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October 30, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Drai’s at Cromwell nears completion; Pure at Caesars Palace closes for major facelift

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An artist’s rendering of Victor Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub atop the Cromwell on the Strip.

Tour by Victor Drai at Cromwell

Victor Drai gives a tour of his dayclub and nightclub under construction Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at the Cromwell. Launch slideshow »

Construction crews at the Cromwell have given the go-ahead for nightlife czar Victor Drai to set the final timetable for the opening of his $100 million rooftop, center Strip Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub that overlooks the Bellagio Fountains.

Victor wants to celebrate with the official ribbon cutting and champagne pour next Wednesday, and the VIP reception and opening night party will kick off Memorial Day Weekend on May 23.

The party for the first Strip rooftop nightclub will be preceded by a one-hour red carpet with Hollywood and music celebrities. It also marks the reopening of his Drai’s After Hours in the basement that he’s occupied for 17 years.

2014 AVN/AEE: Jesse Jane Hosts at Pure

Jesse Jane hosts the 2014 AVN Awards after-party Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Pure in Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »

PURE CLOSES: Across the Strip at Caesars Palace on the same weekend, the 10-year-old Pure nightclub will end its run as Hakkasan Group shuts its doors for a major makeover and expansion. Vegas DeLuxe reported the plans several months ago with rumors that the second-floor patio would become a pool zone with a glass bottom.

The latest rumor is that the new Pure will expand even farther into the adjoining Caesars poker room. Design plans have been completed and approved, and construction will move ahead on a fast track for a spring reopening next year.

10TH ALL-STARS: Seven hundred at-risk, low-income and disadvantaged students from 13 local elementary and middle schools who have an interest in after-hours music and dance programs will take part in Thursday’s nearly three-hour, 10th annual All-Star Showcase.

Mirage headline entertainer Terry Fator is kicking off the program onstage at Springs Preserve as the kids form choirs, hip-hop groups, cheering squads, a mariachi band, ballet folkloric and a karate team.

HIGH-ROLLER WINES: How can you be assured that the $25,000 bottle of red wine or the $80,000 case of vintage champagne is in perfect condition and more importantly is real? How can a casino know its high rollers will be happy with bottles from a $100,000 case of rare vintages? Now for the first time in America, a new service by just-formed Vault Wine Merchants of Las Vegas guarantees perfection and validity.

Wine consultant Gil Lempert Schwartz and master sommelier Ron Mumford of Las Vegas have created the company to provide “perfect condition inventory” stored at Larry Ruvo’s Southern Wine and Spirits warehouse.

Gil told me: “It’s the best storage facility in America, and we provide a level of assurance that no one has ever been able to give before.” The rare collections come with holographic stickers and authenticity reports.

The two experts say their systems will prevent any wine deceptions infiltrating the Las Vegas retail and casino marketplace as were uncovered in the French and New York “fake vintage year” wine scandals two years ago.

2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Border Grill, Michael Mina, Jose Andres

Day 2 of 2012 Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit with Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Adam Rapoport at Border Grill, Michael Mina at Stripsteak and Jose Andres at Jaleo on Friday, May 11, 2012.
Launch slideshow »

COOL COMEDY & HOT CUISINE: For the first time after 26 years, comedy stars and star chefs are bringing their signature fundraiser event for Scleroderma Research to Las Vegas thanks to Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Ben Folds and Mandalay Bay culinary stars Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill) and Rick Moonen (RM Seafood, Rx Boiler Room). I’ll join them June 5 at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay for the fundraising night of entertainment and fine food to combat the awful, life-threatening disease that for now has no cure.

The progressive hardening of the skin eventually attacks the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and patients suffocate. My friend Susan started the foundation when her best friend and college roommate died from the disease. Jay and Bob became founding members. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman and many more support the charity, and surprise appearances are expected at the debut Las Vegas event.

My Las Vegas friend Saville Kellner, who battles the disease, recruited the comedy stars and chefs here and urges everyone to support the necessary work. Saville heads up Henderson’s Lake Industries, an international leader since 1979 in the wholesale supply of kitchenware.

Michael Jordan's Caddy: Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher serves as Michael Jordan's caddy at Shadow Creek Golf Course on Sunday, April 1, 2012. Launch slideshow »

BESTIE’S BIRTHDAY BLAST: Dad-to-be Ashton Kutcher had to leave pregnant fiancee Mila Kunis home in Hollywood when he landed here with 40 guys to celebrate his best friend Luke Watson’s 40th birthday. They took over a private dining room at chef Brian Massie’s Stack in Bellagio, and Ashton checked in with the Mia via cell. The well-behaved group spent the weekend at Liquid Pool Lounge in Aria and at nearby Haze until 3 a.m.

Liquid and Haze were star central in recent days with rapper T.I. hanging with Christina Milian’s beau Jas Prince, head of Rap-A Lot Records; hip-hop superstar Nelly and fellow St. Lunatic’s artists Ali and Trae the Truth; Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” fame; poker pro Phil Hellmuth; and BET founder and Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Lauryn Hill is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.

The five-day Helldorado Days festival with food booths, entertainment, rodeo exhibits and attractions and a carnival gets underway at Symphony Park.

Echo & Rig butcher chefs Sam Marvin, Aaron Oster and Frank Fronda join the Food Truck Village at Fremont East Entertainment District for the Wednesdays Downtown block party and world’s greatest happy hour.

Breguet presents its specially made clock to Carillon Circle donors of the Smith Center at a courtyard dine-around, followed by a preview concert by actor and singer-songwriter Cheyenne Jackson, who will perform there in October.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

The gorgeous gridiron girls of our Las Vegas Sin are in fighting shape for their season debut home game against the Green Bay Chill at the Thomas & Mack Arena and the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” is ready for its Las Vegas return at Tropicana. We’ll have our chef Nobu Matsuhisa interview to wrap up our Vegas Uncork’d coverage and get ready for a star-jammed weekend with Tiger Woods’ Tiger Jam and the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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