GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

March 6, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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30 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM MARCH 612, 2014 TAO PHOTOGRAPH BY AL POWERS/POWERS IMAGERY NIGHTS A dragon lurches toward us. So does a sword- wielding samurai, who leads the beast and the usual squad of attractive, light-waving women. Tonight, those luminous ladies aren't lattering a VIP or delivering a magnum of Grey Goose—they're part of a small parade cutting through a tight danceloor and bewildering clubbers. It's what Mike Snedegar, founder of Tao Group's Entertainment Marketing department and a Tao Nightclub veteran since its 2005 opening, calls "a moment." The dragon is part of the Venetian megaclub's new Tokyo-themed promo, Sakebomb Fridays, which symbolizes Tao's general focus shift from celebrity hosts to something more experiential, making an unpredictable clubbing night more memorable. "That's why for Friday we wanted to focus more on the elements of the party, because Tao is such a special room," Snedegar says. "The design of it and the way the danceloor and tables are arranged—it holds a lot of energy." Which is present, thanks to the interaction of sta ers dressed in party-speciic costumes and Tao's new LED screens—to say nothing of DJ Politik's blend of hip-hop, R&B and dance-pop hits. With sister club Marquee focused on EDM, Tao remains the open-format alternative, its patronage both grinding to Jay Z and bopping to Calvin Harris. "I think as a brand we're always looking to evolve with times," Snedegar says. "I think we know what its for us, and we'll do those things better and better. That's why people keep coming." –Mike Prevatt AFTER EIGHT PLUS YEARS, TAO STILL SURPRISES It has taken Victor Drai no less than four years to bring a nightclub to the top of what will now be called the Cromwell. But come Memorial Day Weekend, a week after the boutique hotel is scheduled to open, clubbers will have a new groove spot—one that will fl aunt ambi- ence and 4,500 square feet of LED screens rather than big-name DJs. "The club has become too much like a con- cert," says Drai, who says he'll book more modest talent. Just outside the nightclub, the rooftop pool will give revelers sweeping views of the Strip and the one thing they can't get at other dayclubs: unobstructed sun visibil- ity from opening until dusk—though 10 palm trees framing the pool will offer some shade to swimmers. The notion of a 24-hour party won't quite come to fruition yet—the pool closes for a few hours before the night- club opens—but the enduring afterhours operation will have minor overlap with the evening festivities. Which means it's returning to where it started: the basement, where the former restaurant space will be refreshed but not overhauled. So what's going into the Bally's space where Drai currently hosts afterhours? Liaison: Drai's fi rst LGBT club—and the fi rst to open in a Las Vegas casino—which will be co-operated by a gay managing partner to be named soon. "[The gay community] has always been treated like second class in this town," says Michael Gruber, partner of Drai's Management Group. "It's some- thing we wanted to offer—a dedicated space." There won't be any major security overhaul, despite an incident last October where a gun-wielding man opened fi re at the Bally's club, killing one patron. "We never had an inci- dent before," Drai says. "We handled it the way we should. Our guys literally took bullets. It wasn't some fi ght, and he wasn't in a gang—he was just one crazy f*cker." There will be rooftop fi reworks—and we don't mean the usual sparklers for VIPs. But like those bottles of Belvedere, someone will have to buy them. SIX THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT VICTOR DRAI'S NEW NIGHTLIFE OPERATIONS There will be rooftop ireworks BY MIKE PREVAT T C H E C K I N G I N W I T H . . . C O C K T A I L O F T H E W E E K A DRINK FOR THE PLURALITY The Missing Apostrophe is inspired by Caesars Palace lore There's a perfectly good explanation as to why Caesars Palace lacks an apostrophe. It's not a grammar oversight, but rather an omission made with an eye toward guest satisfac- tion. Founder Jay Sarno cleverly removed the apostrophe from "Caesar's Palace" to suggest there was not "one" Caesar but that every guest would be treated like an emperor. Caesars Palace drew inspira- tion from this trivia tidbit to name not only its new $1.3 mil- lion Apostrophe Bar, but a drink as well. The Missing Apostrophe ($15) is as welcoming as its par- ent casino, featuring fragrant fresh basil on the nose, refresh- ing citrus notes of lime and grapefruit, and robust oak under- tones from Herradura Reposado tequila. Ahhh, it feels good to be king. –Sabrina Chapman RECIPE: 1 ½ oz. Herradura Caesars Palace Select Double Barrel Reposado tequila 1 oz. agave syrup 1 oz. fresh lime juice ½ oz. CelloVia Grapefruit Ka ir splash of Torani Ruby Red Grapefruit syrup pink salt 46 basil leaves (garnish) lime wheel (garnish) k Half-rim a bucket glass with pink sea salt. Add tequila, lime juice, grapefruit ka ir and syrups to shaker with ice. Shake. Pour over ice. Garnish with basil leaf and lime wheel. > UP ON THE ROOF Victor Drai's new nightclub promises views and ambience to spare. 30_Nights_2_20140306.indd 30 3/4/14 3:48 PM

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