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Dive Bars of Las Vegas: The Cream of the Crop (of the Bottom of the Barrel)

January 10, 2013 at 7:05 PM | by | ()

Vegas is a drinker’s paradise. Yes, it may be the home of the 80 oz. slushy drink in a tube, the 50 oz. vodka/Red Bull on a chain and the $500 table-served bottle, but it is also a wealth of unique bars with price points for everyone.

From the quaint and divey to the strange and over the top, Sin City has a dive bar just for you. Here are two of our favorites. We'll share more as throughout the year. Be sure to tell us yours in the comments below.

Dino’s (1516 Las Vegas Boulevard South)

By Dino’s own admission, they've been getting Las Vegas drunk since 1962. The self-proclaimed “Last Neighborhood Bar in Las Vegas” has long been a favorite for generations of Las Vegans and visitors. The bar is covered in autographed dollar bills from thousands of visitors that wanted to leave a mark in such a cool place.

Drink: There is no signature drink here, but in true dive bar fashion, simply order up a PBR. Under the cap of every bottle is a rank and suit of a playing card (this is everywhere, not just Vegas). Guess the suit before the bartender opens it and the beer is gratis.

Oddity: Drunk of the Month. Patrons get to vote monthly for one of their very own to be the DOTM. The prize includes a picture on the wall and a private parking space without a sign. According to legend, somebody ran it over.

Signature: Karaoke. Yes, we know. Karaoke is played out. Tired. Lame. Try Dino’s. The crowd varies from 21-year-old hipsters to what look like 80-year-old bearded sea captains, and everything in-between. Led by the Toto-singing DJ Danny G, it is a karaoke experience that is uniquely Vegas.

Double Down (4640 Paradise Road)

What can be said about the Double Down that hasn’t already been covered? Owned by the very interesting P. Moss, Double Down bills itself as the “Happiest Place on Earth.” That might not be much of a stretch. We have never had a bad night in this place. There is never a cover and there is live music almost every single night. The whole place is covered from top-to-bottom in spray-painted art and thosands of random stickers (shown above).

Drink: ASS JUICE. No one knows what is in Ass Juice. What we do know is that it is a giant shot of whatever the bartender feels like putting in this week’s mixture. For twelve bucks, you can get it in your own collectible ceramic toilet shot glass. For added fun during after hours, try the happy hour trifecta. For five bucks, you get a can of Hamm’s, an Ass Juice and a Slim Jim. Snap in to it.

Oddity: The people. There has never been a place with as much of a mixed crowd as the Down. From off-duty strippers to vacationing punk rockers and random old people, you will never see the same crowd in this place twice. The kick is, though, that everyone is friendly.

Signature: The music. The Double Down has a great jukebox. Mostly filled with punk rock, you will find everything from the Dead Boys to the Lawrence Arms. You might also be surprised by what kind of band could take the stage. Local heroes Thee Swank Bastards play their own high-energy surf music at the Down often as do Uberschall, an experimental improv band comprised of musicians from Blue Man Group.

*Secret Tip: Use the bathroom before you visit. Trust us. You do not want to go in there.

Archived Comments:

Hard Hat Lounge...

.... on Industrial just north of Sahara. The mural behind the bar was painted in 1962.

on it

I'll add it to the list! Thanks!