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Vegas Dilemmas / Four Queens / Football / Cocktails / Beer / Craft Beer / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Dining / Eating / Fremont Street / Restaurants / → All Tags
We love the free drinks that are so readily available throughout Vegas casinos. Sometimes, we won’t even be playing and will still be offered our favorite beverage by a cocktail sever who knows us too well. The downside to all the freebies comes when we step away from the tables and are reminded that, in the real world, pouring from the tap comes with a tab.
In Vegas casino restaurants, this situation can be especially frustrating. While on the gaming floor, we can drink ourselves silly for next to nothing. Once we step into a restaurant, often just feet away from the nearest slot machine, the comps end and the pricey brews begin. The easy solution, of course, would be to bring in free drinks from the casino floor. The restaurants typically see us coming from miles away, however, and make us finish or trash them prior to entering. A few will let it slide, but most (especially chain restaurants) are strict about their no-outside-drinks policies. We’ve tried every trick in the book to get out of paying for cocktails and will even dash out mid-meal to quickly down a glass if we see our server making her rounds.
Vegas Delays / Openings / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Neonopolis / Banger Brewing / Drinking / Bars / Fremont Street / → All Tags
The microbrewery-slash-bar, still a work in progress in Neonopolis, is the dream of a group of guys who met while working at Bellagio. A once hoped for debut of March, however, has been pushed back, and back. And, back. Just last month, the plan was to be open by, well, now, but that's since been delayed to mid to late November. (Probably, the last week of November, according to Facebook. So, yeah, maybe look to December, but we'll remain hopeful for November.)
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Main Street Station / Triple 7 / Dining / Lunch / Fremont Street / Eating / Restaurants / → All Tags
While cruising around downtown recently, we came across a new way to gamble. And, no, it’s not by throwing quarters at the almost finished Slotzilla. This wager is in regards to the speed of service at one of Main Street Station’s restaurants. Perhaps inspired by the old Domino’s pizza guarantee, Main Street’s Triple 7 Brewery is betting they can serve you lunch in 20 minutes or less. If they fail, you don’t pay.
The offer is only available on weekdays. Our guess is that it’s designed to attract employees of nearby businesses who don’t have time for a leisurely lunch. Triple 7 typically isn’t an in-n-out type of place. With a great selection of award-winning microbrews, many patrons opt to stick around for awhile. That likely will not be the case during lunchtime, however, as Triple 7’s full menu isn’t available as a part of the promotion. It looks like they have selected mostly easier to prepare items, so don’t count on winning this proposition.
Construction / Openings / Vegas Delays / Slotzilla / Ziplines / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont Street / → All Tags
Is it wrong that we wish Slotzilla was a working slot machine? While we won't ever get to spin the wheels, we will get to go for a spin before the year's out.
Vital Vegas captured the image above of a nearly complete thrill ride over the weekend. And, where once things moved at a snail's pace, check out what a difference a day makes as documented by VegasChatter fan Danial Mente who captured this snapshot early this evening:
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont Street / First Friday / Las Vegas Bikefest / Life is Beautiful / Fremont East / → All Tags
Good thing Vegas police have had some time to practice implementing stepped up security. Why? Because while October will be awesome, some super-sized events have the potential to cause quite a mess, especially when two collide.
This weekend, the city's monthly First Friday event falls in the middle of Las Vegas Bikefest. With swelling First Friday crowds expected to mix with thousands of bikers, security measures on Fremont Street's 30,000-person-capacity pedestrian mall will reportedly become very New Year's Eve-like.
Visitors to Fremont should expect to encounter barricades restricting access to those 21 and over beginning this Friday night (Oct. 4) and continuing into early Saturday morning. So, bring ID, expect large crowds and long lines, and remember open container laws are being enforced in downtown.
Curious about the current state of downtown's Container Park, this writer wandered that way to check things out last week. And, just happened to walk abreast of a trio of gentlemen who began to discuss the very object of my interest. So, naturally, I slowed down my pace to nonchalantly listen in because, duh. (It helps when you pretend to be absorbed with your smart phone.)
Cashing Out / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / Fremont Street / Construction / Openings / Slotzilla / Shipping Container Park / Inspire / → All Tags
It's been ten days since our last Downtown Vegas construction roundup and we agree. It's been way too long. We trod from the Plaza to the Western and back again earlier this week. Here's your latest updates on where all those endless construction projects stand now:
Yes, Downtown Grand has quite a glow around it. As well as a old-timey casino sign (shown above) and striped canopies (below).
Depending on how well you know your Vegas, the Western could call to mind memories of a time gone by, or cause you to draw a blank.
The downtown hotel and casino quietly slipped into Vegas past in January 2012. A year later, we wondered what was happening at the shuttered Fremont Street casino. Or, what would. In March 2013, we had the beginnings of an answer when Downtown Project purchased the property for a reported $14 million.
Since then, parts of the Western have slowly turned to rubble with VegasChatter friend Greg C. documenting the slow loss of the 1960s motel wing over the summer on Flickr. Now, another section has vanished, too.
We captured the images just above this graph this morning. A few construction workers were on site shifting through the rubble, but not much else was occurring. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported earlier today that Downtown Project "plans to keep the main building that once housed the casino, but it is unlikely to ever be a gambling hall."
Here's how the building once stood, as captured by Greg C.:
As for the future of the remaining structure, a construction notice yields no clues. It simply titles the project as "Western Hotel Casino." The permit is good through May 2014.
The demolition of the old motel wing is sad (but, not that sad), however, its timing may have been a bit poor as one side of it had just been transformed into street art for the upcoming Life Is Beautiful festival.
History, and beauty, proving to both be fleeting for the Western.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Plaza / Beer Gardens / Drinking / Beer / Eating / Dining / Food Courts / Golden Nugget / Golden Gate / Slotzilla / Shipping Container Park / Fremont / Fremont East / Fremont Street / Fremont Street Experience / → All Tags
As you know, Golden Nugget isn't the only downtown property with hard hat-clad workers walking around. We snooped around this past weekend to see what else is new as Fremont Street competes with the Strip in the 'most on-going construction' category. Not one to disappoint, we found some more progress to share.
At the Plaza's future Beer Garden, exterior walls have been cut through to open the space up to the exterior and posts have been installed for the fencing or gating that will line the street.
Downtown Vegas / El Cortez / VegasChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Downtown / Cheap Vegas / Vintage Vegas / Fremont East / Survival Strategies / Fremont Street / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we suggested 10 things you should know about Downtown's El Cortez. While the loose slots and cheap table games in the casino are favorites among locals, El Cortez has also been welcoming out-of-towners to its hotel for more than 70 years. This writer recently took a ride up the elevator and explored a room in the hotel’s 1980 tower expansion.
As a frequent visitor to the El Cortez casino, I knew this wouldn't be a luxury resort. This place is old. So old that it has landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Even so, I've never had a bad time when visiting. When I need a break from the pretentiousness that can be overwhelming at Strip resorts, El Cortez is always there as a beacon of humility. After discovering that Tower rooms were on sale for just over $20 on weekdays, I jumped at the chance to spend a couple nights.
Construction / Inspire Theater / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont Street / Fremont East / Openings / → All Tags
"Let's take a look at it from another angle." Sounds like a philosophy that was ingrained in the membrane somewhere along our educational journey growing up. And, one that we'll put to use once again in looking at the current state of downtown's Inspire Theater. Just over two weeks ago, we traversed Fremont area construction zones to capture a nighttime snapshot of the future theater plus bar plus international newstand plus workspace plus rooftop deck. Phew, it was probably smart to stop naming it after "Theater."
The above photo shot from... err... above the under-construction Inspire Theater was sent in by a VegasChatter tipster. We aren't nighttime street level to daytime aerial comparison experts, but the exterior doesn't look all that different since our August visit. Another influential teacher taught us, however, that it's not the outside, but what's on the inside that counts. (Thanks, mom.) The same holds true, of course, for construction when it comes to determining whether the fall 2013 (read "before end of year") opening date will remain, or not.
Our trusty tipster's x-ray lens wasn't able to capture an interior shot, but he was able to share the site's floorplans. Honestly, when getting that mouth-watering first look, aren't we more interested in seeing what's to come than some framing materials and sheetrock, anyway?
Inspire Theater covers two floors of the building, with a third level (a.k.a., the roof) dedicated for an open-air lounge. The heralded international newsstand (see what we did there?) will be setup at the corner of Fremont and Las Vegas Boulevard -- a seemingly strategic location since we do seem to buy more newspapers and magazines from street corners than mid-block storefronts. Or, at least we did in 1989.
Drinking / Beer / Golden Gate / The D Hotel / Fremont Street / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
The first-ever Golden Gate Beefest is set for Saturday, September 14 and will offer "more than 60 craft beers from 50 breweries around the world." We wanted to know just what that meant, though, so we asked for a rundown of the brews and received one. Here's what will be on tap: