The Fight of the Century won’t be the only action heating up the Strip this week—here, our picks of the best things to eat, see, hear, and do before Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Eat and Drink
Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey serves up delicious fare at Searsucker
Tastemakers and trendsetters alike will meet their matches at the Strip’s two newest upscale additions. Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker, a feel-good restaurant and social lounge inside Caesars Palace, serves up everything from scallops and crab cakes to wild boar “chops” and prime beef cuts (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-866-1800).
Just next door, overlooking the world-famous Bellagio fountains, chef Julian Serrano has torn apart his former eatery Circo and replaced it with a brand-new concept called Lago (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-693-7111). With a menu designed to showcase shareable Italian plates, the revamped restaurant specializes in smaller delicacies like crostini and raw seafood, shellfish, and heartily prepared meats.
If it’s sheer variety you’re craving, though, consider heading over to the Great American Foodie Fest, where more than 50 specialty food trucks and street vendors will set up shop outside of the Rio between Thursday, April 30, and Saturday, May 2 (3700 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-410-8565).
Enjoy some of the rarest cigars around with a glass of whiskey at Andre's Cigar Lounge
And what would a fight be with a celebratory stogie or two? Vegas’ original celebrity chef André Rochat recently celebrated his 35th year in Sin City, and his namesake restaurant at Monte Carlo houses the decadent, dimly lit Andre’s Cigar Lounge, a repository of rare cigars, whiskeys, and one of the most technologically advanced air filtration systems on the Strip (3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-798-7151). Mirage’s Rhumbar also invites guests to choose from a menu of cigars and tropical (read: rum-heavy) cocktails to be enjoyed on the open-air lounge’s sun-drenched patio (3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-792-7615).
See and Hear
Sports Illustrated, Ciroc, and Diddy present a pre-fight extravaganza at the Foxtail Pool Club
Nostalgia heads should make a beeline for The Joint at Hard Rock on Wednesday, April 29, the night top-selling band Journey kick off its nine-date Vegas residency with Filipino vocalist Arnel Pineda replacing legendary lead singer Steve Perry (4455 Paradise Rd., 702-693-5222).
Another night of throwback sounds will take the Strip by storm on Friday, May 1, as New Kids on the Block team up with TLC and Nelly for their Main Event tour at the Mandalay Bay Events Center (3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 877-632-7400). Later that night, Nelly will host a fight-themed after-party at Paris Las Vegas’ Chateau Nightclub (3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-776-7770), and, just steps up the Strip, 50 Cent will take the stage at Drai’s Nightclub to tease his upcoming album Street King Immortal (3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-777-3800).
During the day on Friday, May 1, though, plan on hitting the pool at Palms for the return of Ditch Fridays, the weekly bash that encourages partygoers to cut work early to enjoy a few extra hours of weekday sun (4321 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-942-6831). The season opener’s festivities will get a major boost from headliner Samantha Ronson (that same night, Ronson’s older brother Mark will take over the turntables at Marquee Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan).
It’s Saturday, May 2, however, that will see the Strip’s dayclubbing set turn out in full force, as Justin Bieber touches down to serve as master of ceremonies at Hard Rock’s notorious Rehab pool party (4455 Paradise Rd., 702-693-5000), Outkast rapper Big Boi presides over the scene at Aria’s Liquid Pool Lounge (3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-693-8300), French Montana holds court at the Tropicana Pool (3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-739-2222), and Diddy partners with Sports Illustrated and Ciroc for a pre-fight extravaganza at SLS Las Vegas’ Foxtail Pool Club (2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-761-7621).
This weekend, make sure to check out the Elvis Presley exhibition at the Westgate Las Vegas
And should you find yourself with extra time on your hands (yeah, right), be one of the first to see the only permanent showing of Graceland-sourced memorabilia at the Westgate Las Vegas’ brand-new Elvis Presley exhibition (3000 Paradise Rd., 702-732-5111). Expect a trove of rare artifacts ranging from Presley’s high school yearbooks to several of his classic cars, a 1970s concert production, and even an Elvis-themed wedding chapel.
Enjoy tailgate-style snacks and live coverage of the fight at Lagasse's Stadium
You’ll need a ticket to score entry into the MGM Grand Garden Arena when Mayweather and Pacquiao officially arrive at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, and report back for weigh-ins at NOON on Friday, but if you’re not actually attending the main spectacle, the pre-events may be your best bets for catching a glimpse of your competitor of choice (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 877-880-0880).
Of course, it’s important to remember that boxing isn’t the only sport to be featured on a world stage this week. The 2015 NFL draft takes place on Thursday, April 30, and The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas will celebrate with a Ciroc-sponsored viewing party hosted by Seth Davis, Emmanuel Sanders, Steven Jackson, and Swimsuit Edition cover model Hannah Davis (2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-761-7618). Prefer to stay closer to the action? The draft party thrown by Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo will include tailgate-style snacks and live coverage via more than 100 high-definition TVs (3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-607-2665).
Otherwise, two intimate Vegas theaters have your pre-fight prep covered. Also on Thursday, Palms’ Pearl Concert Theater and Mayweather Promotions will present a special big-screen edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights that will pit Ishe Smith against Cecil McCalla, Ashley Theophane against Mahonri Montes, and Ronald Gavril against Eddie Hunter (4321 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-944-3200). Likewise, The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan will join in on the fun the evening of Friday, May 1, with a live broadcast of the World Boxing Organization’s lightweight championship fight between Takahiro Ao and Ray Beltran (3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-698-7000).
The day of the fight, get in the spirit at Venetian’s DB Brasserie, where a Kentucky Derby viewing party rife with mint julep-inspired cocktails will be the order of the day (3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-430-1235). And, because few things pair better with lunch than shopping, cap off your day with one of Optica’s several weekend trunk shows of designer sunglasses: Dita at the MGM Grand boutique (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-740-2226), Matsuda in the Palazzo’s lobby (3327 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-699-9678), and Chopard at the Caesars store (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-852-3647).
PHOTOGRAPHY VIA FACEBOOK.COM/SEARSUCKERLV (SEARSUCKER); ANDRE’S RESTAURANT & CIGAR LOUNGE (ANDRE'S CIGAR LOUNGE); SLS LAS VEGAS (FOXTAIL POOL CLUB); GRACELAND (ELVIS PRESLEY EXHIBITION); FACEBOOK.COM/LAGASSESSTADIUM (LAGASSE'S STADIUM)