Whatever you want bartender wise, you can find here in Las Vegas. Why? Because everyone comes here to drink, and everyone likes different things to drink. From shitty dive bars that only serve piss beer to the high end gastro-pubs that serve beer in wine glasses and have names for their beer pourers. Anyway, we’ve previously mentioned the best bartenders in Las Vegas, and even the best Beer Adventures in Las Vegas, so what is left?
One thing magazines love to do, rightfully so, is give their advertisers awards. It’s why the LVRJ makes up an estimated 10,000 different categories for restaurants, so that all their advertisers can get an award.
Vegas Seven, known for being the best magazine to take a shit while reading, has their 5th Annual Bar Hall of Game. While there isn’t an actual “BAR HALL OF FAME,” the title gives it an unusual amount of gravitas, and since we like Vegas Seven, we’d like to give our opinions.
Here’s who we believe should win, regardless of advertising, based on the choices that they have, and see if we can’t tilt the voting a little to be realistic.
Best Dive Bar:
Sand Dollar Lounge
Between getting herpes from the seats at Moon Doggies or being shanked by one of their employees, and Sand Dollar lounge, I would choose Sand Dollar. It’s been around since 1976, and it’s one a classic Vegas bar, for anyone who really loves bars. Even though they were “Bar Rescued” change names, and changed back, and then had two names, sued Bar Rescue they were sold and the new owner said, “Staying true to the roots of the bar, we are going to focus on live entertainment. Having great bands here nightly is going to be our main objective. We want you to know that no matter what night you are looking for something to do, you will find the best music in town. During the week we will have many recurring events including things like our popular open mic night, funk jam and other local bands. On the weekends we will be booking a variety of local and touring acts, featuring different genres like hard rock, classic rock, blues, reggae, ska and much more. You can always take a look at our schedule to see who is playing throughout the month.”
Sounds like another word for “really shitty dive bar.” No idea what these are, so really won’t give my opinion. One of them isn’t even in Las Vegas, strangely enough. Vote for whomever you want. I’m not sure anyone under 80 is going to any of bars listed. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve even seen any of the bars listed, let alone been to them. This is a “don’t care category” to obviously appease someone.
Strip and Environs
Only choice here, sorry, is the Mandarin Bar. All the way up on the 23rd floor of the ultra-posh Mandarin Oriental, this sexy lounge serves the best handmade cocktails we’ve ever seen. With spectacular views high-above the Las Vegas Strip, the Mandarin Bar is an elegant hot-spot for a night on the town. The interior offers a contrasting dark intimate mood with billowing fabric panels shimmering in the light. Discreet seating arrangements give guests privacy and comfort. Our mixologists create cocktails according to the flavor and sensation you are looking for. A VIP section with a sliding partition and separate service is available by reservation.
Best Downtown Bar.
Ignoring that Frankie’s Tiki Room isn’t “Downtown,” i have to go with Artifice. Not even sure why they put Frankie’s which is on the wrong side of Vegas, “downtown” but I guess was to include it in something? Described as ”a creative drink menu served in dark, bohemian lounge featuring dance floor, live bands & diverse DJs,” this place has a cool vibe and a good selection of unique wines. Signature drinks include; The Warhol, Taming of the Shrew, and Nicky Free. Strangely enough, the voting criteria says that all bars must be open for 5 years, but Artifice opened less than 4 years ago, I believe. Still, it has my vote because the bars I really like aren’t on this.
Born and Raised
Born and Raised is easily the best of the choices here, with the best bar food year after year. Any other place listed doesn’t even come close to the history this Bar has created on the West Side. Born and Raised or B.A.R. located in the southwest area of town is a true locals spot created by real locals. Being a native to Las Vegas myself I can truly say they did it right. An upscale lounge feel that has 32 flat screens to ensure everyone has the best seat in the house. Their menu matches the decor, from a seared ahi tuna salad to slider creations you have never heard but glad you tried.