Wednesday, May 14, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Construction crews at the Cromwell have given the go-ahead for nightlife czar Victor Drai to set the final timetable for the opening of his $100 million rooftop, center Strip Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub that overlooks the Bellagio Fountains.
Victor wants to celebrate with the official ribbon cutting and champagne pour next Wednesday, and the VIP reception and opening night party will kick off Memorial Day Weekend on May 23.
The party for the first Strip rooftop nightclub will be preceded by a one-hour red carpet with Hollywood and music celebrities. It also marks the reopening of his Drai’s After Hours in the basement that he’s occupied for 17 years.
PURE CLOSES: Across the Strip at Caesars Palace on the same weekend, the 10-year-old Pure nightclub will end its run as Hakkasan Group shuts its doors for a major makeover and expansion. Vegas DeLuxe reported the plans several months ago with rumors that the second-floor patio would become a pool zone with a glass bottom.
The latest rumor is that the new Pure will expand even farther into the adjoining Caesars poker room. Design plans have been completed and approved, and construction will move ahead on a fast track for a spring reopening next year.
10TH ALL-STARS: Seven hundred at-risk, low-income and disadvantaged students from 13 local elementary and middle schools who have an interest in after-hours music and dance programs will take part in Thursday’s nearly three-hour, 10th annual All-Star Showcase.
Mirage headline entertainer Terry Fator is kicking off the program onstage at Springs Preserve as the kids form choirs, hip-hop groups, cheering squads, a mariachi band, ballet folkloric and a karate team.
HIGH-ROLLER WINES: How can you be assured that the $25,000 bottle of red wine or the $80,000 case of vintage champagne is in perfect condition and more importantly is real? How can a casino know its high rollers will be happy with bottles from a $100,000 case of rare vintages? Now for the first time in America, a new service by just-formed Vault Wine Merchants of Las Vegas guarantees perfection and validity.
Wine consultant Gil Lempert Schwartz and master sommelier Ron Mumford of Las Vegas have created the company to provide “perfect condition inventory” stored at Larry Ruvo’s Southern Wine and Spirits warehouse.
Gil told me: “It’s the best storage facility in America, and we provide a level of assurance that no one has ever been able to give before.” The rare collections come with holographic stickers and authenticity reports.
The two experts say their systems will prevent any wine deceptions infiltrating the Las Vegas retail and casino marketplace as were uncovered in the French and New York “fake vintage year” wine scandals two years ago.
COOL COMEDY & HOT CUISINE: For the first time after 26 years, comedy stars and star chefs are bringing their signature fundraiser event for Scleroderma Research to Las Vegas thanks to Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Ben Folds and Mandalay Bay culinary stars Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill) and Rick Moonen (RM Seafood, Rx Boiler Room). I’ll join them June 5 at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay for the fundraising night of entertainment and fine food to combat the awful, life-threatening disease that for now has no cure.
The progressive hardening of the skin eventually attacks the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and patients suffocate. My friend Susan started the foundation when her best friend and college roommate died from the disease. Jay and Bob became founding members. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman and many more support the charity, and surprise appearances are expected at the debut Las Vegas event.
My Las Vegas friend Saville Kellner, who battles the disease, recruited the comedy stars and chefs here and urges everyone to support the necessary work. Saville heads up Henderson’s Lake Industries, an international leader since 1979 in the wholesale supply of kitchenware.
BESTIE’S BIRTHDAY BLAST: Dad-to-be Ashton Kutcher had to leave pregnant fiancee Mila Kunis home in Hollywood when he landed here with 40 guys to celebrate his best friend Luke Watson’s 40th birthday. They took over a private dining room at chef Brian Massie’s Stack in Bellagio, and Ashton checked in with the Mia via cell. The well-behaved group spent the weekend at Liquid Pool Lounge in Aria and at nearby Haze until 3 a.m.
Liquid and Haze were star central in recent days with rapper T.I. hanging with Christina Milian’s beau Jas Prince, head of Rap-A Lot Records; hip-hop superstar Nelly and fellow St. Lunatic’s artists Ali and Trae the Truth; Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” fame; poker pro Phil Hellmuth; and BET founder and Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson.
Lauryn Hill is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.
The five-day Helldorado Days festival with food booths, entertainment, rodeo exhibits and attractions and a carnival gets underway at Symphony Park.
Echo & Rig butcher chefs Sam Marvin, Aaron Oster and Frank Fronda join the Food Truck Village at Fremont East Entertainment District for the Wednesdays Downtown block party and world’s greatest happy hour.
Breguet presents its specially made clock to Carillon Circle donors of the Smith Center at a courtyard dine-around, followed by a preview concert by actor and singer-songwriter Cheyenne Jackson, who will perform there in October.
The gorgeous gridiron girls of our Las Vegas Sin are in fighting shape for their season debut home game against the Green Bay Chill at the Thomas & Mack Arena and the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” is ready for its Las Vegas return at Tropicana. We’ll have our chef Nobu Matsuhisa interview to wrap up our Vegas Uncork’d coverage and get ready for a star-jammed weekend with Tiger Woods’ Tiger Jam and the 2014 Billboard Music 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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.