at his China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, will be one of the contestants on the new "Top Chef," premiering Oct. 2 on Bravo. "Top Chef: New Orleans" was filmed in the cuisine-crazed Louisiana city and will feature many Southern entertainers, sports stars and celebrity chefs, including weekly judge Emeril Lagasse and Cajun hero Paul Prudhomme. Shirley has worked with star chefs Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali.
Emeril told me when he was at a pool party at the Venetian that "a female chef from Vegas does very well and sticks around for quite a while.” Shirley competes against 16 other chefs in the opening for a regular spot in the continuing battles.
No. 4: Controversy has broken out over the stunning announcement this morning by Gordon Ramsay that his Season 11 "Hell's Kitchen" champion Ja'Nel Witt didn’t start work as his new head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace. His website would only state that "personal reasons" made it impossible for her to fulfill the one-year, $250,000 assignment at his restaurant as the TV show big prize.
Hollywood website TMZ said that she conclusively failed the mandatory hotel drug test. No word if she lost the money, too, but Gordon said the show's runner-up, a butcher from Boston, wouldn't take her place. Chef Witt only said, "The rumors are very entertaining, but I won't address negativity or ridiculous headlines." Another website fanned the controversy and pointed out that several winning chefs over the years also have not taken their place behind the grill.
GUINNESS RECORD: Cheryl Burke and Karina Smirnoff of "Dancing with the Stars" will jet here Thursday from L.A. rehearsals and trade their ballroom slippers for grass skirts to launch Pom Wonderful's Juice Blends at Encore Beach Club — it's their final appearance before the new "DWTS" cast announcement on Sept. 4. Wearing hula skirts, they will lead an attempt to secure a spot in the Guinness World Records for the longest beach ball bounce with hundreds of private party guests.
FINALE CHAT: Twin Las Vegas brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, who star on HGTV's hit "Property Brothers,” held a video chat Sunday to mark the finale of the smash first season of their new show, "Brother vs. Brother." Tonight, it airs in Canada, so they will repeat their "Brother vs. Brother" Twitter chat. Their Facebook page gives fans a chance to win an exclusive, one-hour Google Hangout with Jonathan and Drew to ask them anything. The contest ends at 9 p.m. PT on Sept. 1! To enter, go to their Facebook page.
Wearing a green suit and black bowtie, "2 Broke Girls" actor Jonathan Kite joined in a night of debauchery at the Act at Palazzo over the weekend for a friend's birthday party. A spinning aerialist and dancers kept the group well amused.
"Breaking Bad" star R.J. Mite continued his weekend-long 21st birthday celebration at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms, where chef Barry Dakake gave him a kitchen tour so that he could sign the celebrity-filled Shakedown Door. They all went to Moon where Will.I.Am dropped by for his Black Eyed Peas bandmate Taboo’s DJ set. Comedian Russell Peters, who played Pearl at the Palms, was at the new-look Ghostbar, where he surprised revelers by hopping into the DJ booth to spin a set.
Fright Dome owner Jason Egan and Claire Sinclair from "Pin Up" at Stratosphere were spotted at Artifice for Nevada Pin Ups for Patriots, a fundraiser for Operation Homefront providing emergency financial support to wounded warriors and their families.
Burning Man, the annual art and music party with its own temporary community of self-expression and self-reliance, gets underway in Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno. The nearest towns are Empire and Gerlach.
MGMT is at Cosmopolitan.
ATB is at nearby Marquee.
OB-One is at Gallery in Planet Hollywood.
DJs Chris Lake and Mak J man the wheels of steel at XS in Steve Wynn's Encore.
We’re off to the races at Del Mar in Southern California with the beautiful Claire Sinclair, a personal tribute to my friend Sid Bernstein, who first brought the Beatles to America, Nobu’s historic multi-restaurant dinner menu, plus, the 2013 Vegas Rocks! Magazine Awards.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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