Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 | 9 a.m.
What would Ryan Lochte do?
The Olympic swimming champion turned The Big 3-0 on Aug. 3, and belated birthday plans called for a celebration over Labor Day Weekend in Las Vegas, one of the heartthrob’s favorite party destinations.
What would the itinerary entail? Take off his shirt at a new adult-male revue in Las Vegas?
If that was a guess, you’d be abs-olutely correct — and a liar.
On Sunday night, Lochte was surprised while enjoying a birthday dinner at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at The D Las Vegas by his host Richard Wilk, who has been organizing a birthday dinner for Lochte since 2008, and two of the downtown casino’s signature Dancing Dealers who took Lochte by the hand to The D Showroom where Men of the Strip was performing the final night of a four-evening stand.
Lochte was greeted by 200 screaming fans singing “Happy Birthday” as the hunky male performers welcomed him onstage. After chants of “take it off!” (as opposed to “keep it on!”), Lochte stripped off his hoodie to the delight of the crowd. He was reportedly very nice to the cast members, and the ladies — news flash — loved him. (Are those Calvin Klein boxer briefs in the photos?)
The Men of the Strip dubbed Lochte an honorary stripper and bestowed him a lipstick-marked white tie as The D Las Vegas presented the birthday boy with a cake onstage. Still shirtless — maybe somebody stole his hoodie? — Lochte devoured the cake face first and danced for the audience. He happily posed for photographs with fans before returning to Andiamo to resume his birthday feast.
Lochte’s birthday-celebration weekend started at Tao in the Venetian on Saturday night with fellow swimmers and Olympic medalists Cullen Jones and Ed Moses. The guys took over a VIP table where they enjoyed the party atmosphere and took photographs with fans throughout the evening.
The party continued Sunday at Encore Beach Club, where the 11-time Olympic medalist (seven of them individual) and six friends had some fun in the sun in a private bungalow overlooking the pool-party action and took in the sounds of superstar DJ David Guetta, who wore bright-red pants in the hot desert sun.
Sporting camouflage cargo shorts, an American flag tank top and his guns, Lochte, who will never be mistaken for being camera shy, took photographs with friends and fans throughout the afternoon. The group enjoyed Fireball and Grey Goose cocktails.
Lochte et al danced, drank and kept the party going until 6:30 p.m., then made their way to Andiamo and Men of the Strip downtown.
Let’s start a petition: Ryan Lochte for guest host of Men of the Strip. (Or Chippendales at the Rio!)
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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The D Las Vegas is the new revved-up name for a longtime downtown Las Vegas hotel, Fitzgeralds, which had been in operation since 1987.
Owner Derek Stevens rebranded and refurbished the hotel in fall 2012 to give it a motor city theme, using the nickname of his beloved city, Detroit, for the name of the new hotel. He also brought in two restaurant favorites from Detroit: American Coney Island and Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
The property features 638 remodeled contemporary rooms and suites. The unique two-level casino included slots and table games. Dancing dealers are featured on the first floor. And the second floor transports guests back in time to old-school Vegas with its Vintage Casino.
The casino also features the LONGBAR, the longest bar in Nevada, where sports fans can watch games on big screen TVs. Outside on Fremont Street, D Bar invites guests and passerby alike to enjoy refreshing frozen libations and specialty cocktails as talented, trickster bartenders send bottles and glasses flying through the air.
The Showroom at the D features the interactive comedy show, "Marriage Can Be Murder," where guests can be part of the mystery.