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April 25, 2014

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Photo of Jack Houston

Jack Houston

Jack was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia and joined the Las Vegas Magazine staff in 2006. He's known for his quick wit, vast musical knowledge and omnipresent five o'clock shadow, and loves cookies, adverbs and Philly sports. He's a Taurus but has been called a Cancer by 2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair.

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Story Archive

Checking in on Matt Minichino, the Hard Rock Hotel's nightlife mogul
Monday, April 5, 2010
You may have seen the Hard Rock Hotel's director of nightlife operations before - just not perhaps in the most flattering light. New York native Matt Minichino was portrayed as the irascible pool manager in truTV's reality series "Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel."
Yuliya Kamenshchuk talks cocktailing in Eve
Monday, March 29, 2010
There are shafts of natural light shining through the windows of Eve nightclub on a gorgeous afternoon in the middle of March, and in a sense it's the perfect complement to cocktail server Yuliya Kamenshchuk, a native of Odessa, Ukraine, who moved stateside seven years ago.
Joel Robuchon's wine director spills the grapes
Sunday, March 21, 2010
When Harley Carbery took over the wine program at Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand more than year ago, one of his first moves was to change the pricing structure of the menu, bringing every single item down in price.
Going south of the border with Stephanie Peck
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Men of the world, look out. Stephanie Peck is one of those bartenders Las Vegas is famous for - attractive and outgoing, with that ace in the hole that has jaws dropping and tongues spilling out like Jim Carrey in The Mask. Peck digs sports.
Shane Monaco talks The Light Group's newest restaurant
Sunday, March 7, 2010
When The Light Group opened its sixth Las Vegas restaurant in December, it needed to look no further than its own ranks to find Shane Monaco, who became director of operations for the new Union Restaurant and Lounge at Aria.
Dani Della Valle sets tone for rocker's Vegas party
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010
Sammy Hagar got the party started at Cabo Wabo Cantina, but Dani Della Valle keeps it going day and night as the Strip-side venue's bar and entertainment manager. A proud Jersey girl, Della Valle moved to Las Vegas to pursue dance at UNLV and got caught up in the city's nightlife scene. She made the jump to Cabo Wabo for its December opening.
Playboy Club's Rico Romano talks life among Bunnies
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
Before it closed in 1986, the Chicago Playboy Club was a focal point for kids like Rico Romano, who gazed up at the famous logo on the side of 1960 North Lincoln Park West knowing that, even if he were of age, he probably would never see the inside of the exclusive bunny den.
Pass the Mic: Elissa Sawaya spices up T and T's Mischieve Wednesdays
Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010
Growing up, she dreamed of being a circus clown, but anyone who's seen Elissa Sawaya in person knows that ringmaster would be a much more appropriate way to make a living.
Master planner
Cupid's arrows point to Andrea Eppolito
Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010
Andrea Eppolito knows firsthand how romantic Innovative Dining Group's Las Vegas restaurants can be: The New York native met her current boyfriend during a dinner at Boa Steakhouse five years ago.
For those about to rock...
Shelly Alexander salutes you
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010
We can't speak in the actual club because a band is soundchecking - yes, a real, live band, something that has become a rarity in most nightspots these days thanks to the unsubstantiated notion that only hip-hop and bottle service will cut it anymore.
Lofty libations
Melody Sheppard rises to challenge at Mandarin Bar
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010
Sophisticated is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days, especially when it comes to bars and nightclubs. But the difference between a tuxedo T-shirt and clip-on bow tie and the real deal always makes itself apparent sooner or later. In the case of Mandarin Bar, it's tailor-made, designer-brand sophistication all the way.
Spray savant
Terry Hunter gives the gift of golden glow
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
He's been a dancer onstage in Las Vegas and a manicurist by trade, but what Terry Hunter really wanted to do was spray tan.
Rock rules
Inside the Strip's rowdy party with Melinda Lee
Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010
You may have seen, or at least heard, a small club while walking the Las Vegas Strip at night - bumpin' music, line out the door, packed inside - and wondered what was going on in that place called Rockhouse. Cocktail waitress Melinda Lee let us in on the action.
Right-Hand Man
Q-Juan Taylor a key player in rock ’n’ roll chef’s empire
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010
It's no accident that Sunday brunch at Simon has become the place to see and be seen in Las Vegas. Chef Kerry Simon's menu paired with the posh digs — a sixth-floor perch overlooking a secluded pool deck at Palms Place — would be enough to draw most people, but there's a secret weapon, too: general manager Q-Juan Taylor.
Get connected
Richard Wilk, VIP incarnate
Monday, Jan. 4, 2010
What is it about Richard Wilk that makes him one of the most connected people in Las Vegas? Is it his background protecting high-level politicians? Is it his employment at one of the coolest hotels in the city? Is it something in the water in his native Toronto? To hear him tell it, it's a lot simpler than that.
Raising the Bar
Yellowtail’s Kat Gonzales knows her cocktails
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010
When it comes to discussing the cocktail list at Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at Bellagio, bartender Kat Gonzales does not hold back.
Going gourmet
Las Vegas native bets on upscale burgers
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010
For Billy Richardson, it all comes down to burgers.
Acting Naturally
Come and knock on Mike Cardella’s door
Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010
Mike Cardella leads a double life. On the weekends, he's the N9NE Group's door host, ushering in the hottest of the hot to Palms nightspots like Rain and Ghostbar. The rest of the week he's in L.A. plotting his next acting venture, or in Las Vegas starring in his two-man improv show, The Last Men on Earth, at the Onyx Theatre. It's not the life of your everyday door host, to be sure.
Get Filled In
Expert needlework from Stephanie Canosa
Friday, Jan. 1, 2010
Stephanie Canosa has a needle and she's not afraid to use it. A registered clinical assistant and one of only two collagen-therapy specialists in Nevada, Canosa makes the men and women of Las Vegas look a little better and a little younger. Years spent working under top plastic surgeons and dermatologists proved she had a particular knack for injecting some of the city's top faces.
Artful Insights
Sarah Johnson takes visitors beyond the wall text
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009
Las Vegas is about to get a long-overdue infusion of culture, and it's up to Sarah Johnson to spread the word. The assistant manager of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, where '12+7: Artists and Architects of CityCenter' is on display through April, Johnson spends her time educating school groups about the importance of the soon-to-open complex, which counts Frank Stella and Helmut Jahn among its contributors.
Grille Master
Mark Bradley lends an ear - and some mighty fine drinks
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009
Bartender Mark Bradley arrived in Las Vegas in 1992 at the height of the construction boom that turned the Strip into an international destination. (Good thing, too, since Bradley dabbles in real estate investment on the side.) However, the best property, as Bradley explains, is behind the bar at The Capital Grille at Fashion Show.
Making additions
Prema Zombori adds locks (and awards) to career
Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009
When Hairdreams was looking to name its Top Extension Specialist in Las Vegas for 2009, there was plenty of competition. After all, Las Vegas is a city that thrives on cultivating an image, whether naturally or unnaturally, and sometimes a short do just won't ... do. The hair-extension brand looked no further than Prema Zombori, a stylist at Michael Boychuck's AMP Salon in Palms.
Behind the glass
Exhibition kitchens no biggie for First Food's Jake Mual
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009
If you're ever passing by First Food & Bar inside The Shoppes at The Palazzo, take a look at who's in the exhibition kitchen. Jake Mual just might be in there whipping up a batch of tuna nachos or a lobster roll, and you can watch the French Culinary Institute-trained chef at work. With eyes on him, the pressure's on, but he takes it in stride.
Beverage guru
Paul Peterson talks classic cocktails, French wine
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009
It's 3 p.m. and the lights are dimming as the oyster bar and cocktails crowd filters into Bouchon, Thomas Keller's French bistro perched on the 10th floor of The Venetian.
The matchmaker
Going grape with wine sommelier Krista Rediske
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009
After a peripatetic childhood that took her from Louisville to Houston to Iowa following her father, "a bigwig with KFC," Krista Rediske is back where it all began in Las Vegas, sharing her knowledge of wine as head sommelier at Rao's inside Caesars Palace.
Tommy's boy
Arturo Coronel gets in the island spirit
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009
Sitting just off the patio at Tommy Bahama's Restaurant and Bar, a light breeze wafting through in the late afternoon sunlight, you see why Arturo Coronel has such affection for the island-inspired brand.

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