October 20, 2014: Find Out America’s Top-Grossing Restaurant, the Biggest Music Festival You’ve Never Heard Of, Why E-Sports Could Become a Major Event Category

By Beth Kormanik October 20, 2014, 8:07 AM EDT

1. FIND OUT AMERICA’S TOP-GROSSING RESTAURANT: With $64.6 million in sales in 2013, Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas is the top-grossing restaurant in America. Los Angeles Times: “In the Venetian Hotel right on the Strip, Tao sported an average check of $75 per person, according to the RB rankings. … the national list was dominated mostly by restaurants that are either Vegas party places or steak places. Or both. Following Tao were perennial top-grosser Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami ($35.3 million), the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C. ($26.7 million), Smith &  Wollensky in New York ($25.5 million) and Lavo Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas ($24 million).”

2. THE BIGGEST MUSIC FESTIVAL YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: This week the CMJ Music Marathon comes to New York, a five-day music festival that comprises a roster of 1,200 bands playing at venues across the city. Despite the massive footprint, the event is under the radar compared to other festivals because it focuses on unsigned artists. Think South by Southwest before the mega sponsorships. Forbes: “What’s even more surprising about CMJ’s Music Marathon is how long it has been around. The festival is turning 35 next year, and is looking to shake things up. The company has a lot in the works, from changing the format of the event to bringing back alumni. Tons of now-famous singers, bands, and industry insiders got their start at CMJ, and the future may see many of them being more involved.”

3. WHY E-SPORTS COULD BECOME A MAJOR EVENT CATEGORY: By investing in technology and creating a governing body, the South Korean government has helped launch the popularity of e-sports—professional video gaming competitions—which could explode globally. New York Times: “Time and again, South Korea has provided glimpses of technology-related transformations before they expand globally, including widespread broadband availability and smartphone adoption. The country has also led in professional video game competitions, often called e-sports, creating organized leagues, training well-financed professional teams and filling giant stadiums with frenzied fans to cheer on their favorite players. … Couples going to game clubs is about as common as couples going to the movies.”


MediaDailyNews: “Magazine publisher Bonnier Corp. has announced the acquisition of an event production company, The Promotion Company Inc. & Family Events, signaling a move into exhibitions and conferences catering to a variety of special interests in automotive, fitness, sports, outdoor recreation, and related areas.”


BOSTON:  Union Square Donuts has opened a brick-and-mortar shop at 20 Bow Street. The bakery offers donut delivery on Thursdays and Fridays and provides catering for weddings, meetings, and events. Donut flavors include Maple Bacon, Boston Cream, and Sea-Salted Bourbon Caramel.

CHICAGO:  Cooking Up Change, an event that benefits healthy-eating initiatives in Chicago Public Schools, will take place at Skyline Loft at the Bridgeport Art Center on October 30. At the event, students will prepare healthy meals judged by a panel of local chefs.

LAS VEGAS:  Same-sex marriage is now legal in Las Vegas, but some Elvis-theme chapels are refusing to perform the ceremonies. 8 News Now:

LOS ANGELES:  The Special Olympics World Games 2015 take place in Los Angeles, with the opening ceremony scheduled for July 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It’s expected to draw 80,000 spectators.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Design and Architecture Senior High hosts its seventh annual Taste of Design November 7 at the Moore Building. The theme is “Paint the Town Red.”

NEW YORK:  Skylight Group has opened a new venue, Postmaster's Suite, in the James A. Farley Post Office. The event space did in fact once belong to New York’s postmaster general, and the rooms by McKim, Meade, and White include a 4,000-square-foot ballroom and sitting rooms. It holds about 200 people for receptions.

Hospital for Special Surgery’s annual Autumn Benefit is October 30 at Guastavino’s. Entertainment will be provided by Parkway Soul, a tribute to Motown.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Entertaining a serious foodie? Check out which restaurants chef Alain Ducasse sampled while visiting Toronto. Toronto Star:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Actor Hill Harper will host the first Dancing With the Stars benefit, a Manifest Your Destiny Foundation event planned for January 10 at the Howard Theatre.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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