Good Things Now Gone
It's been a good year for the local's scene here in Vegas. And there will be many new things to talk about as 2005 progresses. But for the great additions that have and will come, Vegas has lost some as well. This is a brief list, and incomplete in its nature. But let us briefly look at some of the places and groups that have closed or disappeared without explanation.
It closed, it moved, it reopened, and now it closed again. Known locally for less than friendly barstaff and an owner rarely seen, the Boston was host to the first and last Paint It Black. Maybe the Cheyenne Saloon and Aristocrat Lounge will take over the Boston's attempt at being a good small band venue.
Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art
Any museum that has "fine art" in its title is a bit dubious -- isn't that implied by being a museum in the first place? The brainchild of former Gallery P founder and Las Vegas Art Museum Director Joseph Palermo, the museum was a mixed bag housed in a former office space at 1000 E. Sahara. The low ceilings, carpeted walls, and maze of small rooms did not lend themselves to much in terms of display options. The museum's signage is no longer hanging in the storefront and it will be interesting to see if anything reemerges from the latest project of Joseph Palermo. See this December 2003 article about the concerns Chuck Twardy had about the museum's initial opening.
Brunz Rosowsky Art Gallery
Housed in The Arts Factory, this gallery had opened a beautiful space with out-of-town artists, and high hopes as a gallery that would introduce new artists to a Vegas audience. But that was not to be, and the gallery closed, only to be taken over by the Seat Theater Group.
Punk Rock Bingo
As you all know, in Vegas gambling and bars do not go together! Therefore, the genius that was Punk Rock Bingo at the Double Down Saloon didn't last a year before being closed down. Infighting between neighboring bar owners got the Gaming Control Board involved, much to the dismay of bingo-loving punks.
Another victim of the Maryland Parkway curse, where, despite the proximity to UNLV and the student population, it closed its doors. The venue attempted to provide a location for all-ages shows, which it did for a short time.
Tramps (aka Sasha's)
Great gay bar with bathrooms covered in vintage records and boardgames. Another attempt at an all-ages venue, it was bought, reopened, and then closed 3/14/2004. A shame, as for a short time great music and DJs played here.
A beautiful attempt at retro chic by the Venetian Casino, the Venus was a dark and atmospheric room with vintage lamps, reproduction furniture and murals of a neon Vegas street being menaced by UFOs and mushroom clouds. Poorly marketed, the bar opened without even having a website of upcoming bands and events. Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine, the World Famous Pontani Sisters, and the Nines all performed here. Unable and unwilling to figure out how to make money off the crowd that came to the bar, it was mildly reworked in 2003 and now closed to be made even less interesting and more profitable.
Check out Monty Bank's Club Venus page to see what once was a great bar.
Nice little hotel, leveled to make way for the next phase of Vegas development, high-rise condos. There is supposed to be an Algiers Bar atop the new building in homage to the old hotel.
Vegas was to be part of the National Flicker Film Fest. Or not.
Godt-Cleary (Mandalay Bay Location)
The best good news/bad news part of this article. Godt-Cleary Gallery opened November 2003 in Mandalay Place, dedicated to fine art and design objects by blue-chip artists. The gallery added a second space on Main St. in the fall of this year and closed their casino space. The Main St. location also serves as art storage for the personal collection of Mandalay Resort Group President and CFO Glenn Schaeffer. If it sticks around this may be one of the more important stops on the gallery/arts tour of the downtown arts district.
Enough of what has gone. Soon these pages will be filled with new places and groups, building upon what previous people and places have added to the local scene. Happy New Year, and thanks for reading.