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December 10, 2018

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Strip Scribbles: Clydesdales at new Beer Park; Thomas Keller responds to criticism

Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas Opens

L.E. Baskow

Dignitaries with Beer Park enjoy a toast to help celebrate the grand opening of the venue Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Paris Las Vegas.

Beer Park Opens at Paris

Dignitaries with Beer Park enjoy a toast to help celebrate the grand opening of the venue Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Paris Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Clydesdales at Paris Las Vegas

Horses used to roam the land where today’s Las Vegas Strip takes center stage. Superstar Shania Twain re-created those days of old when she rode up Las Vegas Boulevard to debut her residency at Caesars Palace in November 2012.

It was the first-ever orchestrated stampede of more than a dozen beautiful animals. On Saturday, it was a little more genteel when eight Budweiser Clydesdales trotted along the Strip. Our thanks to Richard Corey for his video posted on YouTube.

They pulled the Budweiser carriage to celebrate the grand opening of Beer Park Las Vegas at Paris Las Vegas. Fans cheered the horses — and a feisty Dalmatian — who were followed by a procession of VIPs, including the following:

Investors Perry Rogers and Corey Jenkins from Beer Park; Ryan Hammer from Caesars Entertainment; Josh Halpern from Anheuser-Busch; and Las Vegas County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow.

She issued a proclamation and joined in an inaugural toast as Beer Park opened its doors to guests. They sampled some of Beer Park’s 100+ selections, including Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Widmer on draft, and of course this Bud’s for you!

My spywitness Anissa Christal spotted “Sexxy” at Westgate Las Vegas star Jennifer Romas and R&B singer Al B Sure. The 10,000-square-foot deck overlooking the Strip also has an outdoor grill and picnic tables with built-in coolers.

During TV commercials, you can play the outdoor pool tables and other games. The opening marked the start of the countdown to Beer Park’s Super Bowl 50 party Sunday.

Bouchon By Thomas Keller

Black truffles at Bouchon by Thomas Keller in the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

RESPONSE TO SLAM: It was a savage and many believe unwarranted attack on Las Vegas celebrity chef Thomas Keller (Bouchon at the Venetian) and his Manhattan fine-dining restaurant Per Se that opened more than a decade ago. A New York Times review was so brutal, it compared “lukewarm matsutake mushroom bouillon” to “bong water.”

Restaurant writer Pete Wells demoting Per Se from a four-star restaurant to a two-star establishment. Last year, the critic lambasted Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant, calling much of the menu inedible.

Thomas penned a letter of apology instead of firing back angrily: “At all of our restaurants, in our kitchens and dining rooms, we make every effort to provide you with the best possible experience. We consider it our professional responsibility to ensure that every one of you feels special and cared for.

“To us, it is imperative that we improve and evolve every day. We constantly examine ourselves, our menu, our service and our standards. Regretfully, there are times when we do not meet those standards. The fact that The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells’ dining experiences at Per Se did not live up to his expectations and to ours is greatly disappointing to me and to my team.

“We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards, but we make mistakes along the way. We are sorry we let you down. When we fall short, we work even harder. We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.”

Per Se has consistently been ranked New York City’s No. 1 restaurant and in America’s Top Five since it opened in 2004 to rave reviews. Having dine there a few times, I can tell you that the criticism is far more theatrical than factual.

‘Britney: Piece of Me’ Opening Night

Opening night of Britney Spears’ “Britney: Piece of Me” on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at The Axis in Planet Hollywood.

Launch slideshow »

NEW SHOWS: Two Strip artists are getting ready to launch revamped versions of their hit shows. Britney Spears is living up to her “Work, Bitch” hit while rehearsing for her Feb. 13 relaunch of “Britney: Piece of Me” at Axis at Planet Hollywood, so much so that she’s been badly bruised on her knees and thighs.

Magician and mogul Criss Angel will be featured in the next edition of the Bloomberg financial news publication. In addition to details and behind-the-scenes information of his revamped, retitled “Believe” at the Luxor to be unveiled in early spring, Bloomberg focuses on the business empire he’s built with his reality-TV series, magic gift line and new touring show “The Supernaturalists.”

MAKING PROGRESS: * The new T-Mobile Arena celebrated a milestone when the first of more than 17,000 seats for the upper and lower concourse levels were installed over the weekend. The first seats of the process were bolted into the party deck area located at the south end of the arena.

Dan Quinn, VP and general manager of T-Mobile Arena, joined members of the team to officially “test” the first seats. The process will continue with a target completion date of March.

* Former Pure Nightlife Group exec Howard Weiss, who oversaw Venus Pool Club at Caesars and LAX at Luxor, has been appointed chief of daylife and nightlife operations at Tropicana and the M Resort.

He plans to reintroduce the M’s adult venue Daydream and open a 21+ pool club at Tropicana. He arrives from his post at Atlantic City’s Borgata and the neighboring domed Harrah’s pool nightclub.

2012MDW: The Beach Boys at Red Rock Resort

The Beach Boys perform at Red Rock Resort on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Launch slideshow »

MEMORIES AND MUSIC: Legendary Las Vegas musician Billy Hinsche guest stars on Bruce Merrin’s “Vegas USA Radio Show” on Tuesday. For more than 20 years, Billy was a member of The Beach Boys.

He’ll share a great story of how Frank Sinatra helped Dean Martin’s son Dino, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s kid Desi and Billy get their record contract. He also will discuss loving memories of The Beach Boys.

Grammy-winning saxophonist Kenny G will perform a concert at the Venetian on April 1. His setlist will include his hits, such as “Songbird,” “Forever in Love” and “Silhouette” and feature tracks off his newest album, “Brazilian Nights.” Kenny’s recording career spans nearly three decades and 23 albums.


It will look but not sound as if Frankie Moreno is singing and playing “Under the Influence” in his debut run of Monday night shows at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center. It’s his nod to the music that’s inspired and impressed him in his career.

Diva DJ duo model actresses Kim Lee and Kat Nova (aka KimKat) spin at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Singer Kelly Clinton Holmes presents her Open Mic Cabaret at Bootlegger Bistro with husband Clint Holmes a likely suspect to sit in on the music.


Newly engaged Mariah Carey returns to another run of her 18 #1 hits shows at Caesars, and a cigar bar opens right on the Strip for spirits and stogies.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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