Industry Insiders: Ivan Kane, Nightlife Thespian

Ivan Kane, the metteur en scène behind Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s French Bistro and Piano Lounge in Hollywood and Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce Nightclub and Burlesque at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, opens up on his idols, theater requirements, and the death of the velvet rope.

What do you do? I create. It’s what feeds my soul. I wear the hat of a businessman by default.

When you’re not running the show, where can you be found? Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle in New York City. Old school vibe. Dark leather. Comfortable booths. Whimsical murals. Dan Tana’s Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. East Coast vibe. Red checkered table cloths. Great veal Parmagiano. Joe Allen’s in New York. After-theater crowd. Great salad. Posters of Broadway shows that have failed line the walls.

Who do you admire in your industry? Sean MacPherson. On both coasts, he has great bars, restaurants, and hotels. From Swingers and Yamashiro to Waverly Inn, they have lasting qualities. He doesn’t try for flavor of the month. Also, Ivan Kane. Completely unique. Always different. Dares to think outside the box. Cares.

What’s been good in your industry lately? New places keep opening. The consumer has many choices, which is a good thing.

Name something you think is played out. Velvet ropes are passé. Community is what is needed and wanted.

What is something that people might not know about you? This should be obvious. I love theater. All of my venues are theatrical. I believe nightlife needs to be an experience.

What are you doing tonight? Rehearsing Cabaret with my 15-year-old son … he’s playing a lead in the play. Working, touching tables at Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s.

Las Vegas: Top 5 Local & Industry Nights

imageCatch that cute server when they’re not on the clock.

1. Jet (Strip: Central) – On Mondays, this massive, three-room club invites Vegas’ huge population of waitresses and bartenders to drink, dance to hip-hop and talk about you. 2. Studio 54 (Strip: Central) – “Influence Tuesdays” is one of the city’s older industry parties, drawing all kinds of club backers and bottle flippers together under the giant disco ball. 3. Privé (Strip: Central) – “Money for Nothing” Mondays offer free admission for locals and industry folks with $5000 literally dropping from the ceiling. To try and make up for all those Europeans who don’t tip.

4. Cathouse (Strip: South) – “Madame Mondays” draws a local crowd to the bordelloesque club with guest DJs, fashion shows and industry parties. 5. Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce (Strip: South) – “Silicone Sundays.” Yup, strippers need a night to party off-duty too.

Las Vegas: Top 5 After-Hours Clubs

imageYou’ll sleep when you’re dead.

1. Drai’s (Strip: Central) – Locals and tourists, gays and straights, executives and wage slaves, all party together until 9 a.m. in this small, sophisticated, plush club. 2. Jet (Strip: Central) – Huge nightspot features three different rooms, each with a different soundtrack and atmosphere. The later it gets, the more room there is to dance. 3. Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce (Strip: South) – The transplant of Los Angeles’ famed burlesque revival club does something they’d never do in LA: stays open until 8 a.m.

4. Gipsy (Off-Strip East) – Las Vegas’ favorite gay club only gets wilder as the sun comes up. 5. Seamless (Off-Strip West) – After 4 a.m., this stripper room turns into a somewhat mookish club, but, hey, it’s open until noon.