A Vegas Icon

When most people think of Las Vegas they think of; the glitz of the Strip, the world class shows the gambling and the amazing spectrum of Restaurants.

Off the glitz of the strip, is another Las Vegas. An older place where the true culture of this desert oasis is revealed.

 

Las Vegas probably has more professional musicians per capita then any other place in the world. In the bars and casinos of Vegas you can find jazz, rock, country, swing, big band, Elvis and of course “Chapel Weddings” and any other type of music your little music loving heart might desire. You could spend a lifetime just sampling the talent of this musical Mecca.

You’re in the most talent filled city in the world so the question becomes, “where to go?”

There is a magical place that one night a week, for the price of a fine Italian dinner will allow you to see a showcase of some of Vegas’ most talented entertainers.

Monday night in Las Vegas is called Dark Night. It’s the night that many of the shows and entertainers take a night off.

On there day off many of Las Vegas’ finest entertainers choose to relax at a small restaurant called “Bootlegger’s Italian Bistro”. Charlene and I were introduced to Bootlegger’s by a couple of locals about five years ago and if we are in Las Vegas on Monday night that’s where we will be. We would be regulars at Bootlegger’s just for the food but on Dark Night in Vegas you don’t just get the food you get the best sampling of pure musical talent you may ever experience.

 

Bootleggers was opened in 1949 and since then has served some of the finest Italian food in Vegas. The atmosphere is rich oak, tall ceilings and old romantic lighting. When you walk in you’ll see the walls covered with photos of the great entertainers of Vegas.

The main restaurant is small, seating maybe a hundred people and is dominated by a piano on an elevated stage and bandstand at the end of the room. Each night Bootlegger’s will have live entertainment for you as you enjoy your classic Italian dinner but if you get reservations and show up for late dinner on Monday night you will be treated to Kelly Clinton Holmes’ Open Mic Cabaret.

Starting a 9:00 the Cabaret host Kelly Clinton, will begin to introduce the array of talent that will fill your night. Each entertainer does one or two songs. You never know who will play next.

This last Monday our friends got reservations for four and we were lucky enough to get a booth only forty feet from the stage. As usual the host Kelly Clinton opened the show. She was followed by her husband jazz legend Clint Holmes who shared a jazz style Christmas song to get every one in a festive mood. The house band led by the musical director Michael Clark accompanies most of the acts.

Charlene and I only lasted till midnight but in those three hour we watched ten acts by amazing musicians like Paul Lines a singer with the Australian Bee Gees, Toney Rocks, Kenny Damoren, Ronne Rofe and Don Vincent and many others.

When we gave up at Midnight there were still ten entertainers slated to play that night. In our three hours at the show we heard an opera rendition of Ove Maria, Jazz, country and rock style Christmas carols, an Elvis impersonator and a few classic Sinatra tunes, and some amazing classic piano, all done in a friendly Italian atmosphere that the Rat Pack would have loved.

 

Bootlegger’s offers live music every night so if you miss Monday hit another night in this Vegas Icon

So our Geezer recommendation for Monday night in Vegas, take a long nap before dinner and then get a passport to Old Vegas by booking a reservation for a late dinner at Bootlegger’s Italian Bistro.

Bootlegger’s is located at 7700 S Las Vegas Blvd, for reservations call (702) 736-4939.