Houston Brothers Bring Their Signature Houston Hospitality Style To Las Vegas With On The Record Speakeasy And Club

Houston Hospitality's Mark and Jonnie Houston.
Mark and Jonnie Houston of Houston Hospitality.
Photo Credit: Max Barsness

Houston Hospitality’s Mark and Jonnie Houston aren’t in the business of selling booze. They’re in the business of selling an experience.

The fraternal twins, who own a string of popular nightlife venues in their native Los Angeles, are opening On The Record at Park MGM in Las Vegas over New Year’s Eve weekend.

Yes, the 11,000-square-foot speakeasy and club will feature an innovative cocktail program—a hidden enclave called the Vinyl Parlor will pair cocktails made by “star-tenders” with song requests—but libations are just one small part of the music-driven, multi-room venue.

“You can go to your hotel bar and get a great cocktail,” explains Jonnie. “We want to tell a story.”

Rendering of the Vinyl Parlor hideaway inside On The Record.
Rendering of the Vinyl Parlor hideaway inside On The Record.
Photo Credit: Courtesy MGM Resorts International

The story begins with a functioning record store entry, located across the casino floor from the Park Theater. Once inside, guests will discover both indoor and outdoor spaces, a double-decker bus DJ booth, three karaoke rooms (inspired by the Houstons’ nostalgia-themed L.A. venues like Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, Break Room 86 and Dirty Laundry), different eras of music and all sorts of other surprises.

By compartmentalizing the venue with spaces within spaces, thoughtfully designed and decorated to encourage social interaction, the brothers hope you’ll feel a sense of discovery; the kind of childlike awe that makes you pull out your phone for “a unicorn moment.” If they do their job right, you’ll be able to return again and again and see something different every time.

“Most nightlife is driven by one specific thing,” says Mark. “You can go to our space anytime and realize you’ve discovered something new.”

Jonnie and Mark Houston.
Jonnie and Mark Houston of Houston Hospitality.Photo Credit: Al Powers

Mark and Jonnie grew up in L.A. surrounded by salvage yards and flea markets. Inspired by the one-of-a-kind items at the shops, they began collecting the various treasures like original art, fabrics and light fixtures, even a pinball machine. They pick up these rare pieces from shops around the world and require two warehouses (going on three) to store the items, many of which end up living in their vibing venues.

These singular touches paired with the brothers’ trend-setting style and attention to detail, have catapulted their L.A. nightspots to the top. We named Line Hotel, home to their 80s-themed karaoke room Break Room 86, among L.A.’s most instagrammable hotels of 2017; the activated charcoal-infused Dark Arts at Black Rabbit Rose was one of the city’s most instagrammable cocktails; both La Descarga and Good Time at Davey Wayne’s were named among the coolest hidden bars in L.A.

Now the brothers are stoked to bring their signature Houston Hospitality style to Las Vegas.

The '80s-themed karaoke venue from Houston Hospitality, BreakRoom86 in Los Angeles.
The ’80s-themed karaoke venue from Houston Hospitality, BreakRoom86 in Los Angeles.Photo Credit: Dylan+Jeni

“We had thought about coming out to Vegas many years ago,” says Mark, “but what made this enticing and exciting was collaborating with Park MGM and their openness to creating something that hasn’t been done in Vegas.”

With so much to offer to tourists and locals alike, On The Record is sure to be the city’s newest hot spot. Just don’t expect it to mimic the fist-pumping, mega-bottle-service nightclubs currently dominating the Vegas nightlife scene.

“There’s always going to be a time and place for that huge, mega pool party and huge mega party, but after a day or two of those I need something different,” says Jonnie. “Hopefully we’re going to be that alternative.”

In order to cater to locals, who are less likely than tourists to visit the Strip, the brothers are considering options like creating a rideshare program or offering free parking.

Rendering of the On The Record entryway.
Rendering of the On The Record entryway.Photo Credit: Courtesy MGM Resorts International

Although the brothers haven’t always worked together, they both agree that their partnership is magical. Sure, they fight like cats and dogs, but that just pushes them to strive for perfection.

During one stint apart, Jonnie worked in the music video industry. He recalls that the video art department created elaborate sets for millions of dollars. After the shoot, the sets were immediately torn down. “It was one of the most heartbreaking I ever saw,” he admits.

“The beautiful thing about what Mark and I do now is, we’re building sets that are real-life sets for people to come in and experience and laugh and have a good time over and over again,” he explains. “People get to tell their own stories as they experience them.”

On The Record will be open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, starting December 28. Industry nights for locals kick off on January 2. Karaoke room reservations begin December 1. Call 702-730-6773, Ext. 36773.