From Tivoli Garden to Liberace Steakhouse
The Liberace brand returns to the restaurant business
Known the ultimate showman of the stage, Liberace had other passions as well. He opened his restaurant in Las Vegas in 1983. It was named in part for the gardens at the Villa d' Este, in Tivoli, Italy, and in part for Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, an amusement park built in 1843. The name combines his love of the grandeur of the land of his Italian heritage, and also the fact that he enjoyed being described as a "one-man Disneyland."
A true cook and foodie, Liberace had written a cook book, cooked on television, and was known to cook for visiting guests at his homes, in his restaurant, or even in hotel rooms where he was known to bring a hotplate. A known VIP customer to many restaurateurs, there remain today steakhouses in America which keep a table reserved for Liberace, over three decades after he passed.
Liberace's Tivoli Garden restaurant was sold when he became ill at the end of 1986, and passed away February 5, 1987. During its three years under his ownership, Liberace accomplished many of his career goals and was flying the highest he ever had. Tivoli Garden, right next door to the famed Liberace Museum, became a place where Vegas celebrities mixed with locals after hours, often with Liberace present. Many are the tales of magical times in the heyday of Liberace's Tivoli Garden. It was the twilight of the golden era of Las Vegas showmanship.
The Liberace Legacy
Liberace organized his estate to continue his passions in his absence. Having donated millions to education, he placed his assets in the Liberace Foundation so that it could keep up the tradition. These assets included his massive museum collection of costumes, pianos, cars, jewels, crystal, fine art and more. Perhaps most importantly, the Foundation retained the rights to his intellectual property, including his name, likeness, and many trademarks.
In 2020 the Liberace Foundation finalized a license for Liberace Steakhouse, nationwide. The licensee has been the largest supporter of the Liberace Foundation for the better part of a decade. Consul Aner Iglesias made his fortune in the food & beverage, event and real estate investment industries, before he took on the Liberace Steakhouse license. This incredibly qualified owner grew up in the neighborhood of his first location, in the heart of the old town of Monrovia, California.
The Covid 19 pandemic hit just as the first location was being completed at the former location T. Phillips Alehouse, on the corner of Colorado and Myrtle in Monrovia. Los Angeles County would soon close restaurants, so the Liberace Steakhouse team took advantage of the time to perfect the curation of the restaurant's museum-grade exhibits of artifacts, which will continually be on loan from the Liberace Museum Collection, together with original works of art. This is one of many properties on which the owner has brought in renowned Las Vegas designer Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, and the flare these two have produced at other properties is only exceeded here.
Liberace Steakhouse is developed in keeping with the Liberace legacy of service to customers and service to community. Every check paid brings with it support of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts. Over $6 million has been distributed over the last 30 years, to over 2700 students at over 100 universities, as per the wishes of the late entertainer.
The Liberace Foundation is enjoying the guidance of a new board of directors, organized by Chairman Jonathan Warren in 2020, composed of a 'who's who' of Las Vegas, with Hollywood and New York entertainment components as well. The Liberace Steakhouse is a major license for a new era. The legacy lives on.
About the author
PLEDGES & TIPS SUPPORT THE LIBERACE FOUNDATION FOR THE PERFORMING AND CREATIVE ARTS.
Honorary Consul of Monaco, Chairman of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts, 50 years in Vegas, Citizen of the world.