Luxe Life Blog
Ron Randazzo’s 27 years of memories at Circus Circus’ Steak House
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We continue today with Ron Randazzo, general manager of the Steak House at Circus Circus for 27 of its 30 years.
By Ron Randazzo
You may have heard that the Steak House turned the Big 3-0 this June, which means three decades of memories with my customers and staff. I’d love to tell you a little bit about my time here at Circus Circus and the people who have made me enjoy coming to work every day.
I had an in-person interview (I know, no one does that anymore) at Circus Circus in December 1983. I started at 6 a.m. the next day at the buffet and, after a few promotions, made my way to the Steak House, where I’ve been the general manager for nearly 27 years.
So many of the customers and staff are my friends that, if I ever left, I’d still show up and stand in front of the restaurant to say hello to everyone. After all, my least senior waiter has been here for 16 years, and the staff and I spend more time with one other than with anyone else. It’s my second family.
I have a team of practical jokers. We’re always doing silly things to make the guests laugh. When someone says, “I’d like a dry white wine,” we’ll bring them an empty bottle. Or if a customer asks for a small bowl of soup, a waiter might bring one the size of a half dollar.
The guests love it! You expect great service and food when you come to a restaurant, but you don’t expect the staff to make you laugh. I think that’s what has kept people coming back for so many years.
One of my favorites is a customer from the Chicago area who owns a body shop. He came in one night looking for chocolate cake. We didn’t have chocolate cake on the menu, so I ran to the coffee shop to get him a slice.
After that, he kept coming back asking if we remember him, the chocolate cake guy. He recommends us to everyone in his town, from the mayor to the Police Department. He eventually bought a semi-retirement home in Las Vegas and now dines with us every Sunday.
Forming close relationships with the guests also can be sad. I remember a couple who came in celebrating their wedding anniversary years ago. In those days, we would always take a Polaroid picture for our guests celebrating special occasions. I went over to the table to take their picture, and the husband kept refusing. Being the negotiator I am, I took the picture anyway.
A few months later, the husband returned to the Steak House and thanked me for taking the picture. His wife had passed away, and that was the last photo they had together. I have a drawer full of letters like that, and just thinking of the stories gets me teary-eyed.
We’ve hosted and enjoyed serving celebrities like Mel Gibson, Montell Williams and Holly Madison, but to us every one is a star, and it is our loyal and regular customers who make our jobs especially rewarding. Just the other night, we had a couple come in who had held their wedding reception in the Steak House, and this time they were celebrating their 30th anniversary.
We’re blessed to be able to be such an important part of our guests’ lives. Thank you to everyone for 30 wonderful years!
Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from Travis Cloer and Graham Fenton, who portray Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” at the Paris, and Susan Joseph, CEO and chairwoman of Las Vegas-headquartered Justice Entertainment Group. Join us Tuesday when our guest columnists are hometown singing hero Michael Grimm, comedian Geechy Guy and the high-speed sports enthusiast who brought motorcycle racing to town.
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.
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