365 Tokyo—a members-only Japanese-inspired bar Downtown on the second floor of Inspire—soft-opened April 26 to Inspire members and lucky invited individuals. “It doesn’t exist; it’s like Area 51,” says Future Restaurant Group owner Michael Cornthwaite, only somewhat kidding. His new bar does exist, but it seats just eight members in a tiny room walled in on three sides by limo-tinted glass that hangs over Fremont Street. Lead barman Seong Ha Lee hales from Seoul, South Korea, but he spent much of his career in Japan, so guests are greeted with a bow from Lee and his assistant, then offered a warm, scented towel and a glass of cucumber water before being presented with the cocktail menu in English, Japanese or Korean.
In fact, much of the 365 Tokyo experience is up to the guest: your choice of ice (handchipped sphere, block or Kold-Draft), base spirit and even mixing technique (layered by density; frozen into a quick sorbet with liquid nitrogen; smoked a la minute with your choice of wood; or siphon-infused with your choice of botanicals. Or trust Lee—again, your choice.
Like its skilled mixologist, much of 365 Tokyo’s barware—from the one-of-a-kind shakers to the mismatched mixing beakers—was imported from Japan. Cornthwaite says he and his wife, Jennifer, were inspired by the intense degree of “precision, attention to detail, humility and professionalism” they observed in Japanese bars. But when Cornthwaite couldn’t find in Las Vegas what he experienced overseas, he built it for himself. Don’t worry if you weren’t tapped for the opening days; memberships are still available, affording preferential access to Inspire Theater performances, newsstand discounts and, of course, your ticket to 365 Tokyo. FRGLV.com/365-Tokyo.