Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

Currently: 46° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Drai’s ends 16-year run with promise to reopen temporarily at Bally’s

Image

Wynn Photo Operations

Victor Drai, Tina Sinatra, Robin Leach and Laura Croft at Sinatra in the Encore on June 18, 2010.

There were tears at 10:30 this morning when nightlife kingpin Victor Drai finally said “time to close” the doors and turn off the lights. His 16-year-run of the extraordinarily successful Drai’s After Hours at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon had come to an end -- a temporary end.

Drai’s will now be mothballed for 15 months as the building above the basement club is transformed into a new, chic boutique hotel reportedly run by the swank Gansevoort Hotel from Manhattan’s trendy and hip Meatpacking District.

“It was the biggest night of business we did since we opened,” Victor told me. “It was very sweet. I was touched that people just stood there with tears running down their face. They didn’t want to leave.

“But we will be back, I promise. First, we hope within a week to confirm that we will have a temporary Drai’s at Bally’s until the new hotel reopens.

“Then we will open the two new floors atop the existing structure with the best pool daytime club on The Strip and a breathtaking nightclub. We’ll be closer to the Bellagio Fountains than the rooms at the Bellagio themselves!”

Caesars Entertainment will spend $185 million on the conversion -- $20 million just for the new furnishings in the rooms. Check out my Las Vegas Sun colleague Ron Sylvester’s story of today’s hotel closing. The casino will be updated and will include a new porte-cochere entrance on Flamingo. A new second-floor restaurant from a prestigious L.A. group also will be added.

Victor and I go back 25-years to his original Drai’s restaurant in Hollywood when he was dating English actress Jacqueline Bissett and making movies such as “The Man With One Red Shoe” starring Tom Hanks.

He showed me the renderings of his new 65,000-square-foot rooftop club complex. It is stunning, and he vows that it will be completely unique from what he created for Steve Wynn with Tryst at the Wynn and XS at the Encore.

“The clubs will open spring of next year. I will have Drai’s reopened in the basement for New Year’s Eve. Nothing will be changed. We’ll freshen up all the fabrics, the furnishings, the carpets, but it will be identical to the way we close it tonight.”

He plans to keep the temporary Drai’s space at Bally’s, but with a new concept unique to The Strip that I’m sworn to secrecy about for now.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 1 comment so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. i would bet that this spot will be a parking lot .caesar's is in debt and they cannot afford a remodel . they need parking for the linq