Vegas is a town full of excess – but if you really want to make the most of your visit, don’t just hit the first bar you find. We’ve come up with a shortlist of Vegas’ quirkier venues – if you’re looking to be impressed, you won’t go wrong at any of the below spots!
3708 South Las Vegas Boulevard (within The Cosmopolitan Hotel)
Start off somewhere glitzy – but also a little offbeat. Located at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, the Chandelier has two conventional levels – and suspended between the two, an elephantine, elegant lampshade that customers can actually hang out inside. And with cocktails like Becky With The Good Hair and Forbidden Fruit, the drinks, as well as the décor, have clearly been designed with Instagram-worthiness in mind.
The bar owners understand how to create a buzz, too – the Verbena isn’t even mentioned on the drinks menu, but it’s something of a signature drink here. Complete with a flower that you eat before drinking, the daisy tastes akin to licking an electrical socket. Apparently, it’s all part of the experience…
The Mermaid Lounge
3333 Blue Diamond Road
If chewing foul flowers to get your kicks doesn’t appeal, perhaps it’s time to get a little more offbeat. This exercise in aquamarine insanity features a fairly standard bar – except for the colossal saltwater aquarium, which hosts a range of tropical fish as well as, yep, mermaids.
This family-friendly show might sound kitsch, but we have to admit there’s also something quite charming about it. If you’re looking to stay a while, there’s a decent selection of ocean-themed eats – the fish tacos are especially tasty.
Frankie’s Tiki Room
1712 West Charleston Boulevard
Tiki bars used to be a lot more popular in the previous century; the theme is based on the culture Polynesian islands like Tahiti and Hawaii, which basically means tropical cocktails and ‘tiki god’ carvings and masks – if you’ve ever played the videogame Crash Bandicoot, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Because tiki bars are relative rarities in this day and age, they’ve got plenty of novelty value – and Frankie’s is one of the more notable examples. As is de rigeur for Vegas, you can gamble here while you drink (video poker, blackjack, keno and slots), and the combination of quirky décor and surf-pop background music makes for a heady mix. Garish but great fun, this joint is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Downtown Cocktail Room
111 Las Vegas Boulevard South
If Frankie’s feels a little too lurid, Downtown offers a more subtle look. Supposedly a ‘secret’ bar, this place isn’t actually too hard to find (there’s a neon sign outside, after all), even if you’ll need to look out for the concealed entrance – the door looks like bronze panelling, but give it a push and it’ll give way for you to enter. Once inside you’ll find low key house music DJs providing an unobtrusive soundtrack, and a sophisticated but relaxed vibe that’s perfect for hanging out in. One slightly unnerving quirk – the toilet stalls feature one-way mirrors, meaning you can see who’s waiting outside, though they can’t see you.
But what makes this place so popular with local lounge lizards is that list of cocktails; the old favourites have rarely tasted more refreshing, while there’s also a whole heap of originals that are updated on a seasonal basis. Where else are you going to find a libation that pays alcoholic tribute to Ghostbusters?
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