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Spring in Las Vegas is summer in most cities: T-shirt during the day and maybe a light jacket at night. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a drink on the patio of your favorite pub, with no worries about how you’ll get from one place to the next.
“I drop a lot of locals at Atomic,” my Uber driver Ben tells me, “A lot of times I pick people up from work and that’s where they’re going.”
Downtown’s Atomic Liquors and The Kitchen at Atomic may be “on-the-way home stops” to Ben’s other passengers, but Sin City’s oldest freestanding bar and its recently-opened restaurant are the first stops in this Saturday night pub-crawl. The plan is to join a friend and throw back a round on the patio while watching the passersby on Fremont Street.
The Kitchen’s menu is loaded with delicious bites, at least 20 craft beers and a lengthy “Kocktail” list. My compadre orders a Deschutes Brewery Passion Fruit IPA, while I choose the Mezcallion Dolla$—a cocktail of Mezcal, lavender, sugar, and bitters—to start the evening.
We walk west on Fremont Street to Therapy restaurant. Why? Because it changes its drink menu seasonally and just debuted a signature whiskey and draft.
The latter, dubbed the Therapy Atomic Duck, goes to my friend. I opt for the Rasberry Rose, a combination of rum, lime, raspberries and rosemary.
Therapy is so much bigger than it looks from the street. Walking by, you’d have no idea how high the ceiling is or how far back the restaurant goes. I’m gonna have to become a regular.
We can’t stick around though; we’re on a mission. After Therapy, we duck into Downtown Cocktail Room. It’s an old favorite, always worthy of our business.
We grab another round before getting an Uber to downtown’s Arts District. I’m reminded that even if I weren’t drinking I wouldn’t want to navigate all of the construction around the Charleston Boulevard interchange. Being a passenger is easier.
Driver Ramond drops us at Mingo Kitchen & Lounge. He recommends the garlic fries and Ahi Tuna Tostada. Done and done.
My friend grabs a beer and a seat on the Hop Nuts patio while I browse the M&F menu. If I get hungry again I’m in luck, as the place just expanded its Latin-inspired menu and Saturday hours to 11 p.m.
We’re still thirsty, so we call for another Uber to get us across I-15 to Frankie’s Tiki Room. The 24-hour bar is dark, cozy and has a menu full of sugary, island-themed drinks that pack a powerful punch. It’s perfect.
The night gets even better when our driver, Stacy, picks us up. She’s got a basket in the back seat with every single-serve toiletry you’ll ever need: mouthwash, tissue, hand sanitizer—you name it. I grab some Handi Wipes because those sugary drinks get sticky.
We arrive at Frankie’s before our buzz starts to wear off. Now, there is only one thing on my mind: a Kahiki Kai. Coconut rum, banana liqueur and pineapple juice. I’ve got “Island Fever” and that’s the prescription. In fact, I might need a few to cure me.
My friend and I part ways as the last Uber’s of the evening arrive to pick us up. That’s another advantage of living here: you can leave your car keys at home and not have to bug your friends for a ride.