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July 29, 2014

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Joe Downtown:

Joe Downtown: State shuts down Krave Massive nightclub over permit matter

Downtown Project seeks full ownership of site

Image

Steve Marcus

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tours the main dance floor of Krave Massive gay nightclub with owner Kelly Murphy in the Neonopolis Mall in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. The nightclub opened in June.

Updated Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 | 11:58 a.m.

Krave Massive Under Construction

A rug representing the gay and lesbian community is on display during the construction of a dance club inside Krave Massive, the world's largest gay club, featuring a Top 40 Club, Hip Hop Club, Country Saloon, Men's Revue Show and more in the reconstructed theater space at Neonopolis in downtown Las Vegas, March 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Officials with the state of Nevada on Friday closed Krave Massive, billed as the largest gay nightclub in the country, due to unspecified permit issues.

Details were not immediately available, but the City Council on Wednesday is set to consider an item to extend a temporary tavern license for a change of ownership from Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon to Krave Massive.

Lone Star, a restaurant chain based in Plano, Texas, once had two restaurants in Las Vegas, but both are closed. The company has no other restaurants in Nevada, according to its website.

The licensing matter is part of the city’s consent agenda, meaning it was bundled with several other routine issues. Typically, consent agenda items are passed together, though some items are individually set aside for discussion.

The city staff recommended “approval of the extension of the temporary license with the authority of the Director or designee to issue a permanent license upon receipt of a favorable investigative report,” the agenda summary reads.

The club is on the third floor of Neonopolis, a development built at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard about a decade ago in hopes that it would revive downtown’s failing fortunes. At 84,000 square feet, Krave Massive is housed in space previously occupied by the Galaxy 11 multiplex theater, closed in May 2009.

Downtown Project, the redevelopment group whose partners include Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, is a minority owner of Krave Massive. The group is currently in negotiations to become 100 percent owner of Krave Massive, said Michael Downs, DTP executive vice president of operations.

Downs added that Downtown Project wants the business to reopen in its current capacity as a gay nightclub. Drink & Drag, a drag queen bowling alley and gaming lounge also owned by the Krave Co. on the second floor of Neonopolis, will remain open, Downs also said.

The announcement of Krave’s move to downtown last year caused a lot of excitement, especially for those who had watched Neonopolis flounder for years as it sought sustainable, long-term tenants.

Krave seemed poised to take advantage of the economic growth occurring on East Fremont Street, the focal point of Downtown Project’s $350 million redevelopment effort.

Krave had operated eight years in the Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood before owner Kelly Murphy’s July 2012 announcement of his move to downtown.

With the mayor at his side and some of his in-drag staff from Drink & Drag on hand for photos, Murphy boldly pronounced Krave Massive would be the linchpin in pushing Las Vegas over New York City to become the No. 1 gay tourist destination in the country.

While Krave nightclub on the Strip drew 4,500 customers per week, he had said, he predicted that it would draw 12,000 per week in its new downtown digs.

Initial plans were to open in December 2012, but construction delays pushed the opening to June. For a portion of that time, the club opened on weekends at the Rio just off the Strip on West Flamingo Road.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown; he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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