Dining-Beverage Revelations

Masaharu Morimoto, Iron Chef America star, opened Morimoto Las Vegas at the MGM Grand with three distinct dining experiences: sushi bar, main dining room and Teppan tables, plus his first iron griddle menu.

Taco Bell Cantina is a new two-story, flagship 24-hour restaurant on the Strip complete with alcohol, an eight-flavor freeze wall, outdoor patio and occasional DJ.

Downtown Grand’s new 160-seat restaurant and bar is Freedom Beaton the casino floor and open 24/7 with free nightly entertainment.

Sam’s Town opened its newest dining concept with patio seating in the atrium Mystic Falls Park. The Big Mess Bar-BQ is a genuine smokehouse barbeque restaurant serving classic American fare.

Modern cocktail spot The Dorsey will open at The Venetian Dec. 31. It is in partnership with bartender Sam Rossof New York City’s Attaboy and Milk & Honey fame, and David Rabin,creative mind behind many New York City hot spots.

Award-winning Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, the famous chef’s only restaurant in the United States, is introducing a new Caviar Room in the lounge.

Caesars Palace also introduces Alto Bar, the resort’s largest bar, in the former Seahorse Lounge space adjacent to OMNIA Nightclub with a private dining space for 30 guests.

JW Marriott will open a new signature restaurant, the Hawthorn Grill this winter, with a bar area, large cozy dining room and expansive outdoor patio with a waterfall.

Charlie Palmer Steak, which opened at the Four Seasons 17 years ago, revealed its new multi-room renovated interior and façade, and new executive chef and pastry chef.

Born and Raised, a locally-owned Nevada tavern and lounge, is opening its third location and newest concept in early 2017. Born and Raised CRAFT PUB will be located at the Grand Bazaar Shops on the Strip adjacent to Wahlburgers, Starbucks and the entrance to Bally’s and have its first retail shop.

Sin City Brewing Co. expanded again with a fourth location at Grand Bazaar Shops and has the brewery’s first outdoor seating.

Papaya King, New York’s reigning hot dog emporium since 1932, will open its first Las Vegas location across from the Hard Rock Hotel at Harmon Square this year and be nearly three times larger than New York locations.

Triple George Grill downtown added more than 15 signature menu items this fall and is introducing new glegan gluten-free and vegan dishes.

The burger-centric Habit Burger Grill will open a fourth outlet this year at6482 N. Decatur Blvd. with patio dining.

Entertainment Whirlwind

Cher will debut Classic Cher, a series of special concerts exclusive to North America beginning Feb. 8 in Las Vegas at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo. So far nine dates are set in February and May. Ricky Martin will also be a resident headliner there beginning April 5 with more dates in June, July and September.

Willie Nelson will bring his exclusive production Vegas On My Mind to The Venetian Theatre for a five-night engagement Jan. 28-20, Feb. 1, 3 and 4. Nelson just released a new novel Pretty Paper.

The new Cirque du Soleil touring show TORUK - The First Flight inspired by James Cameron’s movie Avatar will be presented at T-Mobile ArenaJan. 18-22.

Tenors Of Rock will debut at Harrah’s on Wednesday, Dec. 28 featuring rock anthems sung by five burly British frontmen backed by a full band and dancers.

Billy Idol: Forever, which kicked off a residency at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay last March, is extended into March and May 2017 with Idol and guitarist Steve Stevens.

Due to an overwhelming demand, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood has added eight additional shows in April 2017.

Flamingo headliner Jeff Civillico had knee surgery and is projecting his return-to-work date as Feb. 6.

A favorite Las Vegas band for more than 40 years, the Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, is back at The Lounge inside the Palms with weekly 10:30 p.m. shows on Monday nights.

The final two performances of Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah’s are Dec. 4 on the 60th anniversary of the legendary night the show’s story is about.

Off The Grid News

Tivoli Village revealed its new extended layout, which includes the center piazza and grand-scale retailer Restoration Hardware RH, a luxury home furnishings brand.

Starkly dramatic Kelly Cardenas Salon - A Paul Mitchell Focus Salonopened at Hard Rock Hotel. It’s owned by business partners, celebrity stylist Kelly Cardenas and nightlife veteran Marc Jay.

HEXX Kitchen + Bar at Paris has introduced a chocolate and wine tasting menu, which includes three wine offerings, each paired with a specific HEXX chocolate.

Several new retailers such as fashion haven A’GACI and a dog-friendly Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar opened at Town Square while H&M unveiled its newly renovated store after completing a 6,500-square-foot expansion.

The Mob Museum downtown has a “Ready to Roar” exhibition of Prohibition-Era fashion and culture from the 1920s and early 1930s running until February 2017.