Victor Drai

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Victor Drai
Born (1947-07-25) July 25, 1947 (age 67)
Casablanca, Morocco
Nationality Franco-American[1][2]
Occupation Nightclub owner, Film producer
Spouse(s) Loryn Locklin (1990 - current)
Kelly LeBrock (1984-1986)[3]
Partner(s) Jacqueline Bisset (1973-1980)[4]
Children Dustin (b. 1993)
Website
http://www.drais.net

Victor Drai (born July 25, 1947) is a nightclub owner, entrepreneur and film producer.[5] Drai rose to prominence in the 1980s, producing the movies The Woman in Red and cult classic Weekend at Bernie's before leaving the industry to open a string of high-profile restaurants and nightclubs.[3][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Drai was born in Casablanca to Jewish parents. He dropped out of school at 14 to move to Paris, France with his family. In 1968, he launched a ready-to-wear line called Vicadam, which featured velvet jeans.[8]

In 1974, Drai met Jacqueline Bisset on a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Paris and the two began a transatlantic relationship.[9] Drai sold the fashion line and relocated to the United States to be with Bissett and began a new business flipping Beverly Hills mansions.[8]

Film Production[edit]

In 1982, Drai and then-girlfriend Kelly LeBrock traveled to Paris where they saw the movie Pardon Mon Affaire. With the help of David Begelman, Drai produced a remake entitled The Woman in Red which was released in 1984.[10] It starred LeBrock and Gene Wilder, who adapted the script from the original.[11] Based on that movie's success, Drai then produced a series of comedies including another French remake,The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), and Weekend at Bernie's (1989).[3][12][13]

Restaurants and Night Clubs[edit]

In 1993, after the birth of his first child with second wife Loryn Locklin, Drai made the decision to open a restaurant, which he felt would be a more family-friendly career.[3] He contracted French chef Claude Segal, who'd replaced Wolfgang Puck at the upscale restaurant Ma Maison in 1985.[14] With Segal, he opened the restaurant Drai's in the L'Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel and it quickly became an iconic success.[9]

In 1995, Drai decided to open a second Drai's in Las Vegas. A couple years later, he started the afterhours club, "That started everything,” Drai stated.[15] In December 2013, he opened a steakhouse on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles called Rare by Drai's.[16]

Drai owned a now-closed venue in March 2010, Drai's Hollywood; a rooftop restaurant, pool, and nightclub at the W Hotel in Hollywood.[17]

In 1997, Drai opened Drai’s restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.[18] Two years later, Drai added a nightclub to the restaurant, re-branding it Drai’s After Hours.[19] In Vegas Seven's 2012 Nightclub Awards, Drai's After Hours won "Best Place to Disappear".[20] He currently operates Drai’s After Hours nightclub at Bally's Las Vegas.[21]

In 2007, Drai took over La Bete at Wynn Las Vegas and re-branded it Tryst.[22] It has a 90 ft. waterfall and lake in the middle of the club. In 2012, Vegas Seven's Nightclub Awards awarded Tryst "Best Place to Impress".[23] In 2013, Tryst placed #8 in the Top 100 Nightclub & Bar Roster for Nightclub & Bar Magazine.[24]

Drai opened XS nightclub at Encore Las Vegas in 2008.[25] In 2010, XS won Nightclub & Bar Awards for "New Club of the Year" and "Mega-Club of the Year.[26] " In 2013, Nightclub & Bar Magazine awarded XS the "Mega-Club of the Year.[27] " Technomic, the Chicago-based hospitality market research firm that partners with Nightclub & Bar magazine on The Top 100, named XS number one nightclub in the nation for 2010.[28] In 2010, Drai was bought out of his managing partnership at Steve Wynn's Tryst and XS to pursue other endeavors.[29]

Drai's opened his latest Las Vegas club project Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub on Memorial Day Weekend 2014 in Las Vegas at The Cromwell Las Vegas.[30] This 65,000-square-foot venue has a party pool and an indoor/outdoor club spread out over two levels on top of the new Cromwell Hotel.[31]

One of Sixteen Professionals listed in the Nightclub Hall Of Fame[32]

Kenneth Brown was shot and killed on the Bally's Casino floor when an armed gunman refused to pay the cover charge for entrance into the Drai's After Hours club and opened fire on two security guards. The gunman retreated into the casino, pointing his gun at guests before Brown tackled him. Brown suffered and died from two gunshot wounds.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Welkos, Robert (July 7, 1994). "Drai's Restaurant: Parlez-Vous le Show Biz? : Industry: Hollywood powerbrokers flock to Victor Drai's West Hollywood restaurant. But is it for the former producer's Southern France-style food?". The LA Times. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Weston, Jay (December 17, 2013). "Rare by Drai's Opens on Sunset Plaza Drive". The Huffington Post (Rare by Drai's Opens on Sunset Plaza Drive). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kaplan, Michael (Feb 27, 2014). "Vegas' After-Hours King Makes a Comeback". VEGAS Magazine (Niche Media LLC). Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Freden, Marc (2010). Really!?! : a memoir and other observations from a man who's lived life "not quite famous enough". [S.l.]: Xlibris Corp. pp. 153–154. ISBN 1450073670. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Clarke, Norm. "NORM Q&A: Nightclub mogul Victor Drai sets sights on new Strip venture". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Odell, Kat. "Drai's Restaurant at W Hollywood Shutters, Will Relocate". Eater LA. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Leach, Robin (March 5, 2014). "Photos: Victor Drai’s at Cromwell will be ‘the most beautiful nightclub you have ever seen’". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Windeler, Robert (August 1, 1977). "Out of the Shadows". People Magazine (Vol. 8, No. 5). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Lipson, Larry. "DRAI'S TURNS HOLLYWOOD CLOUT INTO MEATY SUCCESS.". The Daily News (1996) (The Free Library). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Archerd, Army (9 August 1995). "Begelman’s suicide shocks, saddens friends". Variety. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Maysh, Jeff (August 25, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: 'I hated myself'". The Daily Mail (MailOnline.UK). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Victor Drai". IMDB. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Sweeney, Louise (17 September 1984). "Film star Tom Hanks: having fun making movies filled with mirth". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Parsons, Russ (November 4, 2011). "Longtime chef Claude Segal dies". The LA Times. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Victor Drai, Nightlife Impresario Behind Vegas Clubs Tryst, XS, Bringing New Concept to BLT Space". Wehoville.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  16. ^ Chiao, Christine. "Rare by Drai's, a New Steakhouse in West Hollywood, Now Open". Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Vegas Debauchery on a Hollywood Rooftop". UrbanDaddy.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Drai's (Restaurant)". Vegas.Napkinnights.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Drai's Afterhours". Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Best Place to Disappear: Drai’s After hours". Vegas Seven. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Wynn Las Vegas, Victor Drai end partnership Amanda Finnegan Fri, Aug 27, 2010 Las Vega Weekly
  22. ^ Elyzabeth, Michele. "Victor Drai: He Did It His Way". LATF The Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "2012 Nighclub Awards". Vegas Seven. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Presenting the 2013 Top 100 NCB Top 10 Profiles". Nightclub & Bar Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Leach, Robin. "Photos: Victor Drai’s at Cromwell will be ‘the most beautiful nightclub you have ever seen’". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  26. ^ Woodman, Xania. "XS TAKES HOME TWO NIGHTCLUB & BAR AWARDS". Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "2013 Nightclub & Bar Award Winners Announced". Nightclub & Bar Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  28. ^ Clarke, Norm. "Wynn Las Vegas club named No. 1". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  29. ^ Odell, Kat. "Victor Drai and Steve Wynn Part Ways: Waits Brothers at Helm of Wynn's Nightlife Empire". Eater LA. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  30. ^ Medved, Matt. "Drai’s Beach Club & Night Club Las Vegas Announces Eric Prydz and More as First Residents: Exclusive". Billboard.com. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Feldberg, Sarah. "DRAI’S BEACH CLUB AND NIGHTCLUB WILL BE MORE THAN A ‘MUSIC VENUE FOR MILLION-DOLLAR DJS’". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  32. ^ Nightclubhalloffame.com
  33. ^ Guillermo, Matt. "Video shows shooting victim tackle Bally's gunman". Fox 5 Las Vegas. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 

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