Superfrico at Cosmo is Magnifico, Ditto “Opium”

It gives us immense joy when there’s something new to rave about in Las Vegas. A new restaurant at Cosmo, Superfrico, is that.

The folks at Spiegelworld have a track record of success with shows (“Absinthe,” “Opium,” “Atomic Saloon”), now their Superfrico Italian restaurant is set to be one of the most buzzed-about restaurants in Sin City.

Superfrico is more than just great Italian food, it’s an experience, and not in a cringy, contrived way. The other kind. You may not know what we’re talking about, because they don’t really exist. They do now.

Superfrico is satisfying on every level, including levels you might never even know about unless you read, ahem, certain Las Vegas blogs. You are wise beyond your years.

Superfrico is a feast for the senses, including some you didn’t realize you have.

Superfrico is the brainchild of Spiegelworld’s owner, Ross Mollison. Typically, we wouldn’t care whose brainchild a restaurant is, but Superfrico has a lot of Mollison in it.

If Mollison is involved, you know you’re going to get something offbeat, fun (for grown-ups) and utterly unique.

Ross Mollison calls himself “Empresario Extraordinaire,” yet we like him, anyway.

Gird your loins, let’s go to Superfrico.

Some housekeeping first. Superfrico is pronounced “super-FREAK-oh.”

“Frico” is an Italian word for a traditional Friulian cheese dish where the cheese is shredded and pan fried, making it crispy and delicious. Frico is that crispy cheese you’ll find on the crust of the top-notch pizzas at Superfrico.

If you’re not drooling, you may be a cyborg.

On the Italian restaurant scale, Superfrico isn’t as fancy as a ristorante, or as casual as an osteria. It’s right in the middle, a trattoria.

The dress code (there isn’t one) can best be described as “Gents, put on pants if you have time.”

Oh, and the pants thing doesn’t always apply to the entertainers. Fair warning.


Superfrico is in the Cosmopolitan’s former Rose.Rabbit.Lie. space, and adjoins the “Opium” theater. More about “Opium” later. A lot more.

The venue has been retooled to the tune of millions of dollars, but those who visited Rose.Rabbit.Lie. will recognize the general layout.

The venue now has a main dining room and several bars, including a sort of hidden Ski Lodge lounge that could be its own stand-alone speakeasy. It was inspired by Mollison’s favorite bar in Japan, Bar Gyu, also known as the Fridge Door Bar.

The Ski Lodge has a ton of character in a place with a lot of characters. Including, apparently, Waldo.

The entire venue is adorned with art. Mollison says the art cost in the neighborhood of $30 million, and most of it has a story behind it. Here’s more.

We asked Mollison why he spent so much on art, and he said it’s his son’s inheritance.

Here’s one of those things you might not notice unless you’re reading this blog: You’ll find penguins everywhere at Superfrico. It’s on the napkins, signs, menus and there are ice cubes with penguins on them as well (see below). The penguin represents Mollison’s son. Now you know.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and another bit of housekeeping: Superfrico is not a supper club. It’s not Delilah at Wynn or Mayfair at Bellagio.

There’s occasional entertainment in the form of variety performers from “Opium,” but it’s brief and not disruptive to the dining experience. It’s flair.

There’s also a DJ, but we barely noticed. The noise volume increases as the evening goes on, but that’s mainly because the restaurant gets busier, so the music has to be louder to hear it.

As with everything in Las Vegas, Superfrico is about 10 percent too loud for our liking, but Mollison says they’re still looking for the right balance between energy and being able to hold a conversation. The noblest of endeavors, in our humble opinion.

But enough about the vibe, let’s dive into the menu, because it’s the star of the show at Superfrico. The cocktails resent that last sentence, but they’re divas.

Like so many things at Superfrico, the menus involve some backstory. At first glance, the menu names make no sense at all: Penelope Cruz, Frank Skinner, Calvin Klein. The Ski Lodge menu says Tommy Tucker.

There’s nothing random at Superfrico. Sorting it out is part of the fun.

This is where it’s useful to know Ross Mollison is Australian. Australian’s have a love of rhyming slang.

Penelope Cruz? Booze. Calvin Klein? Wine. Frank Skinner? Dinner. Tommy Tucker? Supper.

Playful and silly and surprising and weird. At Superfrico, you’re either onboard or you’re not. And even if you’re not, you’re still going to have an unforgettable time.

The menu is described as “Italian American Psychedelic.” So, Italian.

Just a couple of dishes in and we knew we’d found a new favorite restaurant at Cosmopolitan.

We started with fried mozzarella, sort our wheelhouse.

“Pace yourself” isn’t a very Las Vegas thing to recommend, but we don’t live by society’s rules. Pace yourself.

The pizzas are a strong offering a Superfrico, and we even loved one we never would’ve ordered without Ross Mollison forcing us to try it. We visited Superfrico twice, dining once with Mollison and a second time on our own. Service levels tend to be better when the boss is in the place, but service was excellent during both visits.

The Pistachio Mortadella pizza has pistachio pesto, house mozzarella, mortadella, house stracciatella, parmigiano reggiano and pistachio. We literally recognize almost none of those
words, yet this pizza was fantastic, even with mushy stuff on top.

Our enjoyment of this pizza was one of the biggest surprises during an evening full of surprises.

One of the great things about the pizza at Superfrico is you can order it at your seat during “Opium.”

That means even if you’re not seeing “Opium” (if you don’t, you’re missing out), you can still get your frico on.

Seats in the theater have these little tables equipped with QR codes. They let you order and also tell servers where to deliver your food.

Food is also available at the various bars at Superfrico, a big plus for solo diners. This is pretty much going to be a go-to spot at Cosmo for those who’d like a quick pizza or cocktail or three. Sorry, Secret Pizza, this is next level pie.

Naturally, we had to try the chicken parm. We’re relieved to report it’s one of the best we’ve had in Las Vegas.

Told you to pace yourself. Do as we say, not as we do.

You’ll want to save room for the Baked Alaska.

Baked Alaska is also known as Bombe Alaska, and this baked Alaska is definitely the bombe.

Props to Executive Chef Mitch Emge and his team for making Superfrico a winner right out of the gate. Superfrico got an assist on its pizzas by Anthony Falco, billed as an “international pizza consultant.” See the chef in action.

Superfrico’s cocktail program is as pleasing as the food, and we’ll just cut to the chase by saying try a cocktail called The Cosmonaut of Las Vegas. It’s a take on a classic Cosmo (and a
play on the name of the hotel, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), and it’s currently on our very short list of “Things We Like to Drink That Aren’t Captain Morgan and Diet.”

The other is the black cherry lemondrop martini at Triple George. Yeah, we like our drinks sweet because we’re a recessive supertaster. Long story.

Anyway, the Cosmonaut!

Bonus points for the adorable garnish.

There are other drinks people were raving about, but we tend to find something we like and do that until our lips are forcibly removed from the glass.

For the liquor nerds, we should mention the Superfrico cocktail program is from James Beard Award-winning hooch whiz Leo Robitschek.

Ross Mollison went on and on about this dirty martini. Let us know what you think.

As mentioned, throughout dinner, there are moments of odd and amazing, courtesy of variety performers.

It’s just the right amount of entertainment, and the acts last 2-3 minutes, about every 20 minutes. These performers are so talented, yet make what they do look so easy.

Which leads us to “Opium.”

“Opium” was a bit of a mess when it opened in 2018, honestly. We liked it, but didn’t love it. The jokes were a lot more miss than hit, there was too much emphasis on the sci-fi characters and “story” and the variety acts hadn’t quite gelled yet.

Well, that’s not “Opium” anymore.

The bawdy humor (the show’s main character is named Captain Kunton) and mesmerizing variety acts make “Opium” as good, if not better (the audacity!), than “Absinthe,” the previously-undisputed best show in Las Vegas.

If “interactive” isn’t your thing, don’t sit in the front row.

“Opium” just reopened on Sep. 24, 2021, the last of the Spiegelworld shows to do so. It was worth the wait.

Some of the acts in “Opium” haven’t made it back yet. The tennis racket contortionist guy, the hula hoop guy, the guy that may not be a guy. They’ve all had visa issues due to the pandemic.

The bubble guy and the balloon lady are two of our favorites. Notice we’re sharing a photo of the lady.

The current mix of variety acts is fantastic, however, in every sense of the word, including “fanciful” and “imaginative.”

Here are some highlights from “Opium.”


Related and important: It’s worth noting Superfrico and “Opium” aren’t like many venues that prohibit photos and video. Here, it’s welcome and encouraged.

Rear Admiral Todd, the sword-swallower, saw us taking a photo, wasn’t even mad.

More information about “Opium” can be found here.

Superfrico is the perfect complement to the show, but is a destination restaurant all on its own.

Get a taste of the Superfrico weirdness and a reservation here.

There’s a lot more to experience at Superfrico, but the Internet can only hold so much fawning. Hey, we love what we love.

If you’ve been questioning whether or not to plan another Vegas trip, the answer is Superfrico.

Superfrico isn’t cheap, but the prices are in line with other restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bottom line is Superfrico is the newest must-try Las Vegas Italian restaurant, and Spiegelworld finds itself with another smash hit on its hands.

Enjoy a cavalcade of photos from Superfrico and “Opium” in our expansive gallery, below. It’s free of charge, so don’t complain if they aren’t in focus or whatever.

The post Superfrico at Cosmo is Magnifico, Ditto “Opium” appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Dream Hotel Approved Despite Awkward Proximity to Airport

Dream Hotel Group announced plans for a hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip back in 2000.

Now, the 19-story, 526-room hotel has been approved by County officials despite being upwards of a dozen feet from the airport.

Dream Las Vegas will be located between the Pinball Hall of Fame and next to the Harley-Davidson dealership, near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

Small, sexy and a stone’s throw from the airport. Please, not literally. Unless you’ve always wanted a visit from serious guys in dark glasses representing various federal law enforcement agencies.

Dream’s approval wasn’t without its detractors on the County Commission. Singular, actually. Just one Clark County Commissioner voted against the project, Ross Miller.

Most of the concerns were related to what’s known in the safety and security industry as “Things That Could Go Seriously Bad.” You know, the kind of things popular with dipshits, including illegal drone flying, shootings, lasers that could give pilots “flash blindness” and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device attacks.

Undeterred by the concerns voiced by experts at Homeland Security, the FBI, Transportation Security Administration and Secret Service, the folks at Dream say they’ll break ground in mid-2022.

Developers say Dream Las Vegas would open in late 2024.

Dream Las Vegas is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $500 million.

This angle makes Dream look a lot more svelte. This one goes on Instagram.

Personally, we think they’re nuts. A stand-alone (translation: no database) boutique hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has “What were they thinking?” written all over it.

Given all the security concerns, who’s going to insure this place?

Unreported, other than by this blog, is a funny-sad story related to Dream’s neighbor, the Pinball Hall of Fame.

During construction of the new Pinball Hall of Fame, the assessor botched marking the boundary of the parcel. When the $10 million structure was completed, owners realized the building extended eight feet too far south, onto the parcel slated for Dream Las Vegas.

This is the Dream site next to the Pinball Hall of Fame. Slightly less sexy than the renderings, but give it time.

The matter remains unresolved, but we’re hopeful Dream Las Vegas will do the right thing for the Pinball Hall of Fame, a beloved Las Vegas nonprofit.

We like shiny, new things, so we’d love to see Dream Las Vegas move forward.

Developers say steps are being taken to deter any potential asshattery, and our appetite for Dream is whet!

It took a minute, but we finally got to make a “whet Dream” joke.

Reminder: It’s consistency, not predictability. Big difference.

The post Dream Hotel Approved Despite Awkward Proximity to Airport appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Tunnel Transportation System Approved

Enigmatic evil genius bajillionaire Elon Musk’s Boring Company has been given approval for an underground transportation system that could change how people get around Las Vegas forever.

Clark County officials gave a big thumbs up for the system that will involve 29 miles of tunnels, up to 51 stations and a shit-ton of Teslas.

The best part is Boring Company is paying for pretty much the whole shebang, excluding certain stations (casinos will foot the bill for those).

Strip on your gull wings, this projects ready to fly.

It seems like only yesterday we were breaking the news Elon Musk had his sights set on Las Vegas. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

Far from being a pipe dream, the Tesla tunnel system is already in action at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it’s awesome.

Unlike the trainwreck that was the Las Vegas Monorail (which is going to be dismantled), this new system will take people places they actually want to go, like Allegiant Stadium, McCarran airport and downtown.

Oh, and it’s fun as hell.


Skeptics, of course, have been spewing their jibber-jabber since the day the tunnel system was announced. They’re still jabbering.

We don’t care. The critics of this project are clueless, here’s why.

Yes, it’s Teslas in tunnels. But with flair!

This is the underground station at the Convention Center. Stations at casinos will be at street level.

As for the timeline of Elon Musk’s baby, it’s expected between five and 10 stations will come online within the first six months of construction.

Resorts World and Wynn are likely to see their stations done first.

Between 15 and 20 stations will be added each year until the system is complete.

As mentioned, it seems likely not all of the 51 stations will be built, as the map shows a couple of destinations that don’t actually exist yet. They include Wynn West and Fontainebleau.

Here’s a look at the map. (Larger version here.)

Boring is great at tunneling, not spectacular at font choice.

Boring says the system could have a capacity of 57,000 riders an hour.

The ticket prices being quoted so far are awesome, even compared to rideshare. Yes, the Boring system is actually rideshare, but with no red lights!

A ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center will take four minutes and cost $6. Gird your loins, taxis.

It’s worth noting while resort, construction and union reps have spoken in support of the project, taxi companies and rideshare reps have been awfully quiet, or what people used to call “mum” back in the 1940s.

The plan is for the Vegas Loop to eventually use self-driving vehicles, but that’s still in the works.

While we’re a big fan of this PR-friendly project, that doesn’t mean we also don’t also think a lot can happen between planning and completion. Hey, we’ve been on dates.

This project is ambitious, and while construction of the Las Vegas Convention Center shuttle went off without a hitch, that tunnel was .8 miles.

There’s a lot of stuff (yes, that’s the engineering term) under the Las Vegas Strip, so there could be some challenges ahead.

Even if construction goes perfectly, we’re still talking about cars in tunnels. It’s not really mass transit, and shouldn’t be billed as such. How much traffic it’s going to alleviate remains to be seen.

In the meantime, props to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Clark County, Elon Musk and Boring Co. for getting the project this far.

The whole concept is as mind-boggling and flashy as Las Vegas itself.

Let’s go!

The post Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Tunnel Transportation System Approved appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Le Cirque Restaurant at Bellagio to Reopen

It’s been a year-and-a-half, but the acclaimed Le Cirque restaurant will reopen at Bellagio.

The date: Oct. 28, 2021.

You know it’s a big deal because we made the reopening date its own paragraph.

“Cirque” is a French word meaning “we can’t afford it.”

Le Cirque fans will be relieved by this news, as there was a lot of chatter among industry insiders the restaurant wouldn’t be back after the pandemic. Don’t get mad. Just because someone’s an insider doesn’t mean they’re psychic.

Le Cirque has been at Bellagio for more than two decades, since the place opened in 1998, in fact.

The original Le Cirque was in New York City, but our version is better because, well, Las Vegas. And, also, the original closed (sorry, “currently relocating”) in 2018.

Chef Dameon Evers will be at the helm for the reopening of Le Cirque at Bellagio.

Evers clearly knows his stuff (sorry about the complicated culinary jargon).

Evers honed his skills at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills, Gordon Ramsay’s former spot in West Hollywood and Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak.

The chef also earned a Michelin star as executive chef at Angler Restaurant in L.A. This makes us think Chef Dameon Evers has exceptional wet-weather grip and excellent steering response, but this is unconfirmed.

Fun fact: About 81% of chef photos involve arm-crossing. The rest are holding a knife or sitting on a backwards chair. It’s the law.

We, too, aren’t entirely sure about the definition of “perennial,” but these are the hazards of cutting and pasting from news releases.

Why did it take Le Cirque so long to reopen? Well, if this place is anything like other restaurants in town, it has a lot to do with unions and staffing.

Even when demand increases, as it has, there’s still a big challenge finding staff. Yes, even at the high-paying fancy places.

Kitchen cooks are even more prized than lap dances or hot dice rolls in Las Vegas at the moment.

We’d love to give you our review of Le Cirque, but that would involve us having visited a French restaurant at some point, and that seems extraordinarily unlikely due to the fact they serve snails and the enlarged livers of fowl.

Still, some people are into that kind of thing.

Le Cirque is back at Bellagio starting Oct. 28, 2021.

You know that’s a big deal because we just repeated the reopening date we already mentioned earlier in this story. We know how you like to skim.

The post Le Cirque Restaurant at Bellagio to Reopen appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Rise Bar at Area 15 Construction Update

You know we’ll always keep you in the loop about new Las Vegas erections, so here’s the latest from Rise at Area 15.

Construction of the bar-slash-attraction is moving along at a brisk pace.

Shout-out to DNA.

The structure is now so tall, it can be seen from the I-15 freeway.

Guests and their cocktails will sit in 16-person gondolas, rise 131 feet in the air and enjoy some sweet views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Rise is built by Aerophile, a company specializing in tethered balloon structures.

Are you up for this?

Area 15 is a quirky mall a minute or two from The Strip, and has a collection of oddball,  interactive tenants.

Here’s more about Rise bar and ride at Area 15, and we’ll keep an eye on this new attraction as it makes its way toward the heavens.

Tickets will be $18 for adults and $12 for kids. Note: These prices are not adjusted for inflation.

We’ll wait.

The post Rise Bar at Area 15 Construction Update appeared first on Vital Vegas.

“Sexxy” Revue Closes Abruptly at Westgate

The seemingly unstoppable “Sexxy” is on a break. The topless show closed abruptly at Westgaste on Oct. 17, 2021.

The show ran at Westgate for six years, with more than 1,000 performances.

There was a lot of P.R. jibber-jabber about the show closing after reaching a “mutual agreement with the resort,” which is Vegas showbiz lingo for “draaama.”

Whenever a female revue closes in Las Vegas, an angel loses its pasties.

“Sexxy” is what you might expect in a Las Vegas revue. It features copious amounts of both “T” and “A,” along the lines of “X Burlesque” at Flamingo or the recently-closed “X Rocks” at

The show’s indefatigable producer, choreographer and dancer Jennifer Romas (stage center in the photo above) says the show will look for another venue.

It’s going to be tough to find a comparable arrangement, as it sounds like Romas got a sweetheart deal for the space from her good friend and Westgate owner David Siegel.

Yes, the same David Siegel featured in the 2012 documentary, “The Queen of Versailles.”

During the pandemic, Romas took the show on the road, creating “Sexxy After Dark” at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. The show will continue there three nights a week.

The good news for “Sexxy” is the demand for magumbos and cakes transcends place and time.

The art of tease is woven into the very fabric of Las Vegas. Hello, it’s even called the “Las Vegas Strip.”

We’ll be keeping an eye on “Sexxy” on your behalf, and hope to share that the lubricious show has found a new theater soon.

Oh, that’s right, “lubricious.” We knew that liberal arts degree would come in handy someday.

The post “Sexxy” Revue Closes Abruptly at Westgate appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Celine Dion Residency Delayed at Resorts World for Medical Reasons

Today’s swift kick to the party favors, Celine Dion announced she’ll have to delay her Resorts World residency due to medical issues.

Dion’s residency was set to begin Nov. 5, 2021. Now, not so much.

Her shows through at least February 2022 have been canceled.

Remember when Celine wasn’t relevant, then she came to Vegas and now she could buy Jupiter?

According to a news release, Dion has been “experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing.”

The statement continues, “Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat her. However, the symptoms she is experiencing are prohibiting her from participating in the ongoing rehearsals for the new show.”

First, let us say we hope Celine’s medical situation improves. She is beloved in Las Vegas, and we trust she’s as heartbroken by this delay as her fans are.

Second, if you think Celine’s muscle spasms are painful, they’re nothing compared to what Resorts World executives are experiencing right now.

It’s like the MSG Sphere had a baby.

Dion’s residency was set to be a shot in the arm at the new resort, reportedly struggling as the reality of opening during a pandemic has begun to sink in.

While Resorts World is poised to take advantage of conventions, as it’s virtually on top of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion expansion, big gatherings have yet to pick up steam.

International travel is still limited, although that could change when restrictions loosen Nov. 8, 2021.

Resorts World continues to deal with some built-in challenges, like a location with virtually zero foot traffic.

We’re a big fan of Resorts World, so we’re hoping the ramp-up of its residency line-up will deliver some much-needed guests and gamblers. Residencies like Celine Dion’s draw an ideal casino customer, as was evident at Caesars Palace during her record-breaking run.

Oh, like we’re going to miss an opportunity to remind everyone we broke the news Celine would have a Vegas residency a year before it was announced.

The delay of Dion’s residency is a blow to Resorts World, but ultimately, it’s about this national treasure getting well. Yes, she has an accent, but she’s ours. Our legal team is reviewing whether one can be a national treasure in two nations.

Celine Dion defied the odds and changed the landscape of Las Vegas residencies, it’s a safe bet can whoop the ass of some muscle spasms.

Unsolicited advice, Celine. Read Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno. No, we don’t get a piece of the action, it just changed our life, spasmwise.

Interestingly, Dion’s “Courage World Tour” is still scheduled to begin March 9, 2022. We’re trying not to take it personally.

Get better, Celine!

The post Celine Dion Residency Delayed at Resorts World for Medical Reasons appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill to Close at MGM Grand

A longtime fixture on the Las Vegas Strip, Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill, is set to close at MGM Grand.

The restaurant will close permanently in the next few weeks.

A new restaurant and bar will take its place by winter 2021, but few specifics have been given, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Hecho en Vegas” means “made in Vegas.” One of the only reasons we do photo captions is we have to learn new things to share with you.

Hecho en Vegas has been around since 2013. It replaced (basically a rebrand) another Mexican restaurant, Diego.

Recently, Hecho’s hours became irratic, we trust as fallout of the pandemic.

The restaurant was known for its impressive selection of more than 100 tequilas.

In order to pad this article to meet the recommended blog post length for search engine optimization, we are now going to use some filler related to tequila.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. The machete used to harvest the blue agave plant is called a “coa.”

Tequila comes from the heart (the “pina”) of the agave plant. In Spanish, “pina” can also mean “pineapple.”

You will be missed, peculiar statue.

A blue agave plant takes 8-12 to mature and can grow to be up to seven feet tall.

There are three kinds of tequila: Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Some tequila lover should totally name their kids Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Tequila can only be made in five regions in Mexico: Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco. If the aforementioned tequila lover is Mormon, they’ll need more names for their kids, so there you go.

The most expensive bottle of tequila ever sold, Platinum and White Gold Tequila, cost $225,000.

Tequila is a type of mezcal. All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. In gringo terms, it’s sort of similar to how scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey.

While party animals in the U.S. often do tequila shots (with salt and lime), in Mexico, it’s  usually sipped slowly and savored.

Tequila has been made into diamonds.

Medical experts say tequila helps with weight loss and improves the digestive system.

According to tequila experts, blanco tequila doesn’t give hangovers. That’s because it’s 100 percent pure agave.

The next time you’re winning a bar bet using this entralling tequila trivia, please send a thank-you note to Google.

We’re sorry to see Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill closing, despite the fact we rarely went there.

We will miss you fresh torta bread, whatever that might be.

The next restaurant in the space will still have to grapple with the odd location in an awkward part of MGM Grand, called the District.

The restaurant sits next to CBS Television City, near the entrance to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. You’d think the place would thrive before and after events, but events have taken a hit in the last year or so. Time for something new.

While we suspect the new concept won’t be Mexican food, we hope the new restaurant will have tequila so we will not have wasted upwards of 15 minutes collecting tequila trivia for this story.


The post Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill to Close at MGM Grand appeared first on Vital Vegas.

LVCVA Sells Chunk of Riviera Site to Bond Villain

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is selling a 10-acre section of the former Riviera casino site to “a Chilean businessman” who sounds a lot like a Bond villain.

Mainly because this news is fairly boring otherwise.

The land is being purchased for $120 million, which is pocket change to an evil genius who probably has a secret hideout in a volcano somewhere.

That time they turned a classic casino into a parking lot and everyone thought of the same song at the same time.

According to the sale agreement, the parcel has to be used for a “new resort.”

Which, of course, is code for a building that looks like a resort but which only exists to disguise a laser so powerful it could evaporate entire lakes so a certain “businessman” can cause, and “miraculously” solve, a collapse of the world salmon market.

Insert malevolent laugh here.

Actually, the buyer of the site is Claudio Fischer, owner of Sun Dreams, billed as the largest casino resort operator in Latin America.

Sun Dreams owns 19 casinos in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru.

Fischer also gained a good deal of his wealth from salmon farming. Hello, it’s called foreshadowing.

Fischer. Salmon. It’s all a little too perfect, isn’t it?

One of Fischer’s casinos is called the Monticello. Which doesn’t sound make up at all, right? Nothing like Montecito, the casino from the fictional TV show, “Las Vegas,” right?

Please. Somebody needs to get M or Q or whoever’s in charge now on the line immediately.

If the new place could have some nods to the old place, that’d be great.

Anyway, the sale of the four hectares of prime real estate on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to close in June 2022. Um, hello. Who uses the term “hectares” except Bond villains?

Construction of the new “resort” would presumably start in 2023.

If Fischer doesn’t start work on his lair, sorry, resort, by Jan. 1, 2031, the LVCVA will have the option to buy the land back.

The Riviera took up 26 acres. The LVCVA didn’t need all of those hectares, so here we are.

The Riviera, of course, was a smelly Las Vegas casino prior to its closure in 2015 and demolition in 2016.

We chronicled the whole damn thing, of course. Obsessively. For unknown reasons. Other than our obsession with Las Vegas. In case that weren’t readily apparent.


While 10 acres doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s important to remember Cosmopolitan is built on a relatively petite 8.7 acres. Circa Las Vegas was built on less than three acres.

So, there’s plenty of room for Claudio Fischer and his henchmen (sorry, henchpersons) to build a beautiful casino resort to conceal a scheme so diabolical we may have to clone Sean Connery, clearly the best Bond, to come back to handle the smackdown.

Dibs on the laser.

Does this mandatory resort get built? Depends.

It’s a great location for convention business, obviously, as it pretty much sits on top of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion expansion.

A lot of hopes are riding on growth in the convention and meetings realm (looking at you, Resorts World), and nobody’s really sure if those hopes will become a reality.

Vegas has lost more big gatherings than it’s gained recently, but it’s an upside down world at the moment, so the jury’s still out.

A casino resort? We’ll go with nope on that one, unfortunately. While Fischer is a casino guy, there’s no way he gets through the gaming licensing process.

We knew there was a reason we took so many photos of The Riv.

Did we mention he’s done business in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru? Just saying. It would be a miracle if Fischer and his family members somehow managed to be graft dodgers. Not impossible, but Gaming goes deep when they license a new casino owner in Las Vegas.

The process is brutal, and many who dipped their toes into these waters have fallen through a trap door into a school of piranha. Sorry to make it awkward, Sam Nazarian. Who, you have to admit, also would’ve made a great Bond villain.

We look forward to hearing more about Claudio Fischer’s plans for this parcel on the former Riviera site.

While we usually get excited about such announcements, this one left us neither shaken or stirred.

The post LVCVA Sells Chunk of Riviera Site to Bond Villain appeared first on Vital Vegas.

Gas Monkey Las Vegas in the Works From “Fast N’ Loud” Star Richard Rawlings

A new restaurant and live entertainment venue is in the works from reality TV star Richard Rawlings, Gas Monkey Las Vegas.

Rawlings is star of “Fast N’ Loud” and “Garage Rehab” on the Discovery Channel.

Hot on the heels of announcing a new Gas Monkey location in Dallas, Texas, Rawlings now has his sights set on an even bigger prize, Las Vegas.

Gas Monkey comes from “grease monkey,” a term coined during an era when regular people could fix their own cars.

Gas Monkey Garage is Rawlings’ auto shop in Dallas. The company specializes in creating and remodeling custom cars.

Rawlings has tried a series of concepts in the restaurant and live entertainment realm.

There was a Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill (Rawlings is no longer affiliated following a nasty legal battle), and his Gas Monkey Live closed in May 2020. Richard Rawlings’ Garage closed in March 2019.

Specifics about a location for the new Gas Monkey Las Vegas aren’t available yet. Give us a minute.

Gas Monkey Dallas has a rooftop bar, an outdoor stage, food (barbeque and burgers) and drinks, of course. We’d expect similar offerings in Las Vegas.

Rawlings says he expects to open “25 or 40” of these concepts, and he aspires to be “the next House of Blues, Planet Hollywood or Hard Rock Cafe.”

Vegas is all about lofty dreams, and we’re always up for something new.

Expect more details soon, and best guess is Gas Monkey opens in Las Vegas in 2022.

The post Gas Monkey Las Vegas in the Works From “Fast N’ Loud” Star Richard Rawlings appeared first on Vital Vegas.