Marc Jay: Now, when you're a local in Las Vegas, it's not always about partying in the billion dollar casinos and running up and down The Strip. Sometimes you have to go off the strip to find some fun. I'm here right now at Town Square for the opening of Lolita's Cantina and Tequila Bar. Tonight is their Industry Wednesday night and I'm about to go inside and check out what's going on.
Marc Jay: I've finally made my way into Lolita's Cantina and Tequila Bar and I spot my dear friend, Mr. Brian Kip, who we know at Clubplanet because we’ve talked with him before. Tell us a bit about what you do here at Lolita's.
Brian Kip: I'm the Operations Manager for nightlife and I came over here about three weeks ago. We're here in our second week now, Wednesday, doing our local industry night.
Marc Jay: It's a little different from most places in Las Vegas because it’s sort of a restaurant, a bar, a nightclub, a lounge... Tell us a little more about the place. How is it actually structured?
Brian Kip: Lolita's is first and foremost a restaurant. We're the only Mexican restaurant in Town Square—very high end, both of our chefs come from very fancy backgrounds. But here in Town Square you've got a few other hot spots; you've got Yard House and you’ve got Blue Martini. Now with Lolita's, we're just trying to give the locals a little more of a different opportunity to come out and actually have some fun nightlife.
Marc Jay: I know there's a very special hologram inside. It's kind of unusual and special and it's the first time I've ever seen something like it. What actually is it?
Brian Kip: You know what, I think that's a secret. If we told everybody right now, I think every club in Vegas—especially here in Vegas—would jump on this technology. It comes from a gentleman back in the Bay Area in California and it's definitely one of our trademarks here at Lolita's.
Marc Jay: So I'm just catching up with my friend Enrique who is the Entertainment Director here at Lolita’s. Tell us a bit about your job and what you do here.
Enrique Lugo: I'm in charge of bringing all the dancers and the entertainment to Lolita's. We have professional dancers from the Pussycat Dolls and different shows here in Vegas, and they perform every 45 minutes, half an hour—we do little vignettes. We have singers, percussionists, DJs... so pretty much what I do is bring in all the fun for Lolita's.
Marc Jay: Now how do you find these girls? Is your background in choreography and dancing?
Enrique Lugo: Yeah, I've been a choreographer here in town for 10 years and I've been a choreographer for the last 30 years. I've been putting together shows all over the place for fashionistas, Chorro, many shows I've done over here in Vegas. They gave me a call and said they needed an Entertainment Director and Choreographer here and I came and met the owner and I love everybody here. It's an amazing place.
Marc Jay: It's kind of a bit different... it's a restaurant first of all, a bar, and then it turns into a nightclub. I don't know of any other place like this in Las Vegas.
Enrique Lugo: No, because there's only one. It is the first one. One thing that we've been doing and promoting a lot is our hologram. I videotaped it for the last three weeks and now we have new material on the computer showing the new technology. It's the only club in all of North America that has it.
Marc Jay: Now this hologram—just so people can understand it—it’s a hologram of a go-go dancer or a mariachi band and it looks like they're on stage performing. It's truly incredible. This technology isn't being used anywhere else, so how did they find it and bring it here?
Enrique Lugo: Well, the owner of Digital Illusions, that is the company that brought it over here, is very good friends with the owner of Lolita's. They both have clubs and they've been doing clubs all their lives so they've been together for almost 20 years. They came up with an idea to bring it over here and they brought it to me. The first time that we shot it, it was a little bit more for corporations and stuff like that, but now we’re bringing it to the entertainment. Today we have pretty much all the owners from all the gentlemen's clubs across the United States here in Vegas to come to see it because they're interested and want to do something like that.
Marc Jay: It must be a lot easier than working with some go-go dancers, a lot less stressful.
Enrique Lugo: Well you have some of the same stress because the technology can be a bit difficult, but yeah you're right, I don't have to handle the dancers. But in the meantime, you still need to have the bodies around and the girls dancing so it can give you a different feeling, you know?
Marc Jay: I understand there is a hologram competition that you're running. Are you involved in it? And what is the competition? I know there's a lot of money to be won.
Enrique Lugo: The best contestant will win their own hologram, so every girl is going to be competing to be on it.
Marc Jay: I'm hanging at the bar now with the beautiful Michelle. It's her first time here and I'm just going to ask her a few questions. So Michelle, you're here, it's your first time, what do you think about it so far?
Michelle Deraedt: The guy-girl ratio is pretty phenomenal – lots of girls, little amount of guys, girls are dressed cute, lots of drinks flying through the room, and the music is phenomenal.
Marc Jay: That's certainly not good for you if you're looking for a man. Is it less men for you to choose? Although, I'm here for you.
Michelle Deraedt: [Laughs] Marc Jay, I'll always be here for you, too.
Marc Jay: Now, did you come here to eat or do a bit of dancing? How did you hear about it?
Michelle Deraedt: I saw the restaurant when I passed through Town Square and my dining experience was amazing. The fajitas are amazing, the guacamole is phenomenal and the margaritas are top-shelf. Get salt on your glass for sure. My experience has always been great here.
Marc Jay: Now, I want to call you a “Vegas veteran”—not that you're old whatsoever, because you look 22—but I know you've worked in some places and you've been out many times. How do you think this place will do? Obviously it's not on The Strip, we're away from the casinos, we're in Town Square. How will people find out about this place? How will it attract the locals that it's trying to appeal to?
Michelle Deraedt: Well, being in the nightclub industry for seven years out here in Las Vegas, this place has a local joint and it's going to take off like a rocket ship. So if anyone wants to be involved in a local joint that's pretty amazing, they need to hang on to this place's coat tail really quick because it's going to take off. The door's going to be packed in about a couple weeks, as soon as everybody starts hearing about it. Blue Martini is going to be old news soon. Lolita's is going to be amazing.
Marc Jay: It's quite funny how we live here and honestly, going to these big casinos and big nightclubs, I get very bored of it sometimes, so I look to go to much smaller, local bars. Do you find yourself in the same ship as me?
Michelle Deraedt: I always find myself in the same place as you. Being from Chicago, we like the local joints, not the big clubs; but when you work in them, you have to be in them. When you can escape to a local joint that's small and off The Strip and have a lot of local people on their days off, that's the place to be, and Wednesday night local night here at Lolita's is amazing.
Marc Jay: I think that leaves us to go get another margarita and do a bit of salsa dancing around the bar.
Michelle Deraedt: I think I agree with that too.
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