Matt Minichino, better known as the director of nightlife at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and thereby one of the stars of TruTV’s reality show about “the biggest pool party in the world,” Rehab, is coming to San Francisco. This morning Grub Street discovers Minichino has staked his claim on the very large former Shanghai 1930 space at 133 Steuart Street, vacant now for 20 months, for an as yet unannounced bar/restaurant project. The Queens native has cut his teeth on the Vegas scene, also having served as manager of the after-hours-friendly Empire Ballroom, and we can assume that his S.F. plans will be big on glitz, busty barmaids, and possibly reality TV cameras.
A good fit for Steuart Street? We shall see. (Given that the liquor license app just went in, we’re putting this out at least four months or so.) Below, a clip from Rehab in which Minichino discusses being “in danger” every day at the 5,000-person-strong pool party. “We know at the end of the day fights are going to happen,” says Minichino. “I’m really a babysitter to a hundred employees in 110-degree heat.” Also, in an earlier interview about the flack he got for things he said during the first season of the show, he said, “I regret a few things. I did get caught on TV telling a girl that she came to work looking like she got gang-banged.” Nice.
Update: The Scoop brings word of Minichino’s partner in this venture, entrepreneur John Chen. There’s still no decision about what the restaurant will be exactly — high-end dessert bar? upscale/trendy eatery? — however there are hints that there will be a nightclub component, possibly with a separate entrance. Why else would they have Minichino on board? [Scoop]