Your correspondent had the good fortune to pop over to Las Vegas for a couple of days. It has never appealed as I’m not a casino guy, but any how I ended up there and used the evenings to explore what turned out to be a vibrant beer and bar culture. My first Vegas beer was had at Sin City Brewing‘s Planet Hollywood outlet. Sin City has five outlets, including a large one at the Venetian. To be honest I think the beer is a front for a diverse but singularly themed merchandise. The beer’s OK, the single entendre of the label and name brings in the punters. My barmaid was very helpful though and pointed me in the direction of two dive bars about a mile off the Strip and in an area known the Fruit Loop.
On the way I did a wander through the Hard Rock casino and stumbled across a Goose Island Bar. I wish I hadn’t as the barman couldn’t have been less interested, but the Green Line IPA ok. Far more animated and informative was the German fraulein at the Hofbrauhaus (where apparently they spank you with paddles). She was very enthusiastic about the tips give to me about the Dive Bars, so I downed my dunkel and pushed on.
The two dive bars nominated are both listed as being on Paradise Road, but are in a car park just off Paradise Road. Both the Office and the Double Down Saloon have modest entries but it is a little like the Tardis with a small door opening to two Aladdin’s Caves of booze fuelled fun that never closes. I visited the Office Bar first. This is a locals bar that focuses on sports, beer and booze. The bar is long and the bar staff friendly and quick. The tap list is an eclectic mix ranging from Heineken and Dos Equus to a 10% Imperial Brown Ale from a local Las Vegas brewer. I could have stayed all evening hearing the loud argumentative banter.
The Double Down Saloon is an institution having just celebrated its 25th birthday. It is as dark a pub as I have been in. Every inch of the walls and ceilings is covered with memorabilia collected over the years and hand drawn posters advising the latest crazy specials. Double Down is proudly “anti-Vegas for the lunatic fringe”. The beers are classic throwbacks with cans of Genessee and Olympia available. It is also the self proclaimed founder of the “Bacon Martini”. Whilst Double Down might be anti-Vegas, you can’t escape the gambling and video blackjack screens are built into the bar. It is loud but not punishingly so. A must do in Vegas.
The Office Bar: 4608 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada
Double Down Saloon: 4640 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada