Clover Room, Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas 1959
The Clover Room was the most popular nightclub in Las Vegas in the 1950s. Celebrities like the pianist Liberace and the heartthrob crooner Dean Martin performed onstage. Elvis Presley was famously filmed in the audience, though he never performed there.
The nightclub was part of the Riviera Hotel, which was the first high rise – at eleven stories tall – on The Strip. During building, the hotel ran into problems after the Nevada Tax Commission learned that one of its investors had ties to the famous mob gangster Meyer Lansky. After a new set of investors were approved, including Harpo and Gummo Marx of the comedy group, construction was allowed to go ahead. Nevertheless, the hotel’s ties to organized crime in Chicago continued to cause problems for The Riviera.
Gus Greenbaum, a former Flamingo Hotel executive, took over the running of the casino but he and his wife were found brutally murdered in 1958. The crime was never solved. Investors with names like “Ice Pick “William Alderman and Charlie “Kewpie” Rich added an unsavory air to the hotel’s reputation. Somehow the Riviera survived, found new investors and built more hotels rooms and gaming space.
Over decades, it was often chosen as a shooting location because of its history and landmark status. Among the films shot there were Ocean’s 11 (1960), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Casino (1995) Austin Powers International Man of Mystery (1997) and The Hangover (2009).
By 1990, the “Riv” had the largest casino in Las Vegas, with 125,000 sq ft of gaming space and the hotel had 2,100 rooms. It was last owned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority which demolished it in a spectacular implosion in 2016.
This menu cover, depicting a lucky four-leafed clover, is in fabulous vintage colors with a mid-Century aesthetic. There's an equally stylish interior menu, evocative of Las Vegas in the 50s.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu or cover.