Let’s face it: It’s not that difficult to bar crawl in Las Vegas. Simply ricochet through hotel bars until you find yourself at the other end of the strip. Or prison. Whichever comes first. However, it is surprisingly difficult to barhop when you are unable or unwilling to suffer through the infinite clubby cliques on the strip to pay 17 dollars for a martini. As always, we're here to help with a bar crawl that will take you off the beaten path and leave you, well, just as broke, but twice as drunk!
To Get Your Hula On
Where: Frankie's Tiki Room, 1712 West Charleston Boulevard (702) 385-3110
To call Frankie’s kitschy would be like calling the Strip at night “kinda bright.” This bar is a love letter to every tiki bar that’s ever been open, and possibly one of the best so far. Expect to see more tikis than you thought one bar could have, rum-centric drinks being thrown around in garish tiki mugs, and Las Vegas natives winding down from or just getting ready for, work. Make sure to stop by at 4 in the morning for late-night cinema and free popcorn!
Because Some Things Are Better Left Unchanged
Where: Dino's Lounge, 1516 South Las Vegas Boulevard (702) 382-3894
Started in the early 1960s, Dino’s Lounge is a local Las Vegas institution, and while it’s in the same city as the glitzy hotel/casinos, this is about as far from the bright lights and velvet ropes as you can get. The bar has been in Dino’s (no, not that Dino) family for three generations now, and shows no signs of stopping. On top of all the history add on the fact that the karaoke here is beyond par and Dino’s becomes a must-visit for anyone looking to get off the typical strip.
For a Manicure to Go With Your Blackout
Where: Beauty Bar, 517 Fremont St #150 (702) 598-1965
This kitschy bar (and functioning salon!) feels like it has been transported in time from the grooving Sixties, with the look of a nail salon frequented by the cast of Grease. Except in this bar (Salon? Balon? Salar?) Zuko’s already got a buzz going off of cocktails with names like the Platinum Blonde and the Prell. Come in for a manicure, stay for a show, and be sure not to miss “Nickel F*ckin’ Beer Night” every Tuesday.
For When You’re Feeling Not Entirely Uncool
Where: Downtown Cocktail Room, 111 South Las Vegas Boulevard (702) 880-3696
At the Downtown Cocktail Room there is something relatively unique to the Las Vegas bar scene: a laid-back, underground, chic, and very cool environment that opts for discreet low lights and an unassuming entrance. Here, you can find the resurgence of craft cocktails in Las Vegas off the hotel scene, and you can find some of the coolest locals to share them with.
Where: The Griffin, 511 Fremont Street (702) 382-0577
Settled in the once-mighty Fremont Street, The Griffin is making waves as the new cool spot to check out, and turning heads for being cooler than most of the spots on the strip. This locals-favored bar has an uber-swank feel to it with red-and-black leather couches in close proximity to the fireplaces set up throughout the bar. Mosey up to the bar and grab a mixed drink if you want (the pomegranate martini is regularly praised by patrons), but the real value is ordering your favorite liquor right out of the bottle and getting “The Griffin Pour,” which will end with you tipping extra, then tipping over.