The corporate Mob has carried out another hit, this one particularly brutal and personal.
Center Stage was a steak and seafood restaurant on the second floor of the Plaza hotel-casino that featured horseshoe-shaped booths, a glass dome and a shotgun-barrel view of the Fremont Street Experience. (You may remember it from Casino and other movies.) It was dark, dingy and strangely romantic. The food was good. The service was good. The prices were fair.
So it had to go. And it's been replaced by a – blush, blush – sports bar. Christ. A keno lounge would’ve been more merciful. Or even slot machines.
The only good thing about Center Stage closing, as far as I’m concerned, is my last night at the restaurant was a memorable one. After my book-launch party June 1 at the Arts Factory, about 30 friends and family members got together there and drank and ate and talked. My mom and dad were there. My sisters and brother. My sister-in-law. Ingrid. Joey. Mark. And a whole lot of other folks I care about – a lot.
So, it sometimes seems, that’s all you can ask for in Las Vegas: When a person, place or thing leaves you, it leaves you with good memories.