The Vegas offshoot of the Sunset Strip institution opened at the hard-rocking corner of Paradise and Harmon in June 2005, quickly attracting the likes of Tommy Lee, Robert Plant, Quentin Tarantino, Korn, Velvet Revolver and Jenna Jameson. Plagued by a small, often misused parking lot and extensive roadwork, music-industry titans Bob and Jerry Greenberg closed their establishment this spring amid rumors of property sellings and a move to shared space at Industrial Road’s Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. The Rainbow reopened in June after the buyer backed out; the Brothers Greenberg began experimenting with operating hours, college/reggae/beer-pong nights and reality-cooking-show deals. As Jerry put it at the time, “It feels great having people coming in, saying, ‘Thank God you’re open again.’”
Now, three months later, the Rainbow’s saga continues. The owners are boxing up their vast collection of framed memorabilia and, in about six to nine months, they’ll cozy up next to Sapphire after all. “The Rainbow Bar and Grill will be completely separate from Sapphire,” says Jerry. “Then inside Sapphire, we’ll have a 400- to 500-capacity venue, the Rainbow Live. We’ll have parking for 1,000 cars, and we may even do events in the parking lot.”
As for the two dining rooms, bar area and outdoor patio back at the Paradise Esplanade center? The Greenbergs will retain the property, change the name, remodel and reopen the doors in 45 days as a business-lunch mecca (“kind of like a Cheesecake Factory,” Jerry offers). Bands will no longer play the restaurant/café, but an extensive overhaul promises that the new patio will be one of the most elaborate in town.
“Now the Greenbergs are gonna have two restaurants, and the new place is going to be rock ’n’ roll heaven again,” enthuses Jerry. “Everybody in town has copied the Rainbow, but we’re the originals, and we plan on staying the originals.”