Denny's has now been open for around two weeks and is still a bit of a work in progress, but is grillin' it 24/7 for downtown's faithful. Luckily, most of the work remaining is on the outdoor patio and the yellow caution tape blends in nicely with the school bus, spider-webby design up top.
Expecting a quick Moon over My Hammy and out, we quickly realized this is not your grandmother's Denny's. First off, have we not been to Denny's in a while or are the menus usually coated in plastic strong enough to survive a nuclear blast? At Denny's on Fremont (it already sounds fancier, doesn't it?), there is not one, not two, but three menus... enclosed in metal binders.
Of course, the Drinks menu caught our eye, right away. As mentioned, Denny's on Fremont (diggin' it, yet?) has a full bar and, therefore, a cocktail menu. The bar itself is an innovative design that places additional bar stools in the center rather than bar stock, essentially doubling the amount of bar seating. Staff informed us that a couple
rogue non-franchisee locations have bars but, officially, this is the only spot sanctioned by Denny's to get yer drink on. Don't quote us on those exact details, we were focused on the fact there were drinks at Denny's (on Fremont) and chances are you haven't been to a Denny's (not on Fremont) that has a bar, either.
Our fingers did the walking to a couple of the featured cocktails: the Grand Slamosa (see what they did there!) with champagne, OJ, and Grand Marnier for that added oomph - the menu's words, not ours, but accurate. A Bloody Good Mary takes the everyday bloody and adds Bacon Vodka before garnishing with a celery stalk, lime, actual strip of bacon and sidecar of horseradish. The Grand Slamosa costs $6.50 and the Bloody Good Mary $6.
The food menu, we're told, contains items specific to Las Vegas but once we spotted the Fried Cheese Melt (grilled cheese stuffed with four mozzarella sticks on sourdough for $4), naked showgirls could've been on the menu and not been noticed. Four dollars for a grilled cheese and mozzarella sticks that can be eaten at the same time? Put a doctor on call and order us two stat.
The aforementioned wedding chapel isn't planned to open until next year, but the inside word is we might be able to add "if at all" to that. The small space is finished, but currently furnished with diner booths. So, either the seating will need to be ripped out within the next few months or wedding officials plan to stand on a table while bride, groom and a couple witnesses take their places in a booth. For better or worse, there isn't room for many more guests within that immediate space. But, there are (rather excellent, actually) wedding photos of a groom's escape and a bride pushing a getaway car in cowboy boots so there's that, at least.
It just wouldn't be a Vegas experience without a chance to commemorate it with take home souvenirs and Denny's delivers in that area, too. T-shirts ($19.99), hats ($7.99), playing cards, coasters, coffee mugs, hangover kits ($14.99) and even diner bells ($4.99) are available to purchase.
But, of course, no Vegas experience is complete without a picture to prove it. Denny's photo booth is standing by and waiting for your mug and caption.
Denny's on Fremont (you'll be saying it, too) is unlike any other Denny's we've been in. And, as it is brand spanking canary new, it's sparkly clean and worth checking out. The sparkle may last much longer than we'd expect as our ambitious super waiter Steve spent his spare time (between making more Grand Slamosas) shining the reflective bases of the bar stools that were already pretty mirror-like. When's the last time you saw someone on their hands and knees at Denny's that you didn't label a train wreck? We thought so.
Denny's... on Fremont is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just like every other Denny's. But, yet not just like every other Denny's. This isn't a one and done for us, we'll actually be back to Denny's on Fremont with $4 in hand. Okay, make that $10.50, plus tip.