Las Vegas: A New Spin on Nightlife

Las Vegas: A New Spin on Nightlife


Las Vegas doesn’t have to be about casinos, packed nightclubs and bars with little atmosphere. Beyond the neon lights, crowded sidewalks and themed hotels lay many a gem for those who have a hankering for getting a more “local” experience once the sun goes down. Just north of the main drag, Las Vegas Boulevard, is Fremont Street Experience. Across the street from the illuminated Fremont canopy are three bars that give Las Vegas a different character – Downtown Cocktail Room, Griffin Lounge and Beauty Bar.

Downtown Cocktail Room (known as DCR to the locals) has an unpretentious vibe all its own, blending swank with hip and offering locals and tourists a place to sip some of the most intoxicatingly delicious (double entendre) concoctions created by its resident mixologist/manager, George. On weekends, you can find locals relaxing on the leather couches, sipping absinthe and taking in the decidedly un-Las Vegas scene. Note: Look like a local and get the entrance right the first time – it’s the large, metal door, not the glass next to it, that gets you in.

BeautybarAround the corner from dcr are two other popular haunts – Beauty Bar and Griffin. Opened in 2004, Beauty Bar is another fave among Las Vegans. Inside, salvaged relics from a New Jersey salon sets the mood. Popular with everyone from the tattooed and pierced to the suits, Beauty Bar has taken the popular formula from other cities and created its own identity in Las Vegas. Every Friday (except the first Friday of the month when everyone flocks to the popular arts event downtown), manicurists are on-site to give your fingers a soak and a fresh coat of polish. Inside, a DJ spins a blend of tunes, and outside on the back patio, local and national bands take the stage.

Then there’s Griffin Lounge. This gem features PBR on tap and a jukebox full of music you won’t find on the Strip. The hipster hangout is a perfect place to unwind, regardless of hipster status. Any night of the week you will find locals relishing the neighborhood atmosphere of the dark bar. Grab a seat on one of the leather couches and sip your PBR next to one of the two (!) fireplaces…even if you’re in the dead of summer.

So, next time you are in the city of sin, skip the casino bar, the lines at the nightclubs, and head to Downtown. You’ll save money, hang with the locals, and enjoy a completely different side of Las Vegas.