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Lío by Pacha Group — a restaurant, club and cabaret in Ibiza, favored by Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Guetta, Anne Hathaway, Gerard Butler and Idris Elba — will make its stateside debut at Mayfair Supper Club in Bellagio this fall.
The Lío pop up will have a limited engagement in Las Vegas, bringing over its star cast from the Spanish island after the season closes in October. The show will not only have scenes from the 2021 production in Ibiza, but also will have a greatest hits collection of performances from the last decade. Featured artists include singer-composer Mimi Barber, singer-actress Mirela Cabero and singer-songwriter Gío Bermejo, among many others.
“Ten minutes into the first time I saw Lío, I knew it would kill in Las Vegas,” says Nick McCabe, CEO of Spanish hospitality company Pacha Group. “It’s a concept that sits perfectly alongside what makes Las Vegas epic — the experiences. Everybody comes to Vegas to find something epic.”
The dinner and a show spectacle will blend into Mayfair Supper Club’s elegant dining room, designed by Martin Brudnizki (who also designed the private club Annabel’s in London famous for its star-lit dance floor, as well as the just-opened Pendry West Hollywood hotel). Mayfair is known for its spectacular view, overlooking the Bellagio Fountains.
McCabe says the Lío experience starts around 830 p.m. with dinner and then the night escalates as the entertainment builds into a crescendo — with singing, dancing, guest appearances and surprises. “You’re not quite sure when you’re going to leave. And there are no lines and you’re not looking at your watch. Time goes out the window and you truly escape the idea of a fixed schedule. You walk in and you are there to enjoy yourself,” he says.
If its name is any indicator, Lio is the Spanish word for mess — beautiful mess, more fitting.
“Things really get going around 10 p.m., so the very first thing you encounter is this incredible backdrop,” McCabe says. “You sit down, get a menu, order drinks, start dinner and it quickly becomes insanity. The show is fast-paced and has momentum and then becomes explosive with energy around midnight and turns into the nightclub vibe.”
He says in Ibiza after the dinner and cabaret, there are international guest DJs, but the overall experience doesn’t require that kind of “drama and commitment of going to a nightclub like the table minimum, trying to get in, crowds, the craziness.”
“That is the magic of Lío — it is this evolution of energy, and why I think it’s applicable in many more markets around the world than just Ibiza. It’s incredible fun. Nobody leaves without a smile on their face,” he says.
McCabe is no stranger to Las Vegas. From 2014 to 2018 he was CEO of Hakkasan Group and then emerged as Pacha’s top executive in 2019. Pacha, known for its double cherry logo, has long been a major player in the nightlife industry. Its founder Roberto Urgell opened the first Pacha in 1967 in Sitges, Spain, and then created the concept of the megaclub in the early 1970s in Ibiza. It took off as a haven for wild parties and dance music. International celebrities and the elite flocked to his clubs for decades. Pacha Group created Lío 10 years ago and this year, it will venture to Mykonos, Greece. In 2017, Pacha Group was acquired by a private equity firm and began looking toward expansion into hotels and other diversified hospitality ventures. Pacha Group now operates Pacha Ibiza (nightclub), Lío Ibiza and Mykonos, Destino Pacha Resort Ibiza and Mykonos, The Pacha Hotel and Casa Pacha Formentera.
“There is an amazing heritage and history behind those cherries. To have the opportunity to take that into the next phase of their life was just something I couldn’t turn down,” McCabe says.
As a kid who loved dance music, he remembers seeing Pacha in Ibiza and thinking it was an impenetrable fortress. “Looking at it from afar I had no idea how I was going to get in,” McCabe says with a laugh. “Without Pacha we wouldn’t have the Las Vegas megaclub scene we have today.”
Fast-forward a few decades and McCabe is now engaging the international brand into a partnership with another megabrand, MGM Resorts, also a partner of his former company Hakkasan Group. He says MGM Resorts wants to bring as much of the Lío experience to Vegas as possible, including the production team, the front of house, the hosts and the food, with the performances at the center.
But does this mean that Pacha Group will be looking for a permanent home for their venues in Las Vegas? McCabe says not so fast.
“We have to be extremely careful with the Pacha brand. We have to think before we put the cherries on the door of any venue. I think in the shorter term, Lío is the brand that I see expanding,” he says. “I’m not in any rush to get back into the megaclub business in Las Vegas. I’ve done that. And I know the pitfalls of it. It has to be an absolute right piece of real estate, the right time, everything has to align. We’re not going to chase it by any means. We’re going to wait and see what comes along.”
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