Skinny Dugans: A legendary sports bar in limbo

Transplanted New Yorker Bob Keck and his brother, Fred, opened Skinny Dugans in August 1973. After 33 years, in 2006, the Kecks sold the profitable and popular establishment at 4127 W. Charleston Blvd.

“We thought it was time,” says Bob, 67. “We got a good offer and let it go. I have regretted selling it ever since. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it.”

Skinny Dugans was sold to a California couple who remodeled the once-popular sports bar and operated it for about a year before selling to Southern Nevada real estate executive Dave Mason, who closed the business. Although the bar’s future has been up in the air, Mason has reportedly found another tenant for the business, although details have not been announced.

Bob Keck says the name Skinny Dugans is an old-time gambling expression used during Prohibition. Irish cops, he says, used to be called Skinny Dugans.

The bar enjoyed big success for various reasons.

“We were one of the first big sports bars in Las Vegas,” he says. “We had five softball teams that we sponsored along with some pool teams and bowling teams. In addition, we were also home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the New York Jets and the New York Giants.”