Social to open at the Palms, Money Plays catches the spirit

Hot on the heels of the late-December opening of Scarlet, the Palms’ micro-bar next to N9NE Steakhouse, the property is poised to welcome Social to the scene. Slated for a January 25 opening, the revamped center bar will focus primarily on whiskey. More than 30 varieties will be available in flights and whiskey-based cocktails, including a barrel-aged cocktail program. Before you go all-in on a particularly spendy or unfamiliar sip, Social bartenders will happily pour you a sample. Programming will include a sort of whiskey social club, meet-ups arranged around visiting whiskey dignitaries such as brand ambassadors and master distillers.

Social arrives at a great time in the Las Vegas mixology scene, with 2012 being a year that welcomed the Venetian’s Bourbon Room to the small cadre of whiskey-centric bars that already included Delmonico Steakhouse, Craftsteak, Casa Fuente and, of course, the Whisky Attic. This year, it seems, will continue the trend of hyper-focused watering holes—the new VDKA bar at Encore and Light Group’s recently revamped Red Square come to mind—as well as that of casinos opening micro-bars such as the Palms’ Scarlet, but also the Cosmopolitan’s Talon Club and the Ainsworth at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Meanwhile, just west of the Palms, Money Plays, a venerable blue-collar watering hole known for its burgeoning beer program and friendly atmosphere, has gotten a little friendlier. “Yes, it is official,” owner Stanley Henderson says, “Money Plays has its liquor license.” The bar that had been subsisting on a limited license (beer, wine, liqueurs and low-alcohol spirits) because of all kinds of red tape is now able to serve full-strength liquor, and the list is growing.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to offer more to our customers and operate without previous limitations,” Henderson says. “We are extremely thankful for those involved who helped the process move forward and probably save a local business. Now, instead of explaining why we don’t have a certain product, we can happily provide service with a smile.” The first order served? A shot of Crown Royal.