On July 8, Las Vegas lost one of its greatest supporters of the local beverage scene. Ray Nisi had been working late for a party at his Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Bar in Town Square on June 27 when he came home to his wife, upset by “heartburn.” Tragically, it proved to be much more, and despite the best efforts of paramedics, he was comatose by the time he arrived at Summerlin Hospital. Surrounded by friends and family, he died a week and a half later at the age of 55.
Nisi attended the Albert Einstein School of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York where he received his doctorate in Ophthalmology. But, as he once told a friend, “while that was his job, it wasn’t where his heart was.” In 2008 he moved his wife, Jessica, and the first of two sons to Las Vegas to open Double Helix Wine Bar & Boutique, in the Palazzo. Following its success, Nisi expanded to open Double Helix Wine & Whiskey bar in Town Square.
A close family friend lists among Nisi’s favorite things his beautiful wife and sons; Elvis and Marilyn Monroe; superheroes; comic books; playing golf with his eldest son, Blake; great food and drink; and a good laugh. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that monetary donations be made to Nisi’s favorite charity, the Children’s Heart Foundation.