Tuesday, June 8, 1999 | 10:49 a.m.
The owners of the Red Square restaurant can finally freeze Vladimir Lenin's 250-pound head in a block of ice.
The missing head was discovered last week at a local thrift store and has been returned to the restaurant inside Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The head used to sit atop a 14-foot, 4,500-pound statue of Lenin that marked the entrance to the restaurant. But after the restaurant was open only a few weeks in March, several customers complained about the likeness of the Communist revolutionary and founder of the Soviet Union.
Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Mandalay Bay, decided to behead Lenin on March 26 after finding out that the heads were removed from many Lenin statues in Eastern Europe.
The head was then hung from the ceiling above the statue. That's when it disappeared, and China Grill Management Las Vegas, which operates Red Square, offered a $5,000 reward for the return of Lenin's head.
The restaurant recently got a call from someone who reported seeing the missing head at a local thrift store.
"When we went to investigate, we learned that approximately 3 1/2 weeks ago someone dropped off a huge pallet of donated items to the store in the middle of the night and the head was at the bottom of the donation," said Kelley Jones, director of operations for China Grill.
Jones said the restaurant plans to freeze the head in a block of ice that will be used as a centerpiece and displayed in a vodka locker.