Tourists go on a Tour de Force trying to experience the hundreds of bars up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Most of them have no shame in their game (this is Vegas after all) and see nothing wrong with drinking before noon.
Precariously missing in the Las Vegas nightlife scene, though, is a bevy of official pub crawls. While many people may attempt to run an impromptu crawl or can be found literally crawling out of a bar at 4 a.m., there is only one in town.
The Downtown Pub Crawl captures all the excitement of the local nightlife scene in six stops with an easy to swallow $20 price tag at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. A night sure to go down in infamy takes guests through Hennessey’s, Gold Spike, Sidebar, Hogs and Heifers, Mickie Finnz and Las Vegas Saloon where a tall cold one — or short hard one — awaits you at each stop.
The debauchery begins at Hennessey’s where you’ll quickly find what kind of a night you’re in for. After paying your way into the party, you are asked to pick a name for your stick-on name tag. This doesn’t mean you’re actual name and gives you chance to be creative, often in a PG-13 and up matter. Some of the names we’ve seen that are fit for print are Dirty Panties, Stiltz, Princess, Awesome and a couple who combined to have “25 years to life,” to describe their marriage in prison terms.
You are then given a book of cards that will be your passport to drinking for the rest of the night. Each card has a corresponding logo for each bar and there is also a coupon for half off your entree at Hennessey’s and half off appetizers at Las Vegas Saloon. We suggest grabbing a bite to eat here if you haven’t already, there’s nothing more embarrassing than being too trashed to finish a six-stop pub crawl.
The party train doesn’t leave the station until about 8 p.m., which could mean 8:15 p.m. or later, giving you plenty of time to finish your drink and food. You’ll find out that the schedule is more of a suggestion than a hard and true fact.
Upon leaving Hennessey’s, you’ll be led down this dimly-lit walkway, but you’re not being led to your death, just the Gold Spike. The casino bar isn’t the haven of fun that you’ll find at the other bars, but it’s good place to get geared up for the rest of the night.
Up the street from Gold Spike are your next two stops: Sidebar and Hogs and Heifers. These two joints couldn’t be any different from each other. Sidebar is a throwback bar where you can expect to find a well-dressed bartender behind the bar (and an attractive female for good measure, it is Las Vegas) ready to pour some of the best libations in town.
Odds are your fellow crawlers will take over the entire bar here. We recommend being among the first to the bar to place your order or you may be in for a wait. If you’re in a group, you may want to grab one of the tables to the right of the entrance.
Two doors over is Hogs and Heifers where a happy looking bald man the size of Saturn will greet you. As far as we can tell, he’s just there for the intimidation factor and to ID patrons, but we’re not pressing our luck.
Anyway, this is where your party should get kicked up about a thousand notches. Hogs and Heifers is a grittier version of Coyote Ugly, complete with at least a hundred donated bras hanging above the bar and a photo booth where most people feel the urge to suddenly lose clothes before taking their photos. You are also welcome to take said naughty photos and post them to the wall nearby.
And it wouldn’t live up to its reputation without a few women ready to jump on the bar to dance and get up the courage to show their assets to the whole crowd. The bartenders tend to keep the party atmosphere hopping with a loud horn and bikini tops.
It might be hard to peel yourself away from this bar, which for some reason seems to be the longest stay on the whole crawl, but there are two more stops.
Mickie Finnz sits right next to Hennessey’s, your starting point. This bar is far tamer than Hogs and Heifers, but the live band should help even that out. The island theme of Mickie Finnz may get you in the mood for something fruity, but if one drink here isn’t enough for you we suggest grabbing a 60-ounce beer — you even get to take home the glass.
Up the escalator is the final stop of the night. Las Vegas Saloon isn’t quite the tough and rowdy place the name would indicate, but there are a few surprises here. First, there is a live band and plenty of room to dance. There’s also a mechanical bull and after six stops you should have worked up the courage to try it.
And last but not least, no pub crawl is complete without stripper poles. There are four stages on the right side of the bar where you or that hottie you’ve been checking out can work the pole like a pro.
When your night is through the recap should include some of the following: you gained some friends, you lost some friends, you danced somewhere and, most of all, you found a new reason to come to Vegas on the third Thursday of each month.