In COVID, Gov. Steve Sisolak takes in dinner and a show in Vegas
The last time we wrote of Pizzeria Monzu, it was to spotlight owner Gio Mauro’s wondrous, home-made bread. He and his wife, Las Vegas singer Naomi Mauro, were offering sourdough loaves for takeout for $7 apiece. Those loaves became a phase one Vegas shutdown hit.
We’re revisiting Monzu now, as a well-known patron dined at the restaurant Saturday night: Gov. Steve Sisolak. He and his wife, Kathy, and another couple are shown in a video making the rounds since Sunday afternoon. The video was edicgted and shared by none other than longtime “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” artist and emcee Wally Eastwood, and recorded that night by a friend of Eastwood’s.
Such sarcastic messages as LIVE ENTERTAINMENT IN LAS VEGAS and I HOPE OUR GOVERNOR DOES NOT SEE THIS! LIVE ENTERTAINMENT IS A NO NO! are edited into the 1 minute, 27-second clip. The video has gone viral, at least in the Vegas entertainment community, with room operators and entertainers sharing it on social media. “I guess he plays by different rules,” is one common (and printable) message.
The footage is shot from the second-level dining area down toward the main dining room. It shows Mauro singing with her three-piece band, with Sisolak’s party a few feet from the stage on house right (VIP-type seats, actually). A grand piano separates the Sisolak table from the stage.
And Sisolak not the only famous figure in the scene — the band’s guitarist, John Falbo, performed in the 1960s with Dion DiMucci (famous as founder of Dion & The Belmonts) and his Wanderers band.
The First Couple is is shown in the brief clip without a mask as he sits for dinner. But as Naomi Mauro said Monday morning, the governor’s party arrived properly masked (not shown in the video) and wore them while moving around the restaurant.
The Sisolak party was at the Italian eatery from 6:30 p.m. until a little after 8 p.m., when the music started. The group did tip the staff, and also the band (though Mauro can’t rememer how much).
The singer added in text that the place is safe: “All of our protocols are in place including temp checks, sanitizer stations, and employee masks. We have followed the business license department’s guidelines regarding ‘ambient music,’ which as you know several other restaurants in town also have.”
The Monzu environment is similar to businesses that have been allowed to stage musicians playing in the background, particularly at such restaurants as Bootlegger Bistro, Italian Amerian Club and Chianti Italian Restaurant.
An E-mail and text to a Sisolak representative seeking comment have not been returned. The governor’s visit to the restaurant comes as state and city agencies have shut down the type of live entertainment the governor enjoyed in Las Vegas this weekend. As reported in this space Sunday, Saddles N Spurs on North Rancho and E-String Poker Bar in Henderson have been forced to shut down live entertainment.
Bobby Mao’s in Henderson was knocked down, too, for a night before pursuading city of Henderson officials to allow ambient music in the dining room.
Mauro has been a popular singer around Las Vegas for years, fronting David Perrico’s Pop Orchestra and also appearing in at such lounges as Piazza at Tuscany. She has been singing in an ambient format, on Saturdays, at Monzu since the reopening of her restaurant May 23.
Mauro has consistently emphasized safety, that the business keeps to its 50 capacity, and the tables are properly spaced-out. It all looks safe from here, a cool hang for sure. The governor seems to agree. Hope he tried the bread.
See the clip in question here.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.