Vegas Seven

2011 Nightlife Issue

  • Places

    The Total Package

    Of course, any nightclub can be made to look enticing in those glamorous press photos you see on the websites—empty of any actual patrons, free of bottle-service clutter and shot long before any drunken bachelorette has ever swung from the proffered poles. Surrender, by contrast, is a beautiful canvas that actually gets better with the addition of beautiful people.

  • Seven Questions

    John Legend

    John Legend has worked with some of the biggest names in music, from Alicia Keys to Janet Jackson. He owns nine Grammy Awards, three of which followed the release of his multiplatinum debut album Get Lifted. He’s performed at the pregame show for the Super Bowl, as well as the halftime show for the NBA All-Star game. And his girlfriend is supermodel Chrissy Teigen.

  • People

    Best Black Book

    Ask any DJ: She’s not called the Queen of House for nothin’. Zee Zandi’s been booking celebrity hosts and electronic dance music artists for more than 10 years in Vegas clubs and maintains an impressive list of clients. Just check her Tweets back and forth with notables such as @Alesso, @DJChrisLake and @ShaunPhillips95.

  • Best Dining with a Scene Off the Strip

    The trend of restoring our old hotels into new grandeur has worked to the Royal House’s advantage, especially in its tony eatery, the Barrymore. This restaurant and its bar have been cool enough to create a resurgence, with local nightlife aficionados and tourists making a night (or day, if it’s brunch) of it. The intimate dining room marks a return to retro Las Vegas, complete with friendly, old-school service but with a modern take on the classic Vegas menu. Film reels adorn the ceiling while mirrored walls open up the chocolate, cream and blue space.

  • Downtown

    Party on with a variety of tribute bands and faux fireworks under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience, where Steel Panther gives a final show to ring in the New Year in all their hair-band glory. 6 p.m., $30,

  • events

    The Biggest Score

    Heidi Klum's Halloween parties have become the stuff of greasepaint-covered legend over the years. Klum has put on gear that has ranged from a Garden of Eden-inspired apple circled by a snake (eating Klum's head) and Shiva to some sort of purple-and-red robot alien with torpedo boobs. But this year, Tao finally got Klum to celebrate somewhere other than New York, and the German model didn't take her foot off the gas.

  • Back in the Day …

    The Cocktailer

    By Geoff Carter

    Today Kellee Antalek is a biosync practitioner, reiki master, a multi-disciplined massage therapist, actress and model. But in the late ’90s she was a VIP cocktail hostess at Club Utopia, where she served drinks to the likes of Slash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Utopia was just incredible,” she says. “It was kind of a secret underground home, where everybody knew everybody.” In fact, Antalek remembers her time at Utopia so fondly that even her weirdest nights on the job have become happy memories.

  • Places

    Best Place to Make Bad Decisions

    Above all other seamy strip joints, the Spearmint Rhino, with its aura of old-school Vegas history, its bevy of dancers, heavy-handed bartenders and regular clientele of both locals and partying tourists, tends to have a very specific effect on people, no matter what their original intention. Anytime a story fatefully begins with, “Last night I was at the Rhino,” you can be reasonably sure the person’s tale will ultimately end with them coming home around sunrise and sleeping off an impressive hangover until late afternoon.

  • events

    Keeping the Celebrity Torch Alive

    It's hard to say exactly why the celebrity club-host influx has slowed down so drastically in the last year. Is it that the economy no longer makes $20,000 appearance fees feasible? Boredom with rampant B-listers? The rise of the celebrity DJ signaling a fundamental shift in public taste? The cancellation of The Hills? Sure, you still get your occasional Kardashian drop-in here or Diddy party there, but for the clubs that are driving the scene now, twice-weekly paid appearances are a thing of the past.

  • DJ Profile

    His Royal House Highness

    Sebastian Ingrosso was born to create music. The Swedish producer’s father founded one of Europe’s first electronic dance-music labels, Loop Records. Ingrosso grew up toying around in his dad’s EDM studio, where at a young age he began producing and DJing; he released his first remix at 16. He has known his Swedish House Mafia partner DJ Steve Angello since he was 7 years old, and after meeting Axwell years later, the three teamed up to “Save the World” one tour at a time. On Dec. 16, SHM completed their most remarkable show as the first DJs to play at Madison Square Garden.

  • People

    Best Nightlife Ambassador

    Alex Cordova is expanding Angel Management Group’s reign to Atlantic City, where he will head up all the nightlife venues in the new Revel Resort, expected to open in the spring. Cordova is no stranger to the East Coast, as he consulted in New York before taking on 17 nightlife venues as AMG’s vice president of marketing. He will split his time between Las Vegas and Atlantic City as he establishes AMG’s new bicoastal empire.

  • Best Place to Recover

    Las Vegas is slowly but surely learning the restorative powers of brunch, and Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory has one specifically designed to take the edge off of the weekend’s nighttime antics. Its off-Strip location means you can recover in peace, without having to deal with stumbling tourists. Chef Beni Velázquez is largely self-taught when it comes to cooking, so his dishes have personal touches of what he grew up eating and what he feels will set everyone straight.

  • On-Strip Party Dinners

    Chef André Rochat crafts a five-course meal, including sea scallops, veal and lobster done to its finest at Andrés at Monte Carlo. 5:30 p.m., $175 per person, 798-7151. Obey the restaurant rules of “Sushi, Sake, Socialize” at the glamorous, pan-Asian Social House with a seven-course meal and unlimited champagne and sake for $125 per person. In Crystals, 6 p.m., 736-1122.

  • events

    Most Thrilling One-Off Party

    Known more for splash fights and muscled men than booking indie DJs, Rehab surprised Las Vegas—and probably itself—by booking alternative darlings Cut Copy and Chromeo to play the notorious end-of-season party. To ensure the bash had something for everyone, Z-Trip closed the day out with sounds that ranged from electro to hip-hop for Rehab's final hours.

  • Back in the Day …

    The Bluesman

    By Geoff Carter

    “I’m a gambler, so I’ve always enjoyed coming to Vegas,” says Terry O’Halloran. “But I’m also a big music fan, and whenever I’d ask a cab driver where the good reggae and blues was, they’d say, “I dunno.” Inspired, the Omaha, Neb.-based businessman opened Fremont Street Reggae & Blues in 1993. For a moment, it was Las Vegas’ hottest music venue, and not just for blues and reggae fans; you were just as likely to see Warren Zevon or Tripping Daisy on one of its two stages as you were Pato Banton or Doyle Bramhall.