A&E

LA’s Houston brothers sprinkle the Strip with Downtown for new Park MGM venue On the Record

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The Houstons will debut On the Record on New Year’s Eve.
Photo: Al Powers / Courtesy

When On the Record opens inside Park MGM this New Year’s Eve, it will no doubt become the latest place for Las Vegans to see and be seen.

Twin brothers Mark and Jonnie Houston have a decade’s worth of experience in LA’s nightlife and bar industry. They’re West Coast celebs in their own right, not to mention self-described karaoke fiends. Since launching Piano Bar, their first concept, in 2008, the Houston brothers have opened eight additional properties including La Descarga, Harvard & Stone, No Vacancy and Dirty Laundry.

On the Record will be their 10th venture and first nightlife concept beyond LA, but there will be plenty of LA flair packed into the space, including four different themed rooms, a speakeasy bar and a fully functional record store at the entrance.

“We come out to Vegas and we go to the megaclubs and Downtown, but nothing has bridged the two in a new experience,” Mark Houston says. “That’s what we bring to the table.”

Including a record shop in the project—the only one on the Strip—felt organic, the brothers say, since they grew up listening to music from virtually every genre, from the 1950s through the 1990s. And given Park MGM’s proximity to T-Mobile Arena and the Park, the location was a no-brainer, Jonnie Houston says. “This corner feels so music-centric. We wanted to embrace that and showcase the music we love.”

Though the Houstons grew up in LA, launching their successful career as nightlife entrepreneurs and rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite (close friend Elijah Wood started DJing at the Houstons’ first bar), they’ve had a thing for Vegas since they were kids. “My mom would bring us out here every weekend,” Mark Houston says.

“In a way it kind of feels like our second home,” Jonnie Houston adds. “We lived at Circus Circus. We fell in love with [Vegas], and we’ve seen every iteration of it—how it’s evolved and where it’s at today. It’s exciting for us to be a part of the community.”

Expect live music, DJs, theatrical performances and lots of celebrity spotting when On the Record officially opens. “When you walk in the door, you leave your 9-to-5 behind,” Mark Houston says. Who can’t get behind a concept like that?

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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