Victor Drai (born July 25, 1947) is a Moroccan-Franco American[1][2] nightclub owner, entrepreneur and film producer.[3] Drai rose to prominence in the 1980s, producing the movies The Woman in Red and Weekend at Bernie's, before leaving the industry to open a string of high-profile restaurants and nightclubs.[4][5][6]

Victor Drai
Born (1947-07-25) July 25, 1947 (age 74)
NationalityMoroccan
Franco American
OccupationNightclub owner, film producer
Spouse(s)
(m. 1984; div. 1986)

(m. 1990; div. 1998)

Yolanda Krupiarz
(after 2016)
Partner(s)Jacqueline Bisset
(1973–1980)
Children3
Websitedraisgroup.com

Early lifeEdit

Drai was born in Casablanca, Morocco, to Jewish parents. He dropped out of school at 14 to move to Paris, France, with his family. In 1968, he launched a ready-to-wear line called Vicadam, which featured velvet jeans.[7]

In 1974, Drai met Jacqueline Bisset on a flight from Los Angeles to Paris and the two began a transatlantic relationship.[8] Drai sold the fashion line and relocated to the United States to be with Bisset and began a new business flipping Beverly Hills mansions.[7]

Film productionEdit

In 1982, Drai and then-girlfriend Kelly Le Brock traveled to Paris where they saw the movie Pardon Mon Affaire. With the help of David Begelman, Drai produced a remake titled The Woman in Red which was released in 1984.[9] Based on that movie's success, Drai then produced a series of comedies including another French remake, The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), and Weekend at Bernie's (1989).[4][10][11]

In 1985, Victor Drai Productions had set up a two-year, non-exclusive pact with MGM/UA Entertainment Co., whereas the first of the film projects were set up for the start of the fall of 1985, and represent the directorial debut of actor Henry Winkler.[12]

Restaurants and nightclubsEdit

In 1993, Drai made the decision to open a restaurant, which he felt would be a more family-friendly career.[4] He contracted French chef Claude Segal, who'd replaced Wolfgang Puck at the upscale restaurant Ma Maison in 1985.[13] With Segal, he opened the restaurant Drai's at 730 La Cienega Boulevard on Restaurant Row in Los Angeles.

In 1995, Drai opened a second Drai's in Las Vegas. A couple years later, he started an afterhours club, "That started everything", Drai stated.[14] In December 2013, he opened a steakhouse on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles called Rare by Drai's.[15]

In March 2010, he opened Drai's Hollywood, a rooftop restaurant, pool and nightclub at the W Hotel in Hollywood.[16]

In 1997, Drai opened Drai's restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.[17] Two years later, Drai added a nightclub to the restaurant, re-branding it Drai's After Hours.[18] In Vegas Seven's 2012 Nightclub Awards, Drai's After Hours won "Best Place to Disappear".[19] He currently operates Drai's After Hours nightclub at The Cromwell Las Vegas.[20]

In 2007, Drai took over La Bete at Wynn Las Vegas and re-branded it Tryst.[21] In 2012, Vegas Seven's Nightclub Awards awarded Tryst "Best Place to Impress".[22] In 2013, Tryst placed #8 in the Top 100 Nightclub & Bar Roster for Nightclub & Bar Magazine.[23]

Drai opened XS nightclub at Encore Las Vegas in 2008.[24] In 2010, XS won Nightclub & Bar Awards for "New Club of the Year" and "Mega-Club of the Year.[25] " In 2013, Nightclub & Bar Magazine awarded XS the "Mega-Club of the Year.[26] " Technomic named XS number one nightclub in the US for 2010.[27] In 2010, Drai was bought out of his managing partnership at Steve Wynn's Tryst and XS to pursue other endeavors.[28]

On March 2, 2017, he opened Drai's Vancouver which was located inside Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver.[29] The club closed down in September 2018.[30]

He opened Drai's Beachclub & Nightclub,[31] on Memorial Day Weekend 2014, at The Cromwell Las Vegas.[32] This 65,000-square-foot venue has a party pool and an indoor/outdoor club spread out over two levels on top of the new Cromwell Hotel.[33] Drai also opened a beach club and a nightclub in Dubai and plans to expand his empire to other cities.[34]

Drai is one of sixteen professionals listed in the Nightclub Hall Of Fame.[35]

Personal lifeEdit

Drai was a romantic and business partner of Jacqueline Bisset's from 1973 to 1980.[36][self-published source] Drai has been married three times. In 1984, he married Kelly Le Brock; their marriage ended two years later in 1986. His second marriage was in 1990 to Loryn Locklin. On April 24, 2016, he married his third wife, Yolanda Krupiarz.[37] Drai has one son, Atlas, and three daughters, Serenity, October and Cypher.

FilmographyEdit

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.

FilmEdit

Year Film Credit
1984 The Woman in Red
1985 The Man with One Red Shoe
The Bride
1989 Weekend at Bernie's
1992 Folks!
1993 Weekend at Bernie's II
2016 The Last Film Festival Co-producer
As an actor
Year Film Role
1997 An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Himself

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Welkos, Robert (July 7, 1994). "Drai's Restaurant: Parlez-Vous le Show Biz? : Industry: Hollywood powerbrokers flock to Victor Drai's West Hollywood restaurant. But is it for the former producer's Southern France-style food?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Weston, Jay (December 17, 2013). "Rare by Drai's Opens on Sunset Plaza Drive". The Huffington Post. Rare by Drai's Opens on Sunset Plaza Drive. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Clarke, Norm. "NORM Q&A: Nightclub mogul Victor Drai sets sights on new Strip venture". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Kaplan, Michael (February 27, 2014). "Vegas' After-Hours King Makes a Comeback". VEGAS Magazine. Niche Media LLC. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Odell, Kat (July 2013). "Drai's Restaurant at W Hollywood Shutters, Will Relocate". Eater LA. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Leach, Robin (March 5, 2014). "Photos: Victor Drai's at Cromwell will be 'the most beautiful nightclub you have ever seen'". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Windeler, Robert (August 1, 1977). "Out of the Shadows". People Magazine. Vol. 8, no. 5. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Lipson, Larry. "Drai's Turns Hollywood Clout Into Meaty Success". The Daily News. No. 1996. The Free Library. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Archerd, Army (August 9, 1995). "Begelman's suicide shocks, saddens friends". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Victor Drai". IMDb. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  11. ^ Sweeney, Louise (September 17, 1984). "Film star Tom Hanks: having fun making movies filled with mirth". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  12. ^ "Drai Prods. Enter Two-Year Feature Pact with MGM/UA". Variety. June 19, 1985. p. 3.
  13. ^ Parsons, Russ (November 4, 2011). "Longtime chef Claude Segal dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "Victor Drai, Nightlife Impresario Behind Vegas Clubs Tryst, XS, Bringing New Concept to BLT Space". Wehoville.com. August 19, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  15. ^ Chiao, Christine. "Rare by Drai's, a New Steakhouse in West Hollywood, Now Open". Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  16. ^ "Vegas Debauchery on a Hollywood Rooftop". UrbanDaddy.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "Drai's (Restaurant)". Vegas.Napkinnights.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  18. ^ "Drai's After Hours - The Best After Hours Club in Las Vegas". Drai's After Hours - The Best Las Vegas After Hours.
  19. ^ "Best Place to Disappear: Drai's After hours". Vegas Seven. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  20. ^ Wynn Las Vegas, Victor Drai end partnership Amanda Finnegan August 27, 2010. Las Vegas Weekly.
  21. ^ Elyzabeth, Michele. "Victor Drai: He Did It His Way". LATF The Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  22. ^ "2012 Nighclub Awards". Vegas Seven. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  23. ^ "Presenting the 2013 Top 100 NCB Top 10 Profiles". Nightclub & Bar Magazine. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Leach, Robin. "Photos: Victor Drai's at Cromwell will be 'the most beautiful nightclub you have ever seen'". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  25. ^ Woodman, Xania (February 3, 2010). "XS TAKES HOME TWO NIGHTCLUB & BAR AWARDS". Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  26. ^ "2013 Nightclub & Bar Award Winners Announced". Nightclub & Bar Magazine. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  27. ^ Clarke, Norm (February 7, 2010). "Wynn Las Vegas club named No. 1". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  28. ^ Odell, Kat (August 27, 2010). "Victor Drai and Steve Wynn Part Ways: Waits Brothers at Helm of Wynn's Nightlife Empire". Eater LA. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  29. ^ "Drai's Vancouver, the city's newest ultra lounge, will make its grand entrance into Vancouver's nightlife scene | Mar 2, 2017". March 6, 2017.
  30. ^ "Vegas Goodbye, Drai's Vancouver Nightclub Shuts Down Unexpectedly". 604 Now. September 5, 2018.
  31. ^ "Drai's Beachclub & Nightclub | The Best Club in Las Vegas". Drai's - The Best Las Vegas Nightclub.
  32. ^ Medved, Matt (April 10, 2014). "Drai's Beach Club & Night Club Las Vegas Announces Eric Prydz and More as First Residents: Exclusive". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  33. ^ Feldberg, Sarah (February 18, 2014). "DRAI'S BEACH CLUB AND NIGHTCLUB WILL BE MORE THAN A 'MUSIC VENUE FOR MILLION-DOLLAR DJS'". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  34. ^ Dobson, Jim. "Vegas Nightlife King Victor Drai And Son Dustin Take The Drai's Club Brand Worldwide". Forbes.
  35. ^ "Nightclub Hall of Fame Inductee Victor Drai".
  36. ^ Freden, Marc (2010). Really!?!: A Memoir and Other Observations from a Man Who's Lived Life "Not Quite Famous Enough". [S.l.]: Xlibris Corp. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-1450073677. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  37. ^ https://lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2016/apr/25/victor-drai-weds-yolanda-krupiarz--atop-cromwell-/,

External linksEdit