Rae’s Restaurant and Lounge

Well, gang, I’m sitting down at the old computer (it really is old) and beginning to write the column.  Of course,  I drove over to Barley’s casino to place a small bet on the 49ers.  I also bet the Over 53 ½ in a parlay to win $360.  Then a put $20 on a five-team parlay card: 49ers plus 1 point; under five quarterback sacks; over 3 field goals; over 1 interception, and finally total fumbles lost over 1. If I am lucky and both tickets win, I would walk away with $760.  The first time I bet on the 49ers was in 1982 when they played the Cincinnati Bengals and won 26-21 as a one-point favorite. I have continued to bet the 49ers every time they have made it to the Super Bowl, winning four and losing one. I have now lost two games. My five-team parlay, however, won all but the actual team. It was a total loss.  So, now you know the rest of the story.

Bobby Morris and Joan

One of my favorite local restaurants is a really nice comfortable little restaurant tucked away on the corner of Wigwam and South Pecos – Rae’s Restaurant and Lounge, 2531 Wigwam Pkwy, Henderson.  It’s owned by a neat lady by the name of Joan Morris, who in November of 1993 opened the bar and restaurant, naming it in honor of her Mother Rae Dey. At that time, it was sorta on the outskirts of the booming City of Henderson.  You actually had to drive on a dirt road to get there. Today it’s one of the top-rated restaurants in the area.

Joan was always sort-of-a-pioneer. When her mother became ill in Las Vegas, Joan quit her job as a Public Affairs Officer at the China Lake Naval Station in Ridgecrest California in 1974 and moved to Vegas.  She saw a future in real estate and became an agent. Joan eventually met her future husband, one of the early pioneers of a growing Las Vegas, Robert (Bobby) E. Morris, who owned the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau. In 1989 Joan opened the “Welcome Center,” which was located next door to the old Klondike Casino and directly across the street from the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.  And the rest is history.

Rae’s Restaurant and Lounge

The first thing you will notice as you enter Rae’s Restaurant is the huge Aquariums filled with magical and beautiful fish of every description.  There are three of them spread between the slot-bar (15 machines), a suburb restaurant with a touch of nostalgia (red leather booths) etc, and a special room for weddings, and local gatherings called “The Hideaway.”  Speaking of the 15-slot machines, Rae’s is famous for having paid out the largest jackpot ever for a 15-slot bar–$250,000!
And, let me tell ya gang. The food is grade “AAA” all the way, especially the Prime Rib feast. I can personally vouch for the service (top notch), and don’t be surprised if Joan herself is there to greet you.


Ryan Baker

One of the hottest young talents working in Las Vegas today, Ryan Baker, will be at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara Ave.,  this Friday, appearing with Merv Harding’s 17-piece band to present the music he grew up listening to as a kid in Long Island, New York. Baker will sing the songs that comes right out of the Great American Song Book and were presented on the radio, and on the stages of the great entertainment venues everywhere.  If you liked the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, and others of the great Big Band era, then you will definitely enjoy Ryan.

Baker has been showing his talents on stages from New York to Las Vegas and all the venues between. His performances of Sinatra, be it as a “sound-alike” or impersonating the man himself, has received great reviews. Besides tribute artist/impersonator work, Ryan is also an accomplished jazz singer, with a repertoire of hundreds of songs, ranging from Sinatra favorites to jazz classics to standards written by the great American songwriters of the 20th century.  IN
Baker’s latest project is an album called Timeless Again, featuring his own takes on some of his favorite jazz standards. With arrangements written by gifted guitarist Joe Lano, the album was recorded and mixed by veteran engineer Ron George at the UNLV Recording Studio. The mastering was done by Gil Kaupp.

Ryan Baker at the Italian American Club

The songs each feature, in slightly different configurations, a small group of world-class musicians. Lano, a gifted guitar player and mainstay of Las Vegas showrooms for over 40 years, has worked with countless legendary names, including being personal accompanist to Lena Horne.

Showtime is set for 8:00 p.m. with tickets starting at $30.00


This. Is. Monster Jam!  The most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today returns to Las Vegas for another high-octane weekend featuring the ultimate mix of high-flying action and four-wheel excitement at Sam Boyd Stadium March 21-22, 2020. Tickets are on sale now.

Featuring skilled Monster Jam® athletes, fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor tearing up the dirt with gravity-defying feats in 12,000-pound Monster Jam® trucks going head-to-head for points in Freestyle, the Skills Challenge and Racing competitions.  Plus, fans can become part of the action by voting for the winner in the Skills Challenge and Freestyle competitions via real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones.

Monster Jam® drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motorsports action seen around the world.

At the Monster Jam® Pit Party, you can see the massive trucks up close, meet your favorite drivers, get autographs, take pictures and enjoy other family-friendly activities. It is an unforgettable part of the Monster Jam® experience where special connections are made, and lifelong fans are born.


Brian Newman at NoMad

Trumpeter and singer Brian Newman will bring his late-night show, Brian Newman: AFTER DARK, back to NoMad Las Vegas, the luxury resort experience located within Park MGM, for 12 dates in 2020.

Currently serving as the bandleader for the LADY GAGA JAZZ & PIANO resident show at Park Theater, Newman has created Brian Newman: AFTER DARK as an ode to vintage Las Vegas, providing guests a late-night rendezvous filled with great music, good friends and craft cocktails. Intimate evenings are filled with special guest performers from New York City, Las Vegas, and beyond. Past guests have included  Lady Gaga, Ashanti, Jaclyn McSpadden of Postmodern Jukebox, and Puddles Pity Party, among many others. Burlesque star and award-winning entertainer Angie Pontani is scheduled to perform with Newman April 30 – May 10.

Tickets starting at $65 including fees are on sale now, and may be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at ticketmaster.com. Shows are scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. with the exception of performances on May 3, 7, 10 and 16 which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend.  Show Dates:  April 30 and May 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16

Brian Newman: AFTER DARK has been described by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as “a next-level cool hangout,” and according to Billboard Magazine, the unique show “reimagines the classic Las Vegas lounge show.”

Newman has made a name for himself as a consummate entertainer on the New York City club circuit in recent years with extended engagements at The Oak Room, Birdland, The McKittrick Hotel, and The Rose Bar. His recently released debut album SHOWBOAT proves that jazz isn’t what it used to be. The album provides Newman with the opportunity to break the art form out of its constraints, allowing the jazz influences of Miles Davis and Chet Baker to find room with his love of rock bands such as Nirvana, Beck and Thin Lizzy.

Brian Newman and Lady Gaga

Newman co-produced the soundtrack version of “La Vie En Rose” for the film “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga and was her bandleader and trumpeter for the Cheek to Cheek project with Tony Bennett. Both albums debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. They originally met in the downtown New York City club scene where Newman was a bartender and they discovered their shared love for jazz and tattoos (the two share the same tattoo on their right arms of Miles Davis’ trumpet taken from a sketch done by Tony Bennett).

Hailing from Cleveland, Newman played trumpet for his local high school jazz band, and honed his skills listening to his musical influences. He attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music but decided to end his formal training and move to New York City in 2003. During that time, he hustled for club gigs, recorded on hip-hop sessions and tended bar. His exposure to the music scene expanded and he landed a regular gig at Plaza Hotel’s famed Oak Room where Stefani Germanotta first heard him perform. Their friendship led to Brian’s involvement in the Cheek to Cheek project and the global world tour. His engaging stage persona, musical chops, suave suits and jazz/rock communion has created a unique sound and sensibility.


The city of Las Vegas will host two music events this February. All ages are welcome to attend “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” and “The Finest Hour Concert”; tickets are $25 plus taxes and fees for each event.

Broadway’s Next Hit Musical

Spend Valentine’s Day at “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,”  Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:00 p.m. at Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St. The only unscripted theatrical awards show has been seen recently at The Triad, Tribeca Film Festival, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival, among many others. Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai, master improvisers gather made-up hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for its favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical — complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore.

The Finest Hour Concert

On Thursday, Feb. 20, celebrate the 75th anniversary of the iconic music that ended World War II at the “Finest Hour Concert” featuring Davina and the Vagabonds and The Hot Club of Cowtown at 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. The two bands, each with its own sound and style, will bring to life the legendary tunes of Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald and more. Davina and the Vagabonds’ edgy vocals and superlative musicianship combine jazz and the blues for a uniquely ageless sound, while the Texas trio, Hot Club of Cowtown, ignite the stage with their hot jazz and Western swing.  For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787) or visit www.ArtsLasVegas.org.


Pop Up Pizza

For National Pizza Day on Sunday, Feb. 9, Pop Up Pizza at the Plaza Hotel & Casino will be giving away its iconic “Pizza Is Beautiful” t-shirts to anyone who purchases a slice of pizza or a full pie.
The “Pizza Is Beautiful” t-shirt (with either blue or yellow lettering) first debuted during the annual Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival in 2016 on Pop Up Pizza staff. Customer interest led the pizzeria to start selling the t-shirts the next year and since then, the t-shirt has become a unique fashion statement available for purchase only at Pop Up Pizza and the annual Life is Beautiful festival held in downtown Las Vegas every fall.

Paying homage to one of America’s favorite foods, the t-shirt was even seen on Tom Sandoval from Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules when he walked a red carpet for “Watch What Happens Live,”  and on the Feb. 25, 2019 episode of the show.

The first gourmet pizzeria in downtown Las Vegas, Pop Up Pizza offers handmade pizzas using the highest quality ingredients including California tomatoes, pepperoni from the famous Ezzo Sausage Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and mozzarella from Brooklyn, New York.


Well, gang, it was one heck of a great football game. Maybe I’ll run into you at Rae’s one evening.

I’m outa here

Leave a Reply