A former rival to the iconic Moulin Rouge might have a new lease on life, but it will take a little while longer to sort out all the paperwork.
Steve Hayashi, the new owner of the New Town Tavern, has asked the city for an extension of time on permits to remodel the former 1950s hot spot. Built in 1955, and also known over the decades as Town Tavern and Ultra New Town Tavern, the 7,000-square-foot casino has struggled with repairs and ownership and gaming licensing issues, all of which Hayashi expects to finally resolve by the middle of the year.
Current plans call for a name change to the Tokyo Casino, offering table games, video poker, a range of slots and an 11-seat bar.
Located on Jackson Street, once described as the Fremont Street of the Westside, the original Town Tavern squeezed a casino, restaurant and showroom into the space. A contemporary of the Cotton Club, El Morocco and the Brown Derby casinos, the tavern was African-American owned and included celebrity fans such as Sonny Liston, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr. during the era of segregation in Las Vegas.
Hayashi has already spent a $400,000 on remodeling the interior and exterior. When operational, the casino will operate 24 hours a day.