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Nightclub Confidential

Red Rocker Finds a Vegas Home

November 12, 2009 By: Bryan Bass


After years of rumors, it’s now official: Sammy Hagar will indeed be opening a Las Vegas outpost of his uber-popular Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino this month. The 15,000-square-foot footprint will take over what was a mostly unsuccessful desert run for the historic chain Trader Vic’s and will give the former Van Halen front man high visibility with Strip-front property across the street from MGM Mirage’s colossus known as CityCenter.

While it’s not the Red Rocker’s first stateside location — that would be in Lake Tahoe, Nev. — he has quickly branded it as his flagship U.S. outlet and undoubtedly hopes the cantina’s “fun-loving and festive atmosphere” will strike a chord with those Las Vegas visitors unwilling or unable to wade into the high-end nightlife scene. The outlet will be two levels and accommodate both a restaurant and nightclub, similar to the concept’s original location in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

"I am ecstatic to finally introduce Las Vegas to the Cabo Wabo lifestyle," Hagar announced in a press release. "We are going to rock the Vegas Strip!" And when he says he is going to rock the Strip, he means it. On Dec. 4, Hagar himself will open his third outpost with a blow-out grand opening bash featuring a concert from none other than the man himself, along with his band, The Waboritas. The venue will also feature closed circuit televisions airing the action from Cabo San Lucas and, one can expect, copious amounts of the rocker’s Cabo Wabo Tequila, which was purchased by Gruppo Campari/Skyy Spirits last year, although Hagar did retain some ownership in that deal.

The Cantina also will incorporate two other highly profitable elements, especially in the high-traffic tourist market of Las Vegas: a large retail store and a walk-up bar serving frozen concoctions for guests on the go. As with his other outlets, Hagar also announced he would regularly be stopping for live performances, something Hagar truly relishes, setting him apart from some other famous names who grace the marquees of bars and restaurants around the country.   

While a deal to bring a Cabo Wabo to St. Louis, Mo., was inked and then eventually fell through, Las Vegas seems like a perfect launching pad for an American expansion of the rockin’ spot that has made many a visitor’s trip to Cabo San Lucas both fruitful and hazy. With a plan to bring approachable and affordable nightlife to Las Vegas, the singer turned tequilero turned restaurateur might just have his biggest hit yet.


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