A rake of the scene turns up the following:
• Steven Gantt’s arrest last Thursday night on an outstanding warrant for open and gross lewdness had nothing to do with his presence at a party at Wet Republic in MGM Grand hosted by Prince Harry on Aug. 18. Gantt is a star of “Gigolos” on Showtime who was caught speeding by a Las Vegas Metro officer after last Thursday night’s premiere party at Vince Neil’s Girls, Girls, Girls gentlemen’s club.
The arrest warrant issued to Gantt stems from an incident reported May 9 and subsequently investigated by Metro detectives before a warrant was filed. No details of the May 9 incident have yet been made available, but it is certain that the episode did not involve Prince Harry. That narrows the possibilities of Gantt’s alleged misconduct to events in which members of British royalty were not present.
• One of the city’s longstanding hotel executives, Tom Recine, is moving to a new position at the Tropicana. Up until this week, Recine was the vice president of food and beverage at the hotel and also oversaw entertainment at the resort. In his new post, Recine will take on an unspecified development/administrative role on the property. Recine has specialized in transforming spaces and venues in Las Vegas resorts since he was hired to help open the Mirage in 1989. Recine certainly knows his way around Strip resorts -- he also worked at MGM Grand, New York-New York, Luxor and Planet Hollywood before signing on with the Tropicana in December 2009.
• After two visits to Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel, the thumbnail review: The club hearkens to the days of the old Joint, just a lot cozier. There are no particularly fancy or ornate design effects at work here, only a top-notch sound-and-lighting setup, a slightly raised stage and a throwback entryway with a couple of ticket windows at the side. The floor is pretty funky, though. It is intentionally distressed (similar to Charlie Sheen), in that the wood is slightly warped and cut through with deep grooves. The new floor at Vinyl is actually more blemished, pockmarked and run down -- again, on purpose -- than the old floor at the original Joint. It is, by definition, really groovy.
• Speaking of informal environs at the Hard Rock Hotel, on Saturday I crept into Culinary Dropout. It was my first visit to the eatery that expands on the concept of traditional pub fare -- and if there is any form of food that is taking a whipping anymore, it is “traditional pub fare.”
With each new casual restaurant opening, executive chefs are resisting traditional pub or bar food. Hold a pair of Buffalo wings to their faces, and they duck and cover like Dracula.
I didn’t eat at Culinary Dropout -- I was looking for regular bar food -- but I did take notice of the 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which includes a 3,000-square-foot patio area. It’s a particularly inviting layout, and I spent about an hour at the bar sipping a diet cola (no traditional bar beverages for this kid) and chatting up the staff.
At least, I think it was the staff.
Those working at Culinary Dropout are uniform-free, so they are dressed as any diner -- especially any diner who just shopped at the Gap. Every so often, someone in street clothes walks up and asks, “Everything OK so far?” and you say, “Yes, kind stranger!” I believed that I tipped a tourist on his way out of the restaurant, so be careful.
A good way to discern who is and isn’t a member of the Culinary Dropout staff: Employees typically walk from table to table with their hands behind their backs. If you see such a person, feel free to tip him or her. Or order the rainbow trout.
• A few months ago, I wrote a cover story for sister publication Vegas Inc. about Golden Gaming founder Blake Sartini. I noted all of the connections and comparisons to the ram in Sartini’s life: It is the state animal of Nevada, his home state; he hunts bighorn sheep; the head of a ram is mounted on the wall of his office at Golden Gaming headquarters on I-215 and Jones Boulevard; and the head of a ram peers over the Golden Tavern bar next door to the headquarters.
The ram’s ubiquity in Sartini’s life is even reflected in the L.A. Rams uniform he wore as a youth when he was a finalist in the national Punt Pass & Kick competition.
After I interviewed Sartini, I thought, “Wow, that’s a lotta rams,” and used the ram as a theme throughout the story. Since then, the company has designed a new logo featuring … a ram!
“We’ve thought a lot about how to present the image that best represents our company,” Sartini said in an interview a while back, as the new logo went public. “We always came back to the ram.”
• David Perrico and Lon Bronson have a continuing debate about what a band featuring a bunch of horns should be called. Bronson sometimes says it’s a “big band,” but Perrico resists that term because it makes music fans think of Glenn Miller. And neither Perrico nor Bronson play a lot of Glenn Miller. Maybe they should be called Grand Bands or use Lyle Lovett’s “Large Band” title as a general moniker.
Whatever you call the musical ensembles featuring these aces of trumpeting, they are both onstage this weekend, and they are shows to be seen. The Lon Bronson All-Star Band begins its Friday night gig at Ovation at Green Valley Ranch at 10:30 p.m.; admission is free.
Perrico returns Pop Evolution to the Palms at 11 p.m. Saturday; admission is very near free, $5. Pop Evolution is an 18-piece outfit (and I’m wearing one of those on Halloween), and Bronson’s a 15-piece big band. Or large band; whichever, they both bring the heat.