What this town needs is more tiki
Word hit the Weekly Friday afternoon that Double Down Saloon owner P Moss has purchased and will be renovating the old Frankie’s bar at 1712 W. Charleston, next to UMC Hospital. The new joint is due to reopen (according to the handwritten sign on the door) as Frankie’s Tiki Room on December 4. Believed to have been built in 1942, the diminutive 1,300-square-foot watering hole currently features a long bar with at least 10 slots for video poker (staying), a tiny elevated stage with a brass stripper pole (going) and a glossy red-painted, low stucco ceiling (also going). Says Moss of the continuance of the legendary Frankie’s name and overall look, “Las Vegas architecture and buildings … everything gets blown up after 30 years. There’s no cultural history here. I would never think of taking something that has been around for 50 years, and that has meant a lot to so many people, and that is really a Las Vegas landmark and just destroy that.” The Double Down itself turns 16 next month!
Many legends of tiki culture and décor will have a hand in the design of Frankie’s Tiki Room, including Bamboo Ben, grandson of Eli Headley, who created the décor for the legendary Aku Aku at the Stardust. Plenty of real tikis have been commissioned for decoration and for functional seating. A menu of 15 original tiki drinks and five traditionals will come in eight newly-designed tiki mugs. “The place is going to be very authentic but with a hint of Vegas kitch,” says Moss. Frankie’s juke box of 100 CDs will have everything from “surf to exotica.” Open 24/7, the Double Down’s GM Chris Andrasfay is charged with overseeing both venues.
3.5 questions with DJ Dani Deahl
She’s a top female DJ. She’s got her own label and writes for BPM and Urb Magazine. She’s Dani Deahl and she’s in Vegas November 1 at Asia, Seamless Afterhours on the second, and CatHouse on November 5.
You’ve previously deejayed at SeamlessAfterhours. As a female, what is it like for you to spin in a venue that is primarily a gentlemen’s club?
It was kind of surreal for me to DJ and then see some half-naked chick giving a lap dance to somebody 10 feet in front of me—never experienced that one before. But I though it was a lot of fun … The fact that it’s a strip club is sort of arbitrary. I just liked that it was seven in the morning and people didn’t feel like they had to go home.
Since you’re from Chicago, did the city’s house music roots influence your early career?
I definitely fell in love with Chicago house and Chicago disco-house. When I was in high school, I started going to raves all of the time on the weekends… Not only did I identify with the music, I identified with the culture and the people … Eventually, I started buying my own records and practicing at a friend’s house and then was supposed to play out when a friend of mine booked me for a party and didn’t tell me about it.
Vegas often sees female models or celebrities booked as DJs. How do you think they’re affecting the industry?
I think they naturally weed themselves out. I think it’s small-model Darwinism at work … I’ve heard stories about Playboy DJs that were booed off the stage in Mexico. I’ve heard stories about actresses that try and DJ and then just put in a CD and leave… I’m not incredibly worried about it because I feel like in the end, talent trumps beauty—although it’s great to have both!
Are there any tracks you think are overplayed in clubs?
It’s really tough because the good songs are normally played out a lot because they are so good, like the Laidback Luke remix of Robin S [“Show Me Love”] … I was at Crowbar one time and I heard one person played it in the VIP room and the main room DJ played it five minutes later and it didn’t matter, both rooms freaked out when they heard it.