Why Not Visit Some Old Mob Hangouts?
Anyone who knows anything about Las Vegas knows that so much of what Vegas is today is partially due to what the mob did years ago. Ever wondered where the mob hangouts were? There are still some still standing that you can visit.
Mob money was critical to building some of the great casinos during the mob era. Of course, the first casino most would think of is the Flamingo that Bugsy Siegel helped build and that opened December 26, 2946. It is still there. Before they tore it down in 1993 I got a tour of Bugsy’s room.
Many of the historic and well known casinos were funded by or heavily controlled by the mob. Some of these were the Flamingo, Tropicana, Stardust, Sands, Dunes, and others. The Flamingo and Tropicana are the only two left in operation.
I discovered an interesting thing about Las Vegas locals and their feelings about the mob years. Many of them who lived there during those years actually preferred Vegas at that time as opposed to today’s Vegas. Why? They say they felt safer. It was more formal, elegant, and special. Locals at that time didn’t fear the mob unless they were trying to cheat the mob. Those folks who did try to cheat are resting out there somewhere in the Mojave Desert.
If you are interested in mob history, there is the Mob Museum downtown on Stewart Avenue and some casinos from time to time offer dinner with the mob, actors of course, not real mob members. Mmmm, at least we don’t think so?
There is another way to reminisce about the good old mob days. You can go out and eat at some of the mob eating hangouts..
Here are some places to try out. First, one place I really enjoyed is Capo’s Speakeasy located out West Sahara. The food is great and there is usually some type of entertainment. We enjoyed a magician who did close up magic. When you get there someone will slide back a slot in the door so see if you are approved by the bosses. Really, to see if you have reservation, but it’s kinda cool.
Chicago Joes was once heavily mob connected. Today, it is a hangout for lawyers and legal staff. Its specialty is Chicken Angelo with Pasta. They also have stuffed artichokes, eggplant parmigiana and baked clams. Chicago Joes is located between Charleston Avenue and E. Bonneville on 4th Street.
If you like steaks and want to try one of the places Tony “the ant” Spilatro ate, visit the Golden Steer Steak House, the oldest steak house in Las Vegas. You will find it on West Sahara.
Check out this this website to read about 9 filming locations used in Scorsese’s Casino. Two locations are restaurants including Oscar’s Place at the Plaza downtown.
Vegas loves its mob connected history. It keeps people wondering if the mob is maybe still there running things.