Mandalay’s Rose has ThornsDecember 23, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
The principal owners of Planet Hollywood’s beleaguered Prive Nightclub seemingly can’t catch a break. First there was the nearly $1 million penalty levied upon Planet Hollywood by Nevada’s Gaming Control Board, then a temporary closure of Prive by the liquor licensing board followed by the owners’ appearance in bankruptcy court last month, no doubt aided by the ongoing legal fees. And last week, its principal owners found themselves back in a Clark County courtroom filing a lawsuit against Mandalay Place, the retail arm of the MGM-Mirage-owned Mandalay Bay Resort.
At the middle of this most recent dispute is The Rose, a new burlesque and cocktail lounge that Prive’s principals, Roman Jones and Mitchell Rubinson, have been working to open at Mandalay in the space formerly occupied by Los Angeles burlesque maven Ivan Kane. The venue was originally scheduled for a Thanksgiving opening but kept getting pushed back with no one seemingly knowing why. Now the reason is becoming clearer, as Jones and Rubinson allege that Mandalay has refused to confirm The Rose’s lease to the Business License Department, making it impossible for The Rose to obtain licensing.
Attorneys for Mandalay Place countered that the property’s management declined to confirm the lease because the venue’s original managers are no longer involved with the nightclub and, one would assume, are the very names given a “no chance” by the licensing board back when Prive was originally trying to maintain its license. “What Vegas South [Jones and Rubinson’s LLC for The Rose] does not want this court to know is that these are the same individuals who were involved in the Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood, which, as public records reveal, lost its liquor license because of their involvement,” the attorneys stated.
While Jones and Rubinson have offered to submit new names, Mandalay has demurred, saying it wants to substantially change the terms of The Rose’s lease agreement including converting it from a five-year agreement to a month-to-month lease and changing language that would have allowed the club’s owners to recoup part of its initial investment if the lease is terminated early. Meanwhile, this all comes after Jones and Rubinson reportedly spent $1 million to build the club, hire a staff and start promoting the opening.
To add more to the mayhem, the temporary liquor licenses granted to Prive Nightclub and its adjacent Living Room lounge will be coming up for renewal in January. The licensing board was adamant that any transgressions by the club or its ownership group would not be tolerated, and if Mandalay’s allegations of trying to slip names under the radar prove to have merit, the board could once again pull Prive’s liquor license, which would result in the club’s takeover and either re-branding or closure.