El Cortez (Galleon), Las Vegas 1950s Menu Art
El Cortez (Galleon), Las Vegas 1950s Menu

El Cortez (Galleon), Las Vegas 1950s

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Product Description

The El Cortez Hotel was constructed in 1941, the first major resort in downtown Las Vegas, and has a storied history that continues today as the gambling mecca’s longest continuously running hotel and casino.

In 1945, it was briefly purchased by the infamous mobsters Bugsy Siegel, Moe Sedway, Gus Greenbaum and Meyer Lanksy who were awaiting the opening of their new property, the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

After that opening, memorably portrayed in the 1991 film Bugsy, one of the original founders John Kell Houssells reacquired the El Cortez.

He expanded it over the course of several years, adding a nightclub, barber shop, swimming pool and a four-story bedroom wing. The Rose Room bar was re-named the Buccaneer Bar and cocktail waitresses served guests dressed in pirate outfits.

There was a grand re-opening of the ‘new’ hotel in 1952 and El Cortez neon signs were installed on the roof – still much-admired landmarks in downtown Las Vegas today.

The Supper Club was also given a pirate’s theme and re-named the Pirate’s Den. Its maître d’ in 1955 was a lady called Pat Gallagher, the only female maître d’ in Las Vegas at that time. The pirate theme was phased out in the late 1950s.

Legendary casino operator Jackie Gaughan (1920- 2014)– who had stakes in many casinos and at one time was reported to own 25 per cent of the available real estate in downtown Las Vegas - bought the El Cortez and oversaw the construction of a 15- story hotel tower in the 1980s. He and his wife Bertie lived in a 2,700sq ft penthouse on the top floor of the tower.

The El Cortez changed hands again in 2008 and remains one of the top destinations in Las Vegas, the first hotel to be placed on The National Register of Historic Places for its neon signage and Spanish ranch-themed architecture that has remained gloriously the same for more than 80 years.

This menu is from the mid-1950s because it mentions ‘deflation specials.’  The first period of deflation (negative inflation that can lead to a recession) in the US was from 1949-50 and the second was from 1954-1955.

We believe this menu cover - look at its stylish fonts - depicts Hernán Cortés' ship the Caravel when the adventurer set sail in 1519 with ten other ships and 500 men to conquer Mexico for the King of Spain.

Courtesy Private Collection.

Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson archival inks. Custom printed with border for matting and framing.

Each order includes a print of the interior menu.

All printed in USA.

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