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Burger War On The Strip: Fatburger's Fat Bar vs. Hipster Metro McDonald's

April 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM | by | Comments (7)

News of McDonald's launching a super-sized, über-cool Metro McDonald's on The Strip overshadowed the soft launch of a burger rival's notch-kicking experiment not too far down the street. We'll get to the wild-style graffiti look of the new McDonald's in a moment. First, Vegas favorite Fatburger, the open 24 hours mainstay opposite the Monte Carlo, has gone all in this summer and created Fat Bar. A 24-hour bar where you can sip and order from the Fatburger menu. We took an afternoon saunter to see how it was all coming along.

A very nice young lady was handing out 2-for-1 drink tickets on The Strip, but most folks were confused by the offer. From our gallery you'll see that Fat Bar isn't exactly shy in appearance. It was just rather a surprise to see a bar that far out into the street, and in that area. It's kind of like the Harley Davidson Cafe set-up. Inside, um, the outside, you get a circular bar, TVs, misters and a super friendly staff. There's frozen drinks, the usual bar stock, but nothing fancy like a mojito. But, you get the opportunity to order chili cheese fries while you gawk at The Strip.

This was our view. Folks dressed as Elvis and Transformers walked by. It's preferable to facing the other direction, which is not as fun.

This should be a great place to rest for a while. The original Fatburger restaurant is still cooking along nicely, if you prefer to chill inside. Although, on the day we visited the power went out and we all had to make do with paying cash and drinking from cans as the draft and cash register went south. Everyone still had fun.

With the promise of music and the lights getting a little flashier, Fat Bar might look to you like an oasis in the distance after a long night. Just don't jaywalk across Las Vegas Boulevard to get there, people. Don't. You'll need to walk all the way past Monte Carlo to cross at the lights. Look for the drunk Homer Simpson. Really.

Even before the advent of this new and approved add-on, Fatburger was situated EXACTLY NEXT DOOR to a McDonald's. Which we always thought a bold demonstration of capitalist chutzpah. Now, McDonald's has raised the stakes (and the conventional notion of a fast food venture) with the launch of their Metro McDonald's. And, right down the road. Drama! Let's go check that place out.

So, the next contender in the burger flippin' turf war sits downstairs in the Walgreen's complex on Harmon. (Hey, Fatburger's right next door to a Walgreens, too. What's up with that?) The Metro McDonald's is adjacent to the future site of a Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Construction is currently hiding the place so you might not have noticed it. The look, design, furniture all transcend the usual Mickey D's. (Although we miss the the infamous New York City one, featuring musicians playing a real piano in the resto. They were very good.)

Smaller than expected, and the menu did not seem to offer anything different, nevertheless it's a cut above your usual fast food establishment. The location may prove a tad cryptic, but we'll see once the entire building fixes itself up some more. It can only be reached from the ground floor on Harmon, and foot traffic is far less conspicuous than round the corner on The Strip.

Two stories. "Graffiti-like" murals. Surprisingly, comfy stools providing a nice touch. You get unusual lighting and an ambient soundtrack that included on our visit, Feist, Regina Spektor and, um, Cyndi Lauper. But, it was a decidedly "indie" twist on the expected Muzak.

The menus are shown on digital screens, that shift and change displays. It's not yet quite like Minority Report digitally tapping into your mind, but they know you want fries with that.

For now, both establishments make us happy. And, both are open 24 hours a day. We think many of you will be very happy about that.

Fatburger and Fat Bar are located next to the Walgreens on the opposite side of the street from the Mote Carlo. The Metro McDonald's is located at the base of the new Harmon Walgreens that's next to Planet Hollywood and across from The Cosmopolitan.

Comments (7)

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McDonalds

So did the new Metro McDonalds replace the one next to fatburger or is the old one still open?

Fat Bar

Is it just me or is this an awesome idea? Some of my best Vegas people watching has been in that very Fatburger after midnight.  Imagine how much more there is to see now that I can chow on triple patties with egg and cheese outside.

Metro McDonalds

One next to Fatburger is still there, see third and fifth photo above. Metro McDonalds is down the Strip at PH. McDonalds is also available across the street inside the Monte Carlo. And one in MGM. They appear big fans of this quarter mile.

Fat Bar

Mr P. I have no doubt this new place will be "interesting." It always attracted an unusual clientele. Staff here are great though.

Metro

Is the bathroom key attached to an empty spray paint can?

key

Maybe they've matched the digital menu concept & its a retina scan. Pity I won't find out on May 4th ;-)

Dieter's Nightmare

Talk about a dieter's nightmare.

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