Historic Business of Commercial Center

Commercial Center since its founding on September 11, 1962, by Commercial Center Inc. has long been home to many Fine Las Vegas Entrepreneurs. When you are built by greatness and Visionaries you will be great! Our Founders Jerome “Jerry” Mack, E. Parry Thomas, Irwin Molasky, Sheldon Adelson, Morris Shenker, The Heers & Norcott’s, Ralph Harmon & The Other first 100+ , who invested in the area, knew what they were doing, and it shows as Commercial Center has stood the test of time.

For over 60 years Commercial Center has been a special place for the mom & Pops to thrive, survive and flourish. From the Founding Families of Las Vegas, the Von Tobel’s Home Center in 1967, Vegas Village Circa. 1964, Berthas Fine Home Furnishings & Jewelry Sahara Ave. Circa. 1963, To Lotus of Siam Commerical Center November 1999 it has drawn the finest in small business Visionaries who have experienced Big Success. Commercial Center Las Vegas is known as a place where many got their start in Business in Las Vegas and grew with Great success. Such as the First Al Phillips the Cleaners next White Cross Drugs and Jackies Deli in the Back.

Commercial Center has been the home of hundreds of fledgling entrepreneurs who have tried their hand at making dreams come true. Not for the faint of heart, you must be strong, have faith, courage and tenacity to survive the ups and downs that come with small business ownership.

Today Commercial Center is home to over 150+ small businesses owners trying their hand at living their dreams. Thank You for supporting this Historic Area and Shop Local Small Business of Las Vegas.

Here is a great posting of some of our Businesses over the years.

Commercial Center I grew up in Vegas Baby Facebook Group


Updated 07-30-23

Ok, so I thought it would be a good idea to document in one place the shops and stores that used to be in the Commercial Center on East Sahara. Here’s what I remember: So, let’s see, right off the top was The International Ice Palace which later in life turned into Playland Skating Rink and then a church of some type. Upstairs in The Ice Palace was a Chinese restaurant called Lamm’s. It was also a cocktail lounge for a while too. Next door to that in the dirt lot was The Super Slide. I remember some of the individual business’ but have a lot of gaps.

Down the West side of the mall I remember a school named Learning Foundations, there was a radio station up on the second floor of that section, I’m thinking it was KLAV. Also, a church named Christian Life Community Church. There was also Jim Jack’s Slot Car track and Jeannie Moore’s Arcade in that section. Also, Dana McKay Business College and Benson’s Optometry. Then the West entrance off of State Street. On the corner of that entrance was Buddy’s Health Food & Juice Bar, which later became Rainbow’s End. There was Bob’s Hobby Shop, he was one of the few places in town that sold model rockets, I bought a lot of them there. There was a pet shop next to him named Richland’s Pet Shop & Doggie Circus. They sold Metaframe and Pemco aquariums and were known for their poodle grooming. At the end of the West side of the center was a restaurant called The Spaghetti Factory. I used to ride my bike there and get a spaghetti and meat ball dinner, for a dollar! It later became Macchiaverna’s Restaurant and then in later years became the restaurant/nightclub State Street, owned by Gianni Russo. Right next door to the South I believe was Schulman’s Meats.

Now, moving to the north side, the first business in the corner was Golden Venus, a fitness center for women only. It was always fun to watch the “older women” dressed in their leotards and tights go in there! Next to that was Pat’s Chinese Kitchen. Pat’s was probably the number one place in town responsible for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor!” They wouldn’t card anyone, and served great Polynesian drinks such as Scorpions, Mai Tai’s, Hurricanes, Zombies, Confucius Nightcaps, etc. All to go in styrofoam cups with lids and straws! Wow! The memories of pulling up in the car, drunk, someone pouring out the door and going into Pat’s and coming back in a few minutes with another round! Then back to driving around again. I can remember getting pulled over by the cops, everyone with a drink and wasted and the cops would have us pour them out and “get on home”. That world does not turn anymore. Pat ended up getting busted for child pornography and I really don’t remember what happened to him after that. There is a new Pat’s now on MLK and Vegas Drive I believe, in an old gas station. Not sure if they have a liquor license though. Next to Pat’s was The Cue Club. I didn’t hang there, but my sister did. Somewhere in that stretch on the North side was Sanchez Photo Studio where we would get our school pictures taken in high school. There was Fat Moe’s Bar, George Eifferman’s Gym and then next door to that was First Western Savings. At the end of the North side was a drug store, a White Cross, but in the back was Jackie’s Deli. It was owned by the Fields family. They had great Kosher sandwiches and the best Kosher pickles I ever ate. There were a couple real cool shops called Toys for Men and The Earth Shoe Store. I believe they were also in the North wing, next to the White Cross. There was also a place there called Serge’s Wigs where all the showgirls would go (after they left Golden Venus)

Then there was the North entrance onto Sahara and on the East side was a restaurant called The Wharf. It was originally owned by The Dickenson’s and then by a guy named Jim Talbott who also owned Jay’s Furniture store. Before it was The Wharf, it was Brathendle Original Soup Kettle. They had great chicken soup, but it didn’t last long. There was actually a “street” side and a “mall” side to the buildings that ran down the front of the Commercial Center. The Wharf straddled the street and mall or inside. Next to that on the mall side was Sun Stereo. They had these signs mounted on the wall outside that read “Since 1969”. I admit to taking one off the wall one night after a few too many Scorpions at Pat’s! I still have the sign. I bought my first pair of JBL speakers there, still have them too! I’m thinking that before it was Sun Stereo, it was Tech Stereo, maybe it was after. Next door to Sun was a jewelry store, John Fish Jewelers, they are still there last I knew. Next to that is Tiffany Cleaners. Then there were a few more shops on the street side behind them, Vitorio’s, an Italian restaurant East of The Wharf and next to that was Dana McKay’s Book Store. Then, on the street side there was The Camera Center which I believe later changed into Roxy’s PX Camera Shop. On the mall side there was Jack Slote’s Women’s Apparel, and The Sound Emporium and then in the Northeast corner on both sides was Garhime’s Music store. I bought a lot of LP’s there. On the Sahara side of the center, behind Garhime’s was Aaron Brothers Art Mart. Somewhere in this area of the center was a restaurant/nightclub called Chasen’s, one of those places that served phoney Champagne at extremely high prices! That was the first “sex place” in that corner of the center, now there’s a bunch of them.

Down the East side, I don’t remember much, there was Wild West Stereo and a home appliance store I believe called Ardan’s. There was also Sound Electronics Services in there, which was a stereo-electronics repair facility. Also was a location of Import Audio, which did a lot of automotive stereo installations. There was a traffic school in that stretch which I attended once. The building it was in was called the S.T.& P. Building. In the S.T. & P. building was a business called Vita Plus Industries. Then there was Vegas Village all on its own on the South side, right next to Von Tobel’s lumber. Von Tobel’s fronted Maryland Parkway and is where the current Las Vegas Athletic Club is. Vegas Village was right behind that and fronted Karen Ave. In later years, the Vegas Village building was a farmer’s market for a short time, and then was purchased by The Jackson family. I remember a sign on the building for years that said, Jackson Square and there was a gold star, but the building never opened. On the corner of Vegas Village was Tick Tock Cleaners. On the other side of Vegas Village was The Town Pump Liquor store. I bought my first bottle of booze there when I was 18. It was a bottle of Lemon Hart 151 proof rum! North of Von Tobel’s was Cattlemans’ Steak House, which was formerly Bumbleberry Pies and in front of that, fronting onto Maryland Parkway was R & B Furniture Store. In later years, there was an H. Salt Fish & Chips in there, closer to the corner of Sahara next the Terrible Herbst.

Next to the Town Pump on the South side was a head shop called Sir Williams along with a few other shops. On the back side, facing Karen I remember Carmine’s Villa Pizza, before they moved up on Maryland Parkway. There was also Ray Benjamin’s Standard/Chevron gas station there as well. I have been told by several people that Suzy Creamcheese Boutique was also in there on the South side, but I don’t remember that and have never confirmed it. Notice I have not mentioned any of the stores in the middle because originally they were not there, it was just a unpaved dirt area in the middle, the stores came later. I did see the great Commercial Center Fire (both times) take down the center buildings. There was a deli in there, I think it was called The Commercial Deli. Also, I remember a seafood place called The San Francisco Bay and a steakhouse called The Mine Shaft. I also remember a Mexican seafood place called La Barca that had great fish tacos, and many jewelry stores, including Bernard Minden Jewelers and Williams Jewelers. There was also a steakhouse and sandwich place called The London Broil, I believe that is where one of the fires started. Also in the middle section was The Lobster Trap. Anyway, please fill in the gaps and add your own memories!

Additions: I’m not sure where the following places were located in the center, but I’m adding them based upon other’s suggestions. They Call it Macaroni, a women’s clothing store. ABC Beauty School, The Nevada Mining Company, Jaberwocky, also clothing stores. Also, Bricktop & Boris, Tops ‘N Bottoms, Pass The Word, Casino Clothiers,Carnaby Street, all clothing boutiques.

Small business statistics

What is the success rate of small businesses?

Article from the Chamber of Commerce

Many people are under the impression that small businesses have it quite easy due to the wealth of entrepreneurship in the United States. The reality, however, is that 18% of small businesses fail within their first year, while 50% fail after five years and approximately 65% by their tenth year in business. This information is as per the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

One of the factors in the success rate of small businesses is definitely the geographic location. As of 2019, Michigan, Washington, and Kansas are the three states with the highest rates of business failure, according to information found on Zippia. Massachusetts, Louisiana, and California, on the other hand, have the highest success rates.

The small business’s “industry” is also another major factor in its success rate. The healthcare industry has the highest success rate, which is not surprising, with 60% of small businesses staying afloat beyond their first year. Construction, transportation, and warehousing have the worst rates of success at 30% and 40%, respectively, following the fifth year.

According to a survey conducted by CB insights, one of the major reasons for businesses failing is due to their inability to secure finances as well as running out of money. Additionally, some small businesses go out of business due to their products getting out-competed or becoming obsolete.

What percent of small businesses fail in the first year?

In the United States, around 595,000 businesses fail or close each year. However, on the other hand, 627,000 businesses also open up each year, so while 595,000 may seem like a harsh number, the number of businesses that open up each year offset that number by approximately 32,000. Additionally, 32.5 million small businesses in America currently exist and, consequently, form 99.9% of all US businesses. The average small business failure rate for the first year of operation is 21.9%, and this is estimated to escalate as the years go by. The majority of small businesses or companies are likely to fail in the first three years of operation, so those that manage to stay afloat by the fourth year have done quite well, although not completely out of the woods until they have successfully operated the business for ten years. Even businesses that have stayed afloat for ten years still have a failure rate of 65.7% by the 10th year.