Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: Las Vegas Rocks Cafe to open in Neonopolis
Las Vegas entertainer and radio and TV host Tony Sacca is taking over the former Jillian’s space in downtown Neonopolis and will open his first Las Vegas Rocks Cafe. If all goes well, a national franchise chain of Las Vegas Rocks Cafe is planned, with the next outlet in New York City.
During 24 years as host of his TV show Entertainment Las Vegas Style, Tony has developed a catalog library of interviews with more than 500 celebrities and Las Vegas videos of openings parties and even implosions! He’ll edit those as one of the video attractions of the new restaurant chain, along with memorabilia reflecting the entire history of Sin City.
Tony told me: “What a perfect fit. To have the Las Vegas Rocks Cafe situated on Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, where the ‘real’ Las Vegas began.”
Tony has partnered with foods manufacturer and bakery owner Parisian chef Josette LeBlond, who has already created a Las Vegas-themed menu, including my favorite, Topless Dancer, an open-faced turkey sandwich. Other items are named after legendary entertainers from the Strip. Four years ago when Tony celebrated the 20th anniversary of his show, he wrote the song “Las Vegas Rocks.”
That led to a line of souvenirs, including a Las Vegas Rocks musical clock that has become such a big seller, it inspired him to create the restaurant. “This project seems like my destiny,” said Tony, who has lived here since 1981. “We’re aiming to have a soft opening in early December and be ready to rock for New Year’s Eve.”
*I’ve agreed to make my improv acting debut here in Las Vegas. Magician Penn Jillette’s lovely wife Emily has persuaded me to join her Celebrity Tarot Lounge production -- thankfully for one night only! Comedy trickster Matt Donnelly will read my tarot cards at the Stage Door Theater in Town Square on Oct. 16. Neither of us knows what will happen, as it’s unscripted, unrehearsed and unpredictable when we see what the cards foretell. Billed as divine improv comedy, I can only promise that it should be hilarious as I discover my fate!
*Holy horrors! We’re now just about 31 days from Halloween, but it’s going to start earlier this year when Madame Tussauds in The Venetian turns out the lights starting Oct. 13. Holy Halloween! For the first time in its 10-year stay on the Strip, guests should be scared as they make their way for three hours nightly around the 100 wax figures and attractions with only a glow-stick to illuminate the path. Madame Tussaud herself started out making death masks from wax before she turned her skills into a permanent exhibition of famous names.
Two hundred years ago, her first “client” was the freshly beheaded Marie Antoinette! Holy Headless! We’ll finally learn if it’s true whether wax figures come to life after dark as they do in horror films! The scares and screams start at 10 p.m. on Oct. 13 and continue through Oct. 31, with extended operating hours until 1 a.m.
*Swing into Quicksilver inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops and try out Tony Hawk’s new video game Ride free before it is released. Quicksilver is the only store in Las Vegas previewing the game. Players experience the thrill of skateboarding via a motion-sensing skateboard that allows them to control the action with their feet. The demo will take place every Friday through Monday until Nov. 17, when Ride is released.
*Legendary singer Tony Bennett hosted his Tony for Tennis concert at Tao in The Venetian. It was a fundraiser to get more school students involved in the sport and defray their expenses in tournament play and competition. Our Jersey Boys cast sang at the Marty Hennessey Tennis Foundation gala, along with appearances by Ali Landry, Rita Rudner, Clint Holmes and Mosaic.
*Buca di Beppo, owned by our Planet Hollywood head honcho Robert Earl, has a charitable promotion today and tomorrow in support of Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong foundation, which fights cancer on a global level. Robert has decreed that 20 percent of your total purchases in his restaurants will be donated to LiveStrong.
Harry Potter actor Tom Felton celebrated his 22nd birthday with a large group of friends at Prive in Planet Hollywood and wound up dancing on his banquet to Michael Jackson and Beyonce songs. The actor best known as the evil Draco Malfoy was presented with a chocolate and maraschino cherry decorated cake. He texted his girlfriend, Harry Potter stunt coordinator Jade Olivia, who wasn’t able to get to town in time for the party. Before Prive, Thomas enjoyed dinner at Strip House.
Peepshow star Holly Madison met rockers Benji Madden and Adam Levine when they all brunched at adjoining tables in Iron Chef Kerry Simon’s restaurant at Palms Place. Today is Holly’s day off, and she’s headed to Disneyland and then will sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” from centerfield at the L.A. Angels game in Anaheim, Calif. Our contributing photographer Tom Donoghue is making the journey with her, so we’ll be able to feature the photos of Holly’s singing debut!
It’s been one year since Sushi Samba opened in the Palazzo, and Entourage actor Kevin Dillon returned to celebrate. He attended the grand opening, but this time played bartender and served up cocktails to startled star-struck guests. In a case of life imitates art, Kevin poured himself a Johnny Walker Blue in a salute to his character Johnny Drama and chatted with Sushi Samba owner Matt Johnson and Venetian and Palazzo President Rob Goldstein.
Nightclub czar Victor Drai’s XS in the Encore looked like an Indy 500 pit stop when racecar driver Danica Patrick held court in a VIP booth with teammates Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan from the Andretti Green racing team. … Over at Lavo in the Palazzo, Vanessa Minnillo, here filming Face of Vegas for ABC, enjoyed calamari, Kobe rib eye and risotto before burning off the calories on the dance floor, as L.A. Lakers star Derek Fisher and his wife drank champagne with strawberries alongside retired tennis star Gustavo Kuerten, who stuck to beer, and actor Josh Henderson, who alternated between whisky sours and the bubbly.
The fourth in a series of rock cabaret concerts featuring cast members from Jersey Boys and this month’s special guests, Mosaic, takes place at The Liberace Museum. Tonight’s theme is “Forgive vs. Forget” and features Jersey Boys lead Travis Cloer and the Vs house band.
We have the full advance look at renowned tattoo artist Mario Barth’s spectacular four-day show. Rock stars, celebrities and global tattoo artists all meet up at Mandalay Bay for the largest tattoo show on Earth. Our Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond reveals how his Dancing With the Stars partner Kym Johnson and he have inflicted injuries on each other while rehearsing for the hit show, plus our exclusive conversation with actor Chazz Palminteri as he prepares for his one-man show A Bronx Tale debuting at The Venetian. He plays 18 characters in the 85-minute play!
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 HERE.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter HERE.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter HERE.