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Pala Casino opens new dining options

27 May 2015

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Pala Casino Resort and Spa previewed its new CAVE restaurant, lounge and underground wine cave for the media today and will open it to the public at 11 a.m., tomorrow, Saturday, May 23. Its new outdoor Starlight Theatre will host its first concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 23, featuring two of Southern California’s top tribute bands, Queen Nation, a tribute to Queen, and Zeppelin USA, a tribute to Led Zeppelin. Tickets for the opening night show are $12 in advance at and $14 at the door. Pala also opened its new Luis Rey’s outdoor patio bar and lounge today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This is an exciting weekend,” said Pala Chief Executive Officer Bill Bembenek. “CAVE is a new creation at Pala and is unique in the marketplace.”

CAVE is composed of a 4,300 square-foot restaurant and lounge and a 2,400 square-foot underground wine cave. CAVE has an extensive wine inventory and will offer guests access to over 480 domestic and imported wine labels. The restaurant is a modern eatery offering Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian flair. CAVE’s lounge offers an imaginative menu of craft cocktails as well as the extensive wine list. Entertainment in the underground cave will feature popular jazz and R&B solo artists, duos and trios.

“It is the only underground entertainment venue of its kind in San Diego County,” Bembenek said. “We have dovetailed an already popular industry in our region, wine and wine tasting, with the gaming industry to create a place with a unique ambiance that is not available elsewhere.” CAVE is a place where wine lovers and good friends can come to enjoy their favorite wine and relax to cool jazz in a comfortable, subterranean environment.”

The formidable wine list offers the best vintages from California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys as well as France, Italy and Australia. A wide variety of the wine selections may be ordered by the glass and CAVE offers a number of brands in large format bottles.

The CAVE menu offers many of the authentic Italian dishes that Chef Luciano Cibelli made famous at Mama’s Cucina Italiana. But Chef Luc and his staff have added many new Mediterranean specialties that reflect his Italian flair.

CAVE entertainment brings a bevy of talented jazz and R&B musicians to the stage. Opening day features San Diego acoustic guitarist Joe Baldino from 7 p.m. to Midnight followed by equally talented San Diego jazz guitarist Jorge Camberos from 7 p.m. to midnight, Sunday, May 24.

Just upstairs (the CAVE is built under it) the new permanent, 2,400-square-foot Starlight Theatre stage provides a weekly concert schedule. Following opening night, Creedence Clearwater Revisited takes the stage at 8 p.m., Friday, May 29. The full Starlight Theatre concert schedule is available at

Luis Rey’s is a 4,200-square-foot casual indoor/outdoor patio lounge and bar that incorporates the scenic mountain views that are unique to Pala. Its menu offers a blend of appetizers from around the U.S. and Mexico and the bar features a wide variety of local craft beers from San Diego and Mexico, craft cocktails and Tequila. Luis Rey’s guests also enjoy live bands performing on stage during weekend evenings and holidays. The Sons of the Coast Riders, a popular Southern California band, will perform from 7 p.m. to midnight tonight and Saturday, May 23. Johnny’s Friends will take the Luis Rey’s stage from 7 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, May 24.

“CAVE, Luis Rey’s and the new outdoor Starlight Theater continue our tradition at Pala of offering unique entertainment to our guests. We anticipate that not only our existing customers will enjoy these new venues but they also will attract new clientele,” Bembenek said.

CAVE Hours of Operation: CAVE restaurant, Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; CAVE lounge, Daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Underground Wine Cave, Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Luis Rey’s Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

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