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6 Places Frequented by Tony 'The Ant' Spilotro

Tony Spilotro and his crew.
Tony Spilotro and his crew.
Photo: The Stoldal Collection

Perhaps one of Las Vegas' most colorful mob characters was Anthony Spilotro, nickname Tony the Ant. His reign over Vegas started in 1971, when he moved here to run a gift shop out of Circus Circus. When state regulators found out about allegations that he was involved in as many as 20 murders, his name landed in the infamous Black Book, banning him from casinos. That's when he formed his Hole in the Wall gang, a burglary outfit that concentrated on the streets. The gangsters earned their nickname after blowing a hole in the wall of a jewelry store called Bertha's during a burglary. By 1986, Spilotro's hit man Frank Cullotta entered the witness protection program and Spilotro faced numerous indictments based on his testimony. That's when he tried to take over the Chicago mob with his brother Michael, but instead turned up dead in an Indiana cornfield nine days later.

Spilatro liked to eat, and he had his fair share of haunts across town. Here's a look at six places he frequented. Tip of the hat to Vegas Seven, which originally compiled this list, and The Mob Museum, which helped with the research and provided the image.

The Coachman's Inn: The locals haunt closed last August at 3240 S. Eastern Ave., but back in the day, Spilotro dined here with his family.

The Food Factory: Spilatro's brother John owned this hamburger joint on East Twain Avenue near Swenson Street. Tony dined there daily.

My Place Lounge: Next door to Upper Crust Pizzeria sat this bar, co-owned by Tony Spilotro's longtime associate Frank Cullotta. The Hole in the Wall gang started many a night here, which led the FBI to bug the place. After the gang found them, the FBI had to seek a court order to get them back. Now the building houses Favorites at 4110 S. Maryland Parkway.

Port Tack: This bar favored by Spilotro at 3190 W. Sahara Ave. became a haunt after Spilotro was listed in the infamous Black Book, barred from entering a casino.

Rube's: Spilotro and his gang hung out at this bar across from UNLV. The gangster would often send drinks over to reporters, who also frequented the place.

Tower of Pizza: Readers may know Tower of Pizza better as the Leaning Tower, the restaurant portrayed in Casino. New York transplant Gaspare "Jasper" Speciale ran the joint, along with a loan shark operation, until Spilotro convinced him to retire. The restaurant was located where the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sits now.
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