There’s No Need to Crawl

The next wave of hotel bars will be front, center and beautiful

lucky-bar-interior.jpgWhat with MGM Grand rolling out the carpet (and blowing out a few walls) for Hakkasan, and Mandalay Bay welcoming the valet-adjacent Light to its lineup, hotel bars might be feeling like Cinderella’s stepsisters post-shoeing. Never one to miss an opportunity for reinvention, while all eyes have been on the debutantes, three properties have been toiling away on their center and lobby bars, turning those natural meeting places and pre/post vortexes into destinations in their own right.

Lucky Bar in Red Rock Resort

The beating heart of this casino languished in a “Pardon our dust” coma for too long. Now open, the new Lucky Bar sports a more polished design that allows 360-degree views of the gaming floor. There’s still gaming within this central hub, but the real action is at the bar, where a new menu features signature cocktails, half-bottle club service (you mix your own from individual bottles), access to the wine lists of neighboring restaurants and martinis for two, prepared table side on a guéridon (cart). I’ll order my Bacardi cocktail with the more traditional Bacardi Superior and grenadine rather than the proffered Dragon Berry and Alizé pomegranate liqueur, but I admire the spirit of reinvention that permeates this whole project. If we’re lucky, the shuttered Cherry nightclub space will be next in line for transformation.

The Lobby in The Mirage

Fans of the bar and lounge at Kokomo’s might have gone pale at the thought that their beloved perch above the river of humanity that is The Mirage’s main corridor would close along with the venerable but also pretty outdated steak and seafood restaurant. And they might have grown faint when the construction walls went up for celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steakhouse, slated for a July opening. But they can breathe easy, as those walls spared the Lobby Bar. When I posted up there for a rather excellent Side Car just before UNLVino’s recent Sake Fever by The Mirage pool, my barman explained that the entrance for Heritage Steakhouse will be on the other side of the atrium, by Stack and Japonais—a nice new restaurant row for the property. The Lobby Bar, at least for now, will remain.

Press in Four Seasons

Slated for a May 3 opening, Press aims to please. By morning, the new lobby bar, replete with Wi-Fi and oodles of outlets, will feature Lavazza espresso, house-made pastries and freshly squeezed juices. In the afternoon, the space will offer salads and paninis to enjoy over a beer or take to go. But by evening, the transformation to destination bar is complete. The indoor/outdoor space borders Verandah and the pool area, featuring gas fire pits, trellises strung overhead with festival lighting and tableside service of a small-plates menu that includes throwback ice cream treats. At the bar, the emphasis is on handcrafted cocktails, revised classics, tiki drinks and spiked milkshakes, as well as a garden-to-glass locavore cocktail, featuring Las Vegas Distillery’s unique Rumskey.