Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2019

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John Katsilometes takes a tour of Cherry Nightclub - and waxes on about Tupac at Madame Tussauds

I am standing at a urinal shaped like a pair of women's lips. The urinal, like all other amenities at Cherry Nightclub at Red Rock Resort, is not yet operating and won't be until the entire resort opens on April 18.

But there I stand, confused and bemused, and ask the man to my left why the urinals should be shaped like a female mouth.

"I thought it would be kind of funny to do that," says Rande Gerber, chuckling while standing at his own mouthy piece of plumbing. "An artist from Holland designed them."

And they are made of glass.

The restrooms at Cherry are somewhat of a tease - they share a common entryway, but walls separate the boys and girls where it's important. At the sinks you can make out the figure on the opposite side for a quick once-over ("Hey, do you go here often?").

"It not quite coed, but close," says Gerber, the nightclub impresario who founded the Midnight Oil Company chain of ultrahip clubs in the United States and Mexico City (one of which is the Whiskey at Green Valley Ranch Station Casino). Stepping around equipment and occasionally calling orders to the assembled construction workers, Gerber gave a swift tour of the slick indoor-outdoor 8,500-square-foot nightclub.

The club's entrance is a long mirrored cylinder, which spills into an oval-shaped nightclub. Red leather covers much of the walls, and crimson glass and mirrors are used extensively. Leather booths ring the dance floor, which is suspended slightly to absorb the vibrations of the world-class sound system.

"You can feel the music, not just hear it," Gerber says. "You can feel it moving through your body. It makes you want to dance."

The club and pool deck offer private VIP areas; inside, those private areas overlook the dance floor. The club and deck are separated by a glass wall that can be retracted according to the conditions. And in the entrance is a 7-foot sculpture of red cherries, created by Takashi Murakami.

Gerber's company operates 18 such nightclubs, and he and his brother Scott have founded another nightclub company, After Midnight. Several projects are being planned or are under construction. Also famous as the husband of Cindy Crawford and father of two, Gerber says he has no plans to gear down.

"To see something like this through is exciting," he says. "To be in this hotel, and to feel that nervous energy as things come together, is really special. I can't wait to see it open, to be here with my friends and hear the music. You can't get tired of that, ever."


Lost Ramblas?: Gerber took a moment Wednesday to address reports that the much-hyped Las Ramblas project, in which he is an investor with George Clooney, has fizzled. The 25-acre parcel of land owned by the Related Cos. and Centra Properties to be used for the $3 billion mixed-use project, just west of the Hard Rock Hotel, is said to be up for sale. One interested party is reported to be a W Hotel partnership; W Hotel is also planning to take root on the so-called Harmon Corridor.

"There are some great opportunities, including selling the land," Gerber said. "If that happens, George and I will invest in something else in Las Vegas ... and George will donate his profits to the African Debt Relief Project." ...

Twelve pack: Saks Fifth Avenue celebrates its annual VegasDOZEN fundraising event at its store in the Fashion Show mall beginning at 5:30 this evening. Proceeds from the event go to the Nevada Cancer Institute.

The 12 high-profile men who have "professionally and personally contributed to the Las Vegas community in a meaningful way" are Tom Breitling, Garry Goett, Danny Greenspun, Jim Hammer, Somer Hollingsworth, Ted Quirk, Frank Schreck, Siegfried Fischbacher, Roy Horn, Don Snyder, Terry Wright and Steve Wynn. The mistress of ceremonies is Rita Rudner. Call 821-0044 for info ...

Rapper opened: Madame Tussauds Las Vegas at the Venetian on Wednesday officially unveiled its wax figure of late rap legend Tupac Shakur. Madame Tussauds General Manager Adrian Jones said Shakur's was the most-requested figure he has unveiled in his two years in Las Vegas. A Tupac-literate crowd turned out for the unveiling: As the blue drape dropped to reveal the shirtless, multitattooed figure of Shakur, a longtime fan standing next to me said, "His weight is down." ...

Regatta love it: The Leukemia Cup Regatta, a benefit for the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and hosted by the Nevada Yacht Club, is set for Saturday and Sunday at Lake Mead. The events will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 40 boats, such as Hobie Cats and Mono Hulls, will be cutting across the lake ...

Hey, it beats listening to static: Norm Clarke and I will join Dave Berns on KNPR 88.9-FM's "State of Nevada" on Friday morning. Also taping, after our appearance, will be "Hairspray" star Harvey Fierstein, for a segment to air Monday ...

Punctuality reality: Plate on a white mid-'80s Monte Carlo, H8TOBL8.