The bottom level of the Rainbow is the restaurant, The Rainbow Bar and Grill. Upstairs is an exclusive club called "Over the Rainbow". The Over the Rainbow consists of a full bar, dance floor, and a DJ booth. The club is usually reserved for musicians and others to whom the bouncers allow access. It is a very select crowd.
It was originally owned by film director Vincente Minnelli, at the time married to Judy Garland. It quickly became known as a hangout for celebrities of all types. John Belushi ate his last meal (lentil soup) at table #16, and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe met at the Rainbow on a blind date.
In the 1960s and 1970s, it became known as a hangout for rock musicians, especially those of the highest level of celebrity, and those who would follow them including groupies. Notable regulars at the Rainbow in this period include John Lennon, Keith Moon, Grace Slick, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Lizzy Valentine and many others. Even Elvis Presley was known to have occasionally visited the Rainbow. The musical group Rainbow was named after this club.
As musical trends on the Strip changed towards heavy metal in the 1980s, the Rainbow followed suit. Members of Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Guns N' Roses frequented the bar. It was mentioned in a number of songs, such as "Sunset and Babylon" by W.A.S.P. and "Peach Kelli Pop" by Redd Kross, and featured in the videos of "November Rain", "Estranged" and "Don't Cry" by Guns N' Roses. The Rainbow is also featured in the song "Headaches and Heartaches" by Magic Ship
The Club was once frequented by Blackie Dammett, father of Anthony Kiedis. Kiedis later went on to help found the band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In his book "Scar Tissue", Kiedis mentions that he often sat with his father and various members of bands such as Led Zeppelin.
The Rainbow still attracts celebrities, but its clientèle is increasingly aging as fashions have passed it by. The Rainbow has never abandoned its rock 'n roll character. In staying true to its rock 'n roll character, the Rainbow's dance club, Over the Rainbow, still only plays rock music today. This music consists of today's and yesterday's hits and b-sides.
For many years, the owner was Mario Maglieri.
In June 2005 the Rainbow Las Vegas opened, it closed in 2007 and is being relocated to Industrial Boulevard next to Sapphires. It is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2008.