The holidays are a great time for trying out a cocktail in Las Vegas. So it’s a good thing a slew of new bars have been opening on the Strip and in downtown. They span a wide variety of themes and atmospheres – ranging from the elegance of a high-end Champagne lounge to the grittiness of a roadie’s dive joint. Here are the highlights!
Recently opened bars
• The Boozery and Bin 702
These two new bars are debuting today as part of Downtown Container Park, a unique retail center spearheaded by the Downtown Project, a community revitalization group funded by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. All of the businesses in Downtown Container Park are housed in repurposed shipping containers or modular cubes. The Boozery is a playful joint that serves a selection of draught beers. It’s the latest concept by Michael Cornthwaite, the owner of the popular Downtown Cocktail Room. Bin 702, on the other hand, is targeted to oenophiles. It offers specially selected wines on tap and in bottles, complemented by light eats like paninis, salads and cheese platters.
• Fizz Las Vegas
Interested in stepping up your beverage game? This $3 million lounge is perfect for those who want to pop the bubbly. Elton John’s longtime partner David Furnish, in collaboration with Marvel Management and Marketing (M3), launched Fizz Las Vegas last week. A place for grownups, its décor boasts a sparkly interior filled with elegant chandeliers, cream-colored leather, faux fur and cheetah print. Situated a short stroll away from The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, you can enjoy a glass of high-end Champagne or a couture cocktail before or after seeing a show. The food, under the guidance of John’s personal chef, includes an array of caviar, charcuterie and small plates.
• Nacho Daddy
This Henderson-based American restaurant with Mexican flair officially opened a second location last week in downtown Las Vegas at 113 N. Fourth St. In addition to a dining room that dishes up gourmet nachos and supreme tacos, you’ll find a 38-seat square bar. It’s positioned in front of a wall-sized flat-screen TV, which makes this a great spot for catching the day’s big games. While you’re watching, you can choose from a large assortment of beers on tap or by the bottle. Nacho Daddy is also proud of having a diverse tequila selection as well as a margarita recipe that “has been attempted by many and duplicated by none.”
• Art Bar, Furnace and Mob Bar
All three of these bars can be found in the recently opened Downtown Grand on Third Street just a block north of Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. Art Bar and Furnace are brand new undertakings while the Mob Bar has just moved into new digs.
Art Bar is adjacent to the hotel’s lobby. When you enter, be sure to look up. The ceiling is covered with paintings that you can actually purchase. Among the furnishings are plenty of overstuffed chairs, so you can relax, put your head back and gaze above while sipping on a masterpiece of a cocktail. Here are three drinks not to miss: the Van Gogh Espresso Martini, the Guggenheim Manhattan and the Monet, made with Hennessy cognac, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup.
Furnace is situated at the center of Downtown Grand’s gaming floor. Open 24/7, it transcends the typical casino bar atmosphere with chic industrial décor (check out the stunning crystal chandeliers encased in metal spheres!) and a high-energy vibe.
The Mob Bar was originally located on Third Street, but it has moved into the northeast corner of Downtown Grand’s Casino Tower, putting it almost directly across the street from the front door of The Mob Museum. No place does Prohibition-era decadence better than the Mob Bar. The secretive spirit of the 1920s is alive and well in this swanky, speakeasy-style setting that features brick accents and bottles hanging from the ceiling. The Mob Bar takes mixology seriously too. So don’t be a wiseguy…when you arrive, order one of these unique mafia-approved cocktails: the Smoking Gun (containing Smirnoff vodka, Chambord, sweet and sour mix and grapefruit juice) or the Bloody Italian (made with Absolut vodka, Italian seasoning, garlic, paprika and tomato juice).
• Vince Neil’s Party Bus Bar
Vince Neil has been busy turning up the volume at Circus Circus. In early November, the Mötley Crüe front man opened Vince Neil’s Party Bus Bar, which can be found at the resort just upstairs from Vince Neil’s Tatuado Eat-Drink-Party! restaurant. His affinity for tattoos and tequila plays a big role in the gritty look of this joint. And if you’ve ever wondered what a bar made out of a full-size bus looks like, then this is the place to go. Revelers at Vince Neil’s Party Bus Bar will also get a taste of the rock star lifestyle thanks to flair bartenders, “party girls” who dole out shots, occasional jam sessions and performances by tribute bands.
• Bier Garten
Expect this German-style beer garden to debut at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in December 2013. Fashioned around a reverence for “barley and hops and the glorious liquid they produce,” Bier Garten will offer a combination of craft beers and artisan sausages. In addition to an indoor area, it will sport rustic wooden tables and lush greenery in its open-air “backyard,” which fronts Fremont Street Experience. Guests can chill there with a brew, enjoy occasional live music or play games like ping-pong.
• Double Barrel Roadhouse
This project by SBE, a premier hospitality and nightlife group, will transform the façade of the Monte Carlo as well as connect to neighboring New York-New York through a pedestrian-oriented shopping plaza. Dedicated to American comfort food, beer and strong drinks, Double Barrel Roadhouse will feature lots of live music. The interactive staff will also engage patrons with custom “bar rituals.” Plus, you may see the sexy “DB Girls” strutting their stuff from elevated catwalks surrounding the bars. Although Double Barrel Roadhouse won’t be open in 2013, it should be at the top of your must-visit list for spring 2014.