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A downtown haunt among Oscar Goodman’s post-mayoral plans

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman leaves the stage after delivering the annual State of the City address at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Oscar’s Speakeasy. The Mayor’s Stable. Oscar’s Mob Scene.

Maybe it’s too early for title submissions, but it is not too early to muse about this business (current) Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has conceptualized from time to time over the past few months.

State of the City

Carolyn Goodman, wife of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, waits for her husband to deliver the annual State of the City address at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.

Audio Clip

Mayor Oscar Goodman

It’s a speakeasy, and it would be near The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. It would not open until after he leaves office, of course. Gripping a martini during a brief news conference after his final State of the City address as mayor, Goodman was reluctant to provide details of what this place would look like or where it would be located.

But he did say he wanted to own such a tavern, or saloon, or nightclub.

“I’d like to open a speakeasy where all the inebriates can come down and have a drink on me,” he said. “I’ve talked to two establishments, and they both want the speakeasy to be there, but as the mayor, I think it would be inappropriate to say where I might do business. I don’t want to make any kind of monetary arrangements while I am still mayor.”

In a city where family-owned pawn shops have become centerpieces for hit cable TV shows, Goodman seems a natural for his own reality-based show. He’s acted before, most notably in “Casino” and even in “Holly’s World,” the airy reality TV show starring Holly Madison. He’s also appeared with Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report” and is comfortable playing his favorite role -- that of Oscar Goodman -- in any entertainment media.

“I’ve had an awful lot of offers for TV shows and judge shows and the like,” he said. “But I’m going to take my time and just enjoy my family” before deciding what route to take.

One family member, Carolyn Goodman, stood just off to the side as her husband spoke to the assembled media members. She has been the focus of speculation that she might well run for mayor and would surely be a formidable candidate in a field that today is made up of County Commissioner Larry Brown and City Councilman Steve Ross.

“She’s beautiful and she’s articulate and she’s brilliant,” Goodman said, noting that if Carolyn ran, he would be an active campaigner on her behalf. “But she doesn’t talk to me! You’d have to ask her -- she’s her own lady.”

As he ended the session, he spoke of his sometimes-tempestuous relationship with reporters.

“I’ve got a love-hate affair over the years with the media, going back to the days I represented unpopular people, but I really want you to know that deep down inside, and I mean this with all my heart and soul, I think you certainly serve a very noble purpose,” he said. “You keep people honest. You keep them straight, and you make sure that they are doing their job right.”

He then paused. There had to be more. And there was.

“But I’ll still not like you.”

And with a laugh and sip, he was done. But Oscar Goodman is not finished, not by a long shot. I’m greatly looking forward to his civilian term, as he lives on his own terms.

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John Katsilometes is a columnist and magazine writer for the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly and editor-at-large for ...

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