We’ve knocked back hundreds of drinks to find the 30 bars inducted into the Vegas Seven Bar Hall of Fame, which began in 2012. The group runs the gamut, and last year we added to the variety, bringing in a blues bar, tiki joint, century-old saloon, posh hotel lounge and heavy-metal hangout—and 2017 will introduce even more. To be considered for the Hall of Fame, a bar must have been open for at least five years and have a distinct personality that adds something special to our city’s libation landscape.
From June 29 through midnight on July 14, go vote for your favorites in four regional categories listed below. Need to know more about the bars? We’ll be checking out a few on a Vegas Seven BHOF bar crawl on July 6, which you can watch via livestream (check our website for the exact time). At the close of voting, our panel of drinkers—ahem, editors—will consider the votes and declare a winner for each area, as well as an “editor’s choice” to join our hallowed list. The inductees will be revealed in the July 20 issue of Vegas Seven.
Don’t see one of your favorite bars? It might be a past winner.
From hip-hop showcases to goth night, it’s likely the walls at Artifice has felt the reverb of just about every musical genre known to mankind. The Arts District bar has managed to outlive many of its neighbors, thanks to versatile programming and mass appeal. Here, you can rub elbows with Downtown suits, cosplay fanatics and bikers—both Harley-Davidson and ten-speed. And with all the makings of a proper cocktail program, including fresh juices, niche spirits, seasonal ingredients and an engaging bar staff, the art-heavy spot has cemented its place as a neighborhood institution. 1025 First St., artificebar.com —Jessi Acuna
One of the early pioneers of Fremont East, Beauty Bar’s theme is based on the New York City original Beauty Bar (an authentic ‘60s beauty salon with bar installed), but has developed its own unique flavor. The manicures are still available and the walls still sparkle with pink glitter, but the real draw is the entertainment, which ranges from multimedia hip-hop nights to touring stoner rock bands to showcases for rising stand-up comedians. And, hey, if the band doesn’t do it for you, the beer/shot deals might. 517 Fremont St., beautybarlv.com —Lissa Townsend Rodgers
With its velvet rope, beefy doormen and high-end interior design, Commonwealth brings a taste of the Strip to DTLV. Sure, the spot has a split personality, but that’s part of the appeal. Stop in early and it’s a chill joint to drink with a date or pregame with friends. Later? You’ll usually find it’s morphed into a nightclub, boasting an upstairs patio with a dance party under the stars. Commonwealth often has midweek special events geared to locals, and it offers a wide beer selection as well as a cocktail menu. We’ve heard it’s expensive, but we avoid that conversation by ordering well drinks, natch. 525 Fremont St., commonwealthlv.com —James P. Reza
Hitchin’ Post Saloon and Steakhouse
Located on the far north end of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Hitchin’ Post has been serving up beef and beer for more than six decades. Located at the far end of the Hitchin’ Post RV Park and Motel, the Saloon’s knotty paneling and natural stone reminds us that Las Vegas’ original style was not mid-mod, but Wild West. The bartenders are friendly, the grub is tasty and the mugs are cold. The Hitchin’ Post is a slice of old-style Nevada … albeit with a new Amazon distribution center going up across the street. 3650 Las Vegas Blvd. North, hpsslv.com —L.T.R.
German-American Social Club
The German-American Social Club of Nevada is a charming chalet located just off Las Vegas Boulevard. Founded in 1971, the club bought its current home a decade later. It’s a slice of the old country for anyone who loves German culture, or just beer and schnitzel. It features classic jazz on Tuesday nights and German traditional fare on Saturday nights at 6 p.m., and, being Germans, everything happens right on time. The bar features Bavarian comfort libations and there are a number of special events throughout the year, including a schoene Oktoberfest. 1110 E. Lake Mead Blvd., germanamericanclubnv.com —Ginger Bruner
If you’ve been frequenting Downtown since before the “D” was capitalized, then you’ve surely had a run-in at The Griffin. Whether it was an intimate moment near the fireplace, the urge to get Johnny Cash into rotation on the jukebox or a sweaty dance-off in the back room, this Fremont East bar helped many older millennials come of age and learn the art of blacking out—OK, maybe that was just us. Although the bar tends to attract a more suburban crowd these days, you can still count on the mainstays making an appearance. 511 Fremont St., facebook.com/theofficial.vegasgriffin —J.A.
This spot overlooking Fremont Street oozes old Vegas. In 1971, it was the elevated platform pool of the Union Plaza. Later, the dome went up and the space became the fancy Center Stage restaurant. More recently, it was a Downtown outpost of Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar, before relaunching as Oscar’s Beef, Booze & Broads, named for our martini-loving ex-mayor. The restaurant’s expansive bar and lounge hosts a weekly Locals’ Night on Wednesdays, with $5 well drinks and half-price appetizers. The food is excellent, and these bartenders (some are Downtown Cocktail Room veterans) know their stuff. Cheers! 1 Main St., oscarslv.com —J.P.R.
- Oscar's (17%)
- Hitchin' Post (7%)
- The Griffin (22%)
- German-American Club (21%)
- Commonwealth (16%)
- Beauty Bar (8%)
- Artifice (9%)
Blondies might be an “official” HQ for Ohio State fans, but you don’t have to be a Buckeye to appreciate the frat-party feel of this Strip sports bar. With waitresses sporting cheerleader uniforms, lively competitions at the beer pong tables (aided by tournaments and $10 Busch Light pitcher specials) and drink specials that rival campus dive bars (bottomless wells and domestics set you back $20 during the afternoon and late-night happy hours), it’s easy to feel like an Animal House extra at this watering hole. Inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, blondieslasvegas.com —Mark Adams
Of the hundreds of bars on the Strip—or Downtown or in the local casinos, for that matter—only Casino Royale sells bottles of Michelob for a buck. And we’re not talking happy hour: The dollar deal runs 24/7/365. You’re sittin’ center-Strip here, so the customers tend to be tourists, many of whom have been coming back for years, mixed with value-seeking locals and after-shift casino employees. If you’re a quarter light, a draft Coors in a plastic cup is just 75 cents. Got the munchies? Walk across the casino floor anytime day or night and order two or three (or 10) sliders from White Castle. 3411 Las Vegas Blvd. South, casinoroyalehotel.com —Anthony Curtis
This lounge inside The Cosmopolitan has become the go-to place for locals to impress visitors. The high-end cocktails served by serious mixologists are as beautiful as the sparkling crystal strands that encase the three separate floors of the bar. Each level offers a different experience, whether it’s listening to a jazzy lounge act on the bottom or catching a glimpse of the casino floor over a signature Fire Breathing Dragon cocktail on the top. The Chandelier is so glamorous, you’ll won’t mind dropping almost $20 on a drink. Inside The Cosmopolitan, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com —Jessie O’Brien
Piero’s Monkey Bar
Opened in its original location in 1982, few places in Sin City do Vegas as right as Piero’s, where old Vegas exists in concentrate and business deals and booty calls overlap over gin martinis and a 17-page wine list. Tourists show up here because they have an expense account or they read somewhere that it was featured in Casino. But the locals who frequently warm the same seats at the bar do so because they know discretion and decorum are served in equal doses, just like in the old days. 355 Convention Center Dr., pieroscuisine.com —J.P.R.
Why hang at a throwback when you can party with the original? Cleopatra’s Barge is one of the last classic Vegas cocktail lounges, whose theme stems from the floating stage/dance floor decked out as a gilded barge, replete with hieroglyphs and a topless Cleo figurehead. After a period of relative quiet, the Barge has been reborn as the happening lounge it once was, hosting shows as disparate as jammy stalwarts Blues Traveler and post-R&B crooner CeeLo Green, as well as DJs and live bands. Inside Caesars Palace, caesars.com —L.T.R.
This Fruit Loop mainstay is Las Vegas’ quintessential gay bar, and that’s a very, very good thing. Free Zone has everything you want from an LGBT nightspot—or day spot, considering that it’s open 24/7: beer busts, all-you-can-drink cocktail specials, drag-queen revues and a diverse playlist sprinkled with everyone’s favorite diva and disco favorites. If you’re not having fun at Free Zone, just ask the shot boy in a neon-colored banana hammock for another test tube of sugary, boozy deliciousness. 610 E. Naples Dr., freezonelv.com —M.A.
The Huntridge Tavern is the dive bar’s dive bar. Located at the corner of Maryland Parkway and Charleston Boulevard since Jackie Kennedy was first lady, the HT is known for cheap booze, honest bartenders and one of the creepiest hallways in Las Vegas. There are a number of enhancements happening at the property, including new bathrooms, but the front room, where the magic happens, is keeping its O.G. flavor (velvet wallpaper, ancient bar signage). Put it this way: When noted dive-bar aficionado Anthony Bourdain comes to town, the Huntridge is where he parks his tuchus. 1116 E. Charleston Blvd., facebook.com —G.B.
Calling this restaurant/sportsbook/watering hole a “stadium” isn’t quite hyperbole—it’s a multilevel 24,000-square-foot space with four bars, private luxury suites and white leather couches and loungers facing a massive screen. In fact, there’s a TV screen everywhere you look, but we advise taking a peek around during commercial breaks. The place is littered with sports memorabilia: autographed jerseys from Brett Favre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Joe Montana, Oscar de la Hoya and others. Of course, there’s also a chef’s coat autographed by Emeril Lagasse, the venue’s namesake and creator of its “kicked-up game-day fare.” Inside The Palazzo, emerilsrestaurants.com/lagasses-stadium —Zoneil Maharaj
- Piero's Monkey Bar (6%)
- Lagasse's Stadium (3%)
- Huntridge Tavern (23%)
- Free Zone (5%)
- Cleopatra's Barge (21%)
- The Chandelier (33%)
- Casino Royale (4%)
- Blondies (5%)
Backstop Sports Pub
Originally a rec hall for Hoover Dam workers in the 1930s, the Backstop is one of Boulder City’s oldest dives: loud rock on the speakers, $2 PBR and Rolling Rock on tap, as well as pool, darts, shuffleboard and, of course, a Big Buck HD machine. To go with the latter, several taxidermied big-game heads adorn the cavernous space. By far the most striking attraction is the beautiful mahogany bar—a piece from boxer Jim Jeffries’ Los Angeles tavern, made in 1904. And if it’s raining, there’s a sign out front that boasts, “A free drink to anyone any day the sun doesn’t shine in Boulder City.” 533 Avenue B, Boulder City, backstopsportspub.com —Z.M.
In any other town, The Dillinger might be a hipster hang: craft beers on tap, gourmet burgers with artisanal buns (The Baby Face Nelson comes with baked Brie and fig jam; how bougie is that?), modern rustic decor and a quirky 1930s gangster theme, hence the name. But this is blue-collar Boulder City, which means no snobs or curly mustaches—just quality food, drinks and small-town talk, with the occasional live band. Pro tip: Drop by in May for their annual block party. 1224 Arizona St., Boulder City, thedillinger.com —Z.M.
Well, it’s truth in advertising, if not creativity. Located in the same strip-mall spot that held industry after-hours hangout Favorites and, before that, mob thug Tony Spilotro’s pizza joint, Dive Bar is a lo-fi, no-frills hangout. The bartenders are heavily tattooed ladies slinging cheap cans of Hamm’s and shots of Jameson to a crowd that likes it loud and smoky. Bands are mostly punk with the occasional metal or ska outfit playing on a tiny stage—Murphy’s Law, the Toasters and the Mentors are among the acts that audiences have been able to get up close and personal with (occasionally a little too close if the mosh pit gets wild). 4110 S. Maryland Pkwy., facebook.com/divebarlv —L.T.R.
“Back when the mob ran the town …” is a familiar phrase for many Las Vegans, but only a fraction of the Valley’s population can say they experienced that era. That’s what’s so great about the more-than-five-decades-old Italian-American Club, where you can step back in time to an age when dimly lit lounges with crooners behind the mic ruled the city’s entertainment scene. And you don’t need paisano blood to enjoy the club’s live music, robust wine list or bocce ball courts. That’s right: The old-school pastime is alive and well at the IAC. 2333 E. Sahara Ave., iacvegas.com —M.A.
Located just north of Sahara Avenue, Jake’s began its existence as an Italian restaurant before becoming a bar. Current owner Glenn Hill kept the name when he bought it from Jake in 1997, and even rebuilt it to the original Jake’s specs after a fire in 2008. If you’re a Broncos fan, you are likely already acquainted with the plethora of big-screen TVs, $2 Jake’s drafts and the homemade $2 food menu made by the owner (his red sauce is yummy). The pool tables draw a crowd and you can sing karaoke Friday through Sunday. Jake’s Friday night T-bone steak dinner special is a big deal, too. 2301 S. Eastern Ave., jakesbarvegas.com—G.B.
This cowboy-themed gay bar holds down its corner of Commercial Center, welcoming all kinds through its (faux) swinging doors, from the old and wise to the young and shirtless, drag queens and leather daddies—even straight couples front-loading before heading over to the nearby Green Door. At one point, the Western theme included cow-print on everything, but today it’s a bit more refined, with wood paneling and black-and-whites of country legends dotting the walls. With cheerful bartenders and friendly patrons, Badlands Saloon always provides a good vibe. 953 E. Sahara Ave., badlands-saloon.com —L.T.R.
Remember back when you were a disaffected poli-sci major at UNLV, and you got 86’d from Carlos Murphy’s? You probably ended up here. You were smoking cloves, downing Rolling Rock, chatting up vegetarian art majors and grooving to some KUNV Rock Avenue DJ. Well, wake up, Gen X, because that was a few decades ago, Carlos Murphy’s is long gone and you already divorced that art major. But the Stake Out rolls on, and in the roiling sea of change that is Las Vegas, that’s important. C’mon pal. Let’s have a beer. And a Philly cheesesteak—we aren’t vegetarians anymore. 4800 S. Maryland Pkwy., facebook.com/stakeout.bar —J.P.R.
Over the many years the Rum Runner has been slinging drinks, it’s garnered a very specific clientele: those who like to drink and drink cheap. With pints starting at $2.50 and 25-ounce brews in the $4–$8 range, you’re getting buzzed for less than $20. The Runner’s a fun place to be, especially if you’re a Packers fan. It’s got enough sports paraphernalia to create a pop-up, and the energy that comes with watching a game with fans makes the beer taste just a bit sweeter. Best yet: Good bar food that’s more dinner and less bite-size is just a step away at the 24-hour Badger Cafe, which will deliver right to the bar. 1801 E. Tropicana Ave., rumrunnervegas.com —Amber Sampson
- Rum Runner (13%)
- Stake Out (8%)
- Jake's (4%)
- Italian-American Club (29%)
- Dive Bar (13%)
- The Dillinger (21%)
- Badlands Saloon (9%)
- Backstop Sports Pub (3%)
Big Dog’s Draft House
An outpost of Wisconsin hospitality (think walleye and cheese curds), the Draft House has been slinging delicious food and libations on north Rancho for almost three decades. Big Dog’s relocated its award-winning brewery there in 2003, after being the first microbrewery in Southern Nevada at their Holy Cow location on the Strip. The facility has steadily expanded, and the patio is the place to be on Thursday nights for live music. There are always brewmaster specials and several guest taps. It’s heaven for hops lovers, and Big Dog’s even makes a wonderful house-made root beer for nondrinkers. 4543 N. Rancho Dr., bigdogsbrews.com—G.B.
Hard Hat Lounge
The Hard Hat was pouring on Industrial Road long before the art galleries and dispensaries arrived, but it’s adapted to the changes. An outdoor patio and indoor food service have been added, as well as frequent live entertainment. But the Hard Hat’s main draws remain the same: cheap drinks and the pulp-style mural behind the bar, a depiction of shirtsleeved men gambling, drinking and ogling blondes, an image straight out of a Mike Hammer novel. Painted by a long-ago patron, it continues to intrigue new ones. 1675 S. Industrial Rd., hardhatbar.com —L.T.R.
As delicious as smoked sable tartare and a scientifically crafted Old Fashioned may be, many prefer a simpler time when a bloody steak and cold brew were enough to satisfy our tastes. That’s what guests can get at John Cutter. The dark and woody traditional tavern offers an extensive menu of American fare, some breakfast and Mexican food items, a handful of cocktails and a couple dozen beers, served by the cute all-women waitstaff. Expect to find different crowds throughout the day—gamblers, families, bro daters, drinkers and Red Rock hikers grabbing a bite on their way back to the city. 11770 W. Charleston Blvd., johncutterlv.com —J.O.
Located on Spring Mountain Road, about three miles west of the Strip, Irene’s offers pool, darts and one of the finest 24-hour kitchens in Vegas. Remember those old-time ham-and-egg breakfasts with the ham steak so big it had to be served on a separate plate? You’ll find it here around the clock for $9.99. There’s a Friday-night open darts contest with a $10 entry fee that’s matched by the bar, plus a free NFL contest every week during football season. The beer deal is a frosty PBR draft for $2.75 and, on Sundays, spicy horseradish-splashed Bloody Marys in a tall glass are $2.50 apiece all day long. Do it! 5480 Spring Mountain Rd., facebook.com/irenescocktaillounge —A.C.
Jackson’s Bar & Grill
This neighborhood gaming bar is home to some of the best steak specials in Las Vegas, including a 16-ounce rib eye for $15.99 and a 10-ouncer for $13.99, both available 24/7. Better yet is the Mondays-only $14.99 prime rib, which might be the best prime rib value in the entire city. Shots start at $5 and a draft Busch is $2.50, or get two—yes, two—pitchers for $11. This is the rare bar with a bitcoin machine on the premises and the joint is flat-out jammed for Packers games. 6020 W. Flamingo Rd., beststeakdeal.com—A.C.
Bedecked with sports flags, surfboards and other frat-house paraphernalia, Moon Doggie’s Bar is unconcerned with creating any kind of atmosphere besides “dive.” Highballs are served in red Solo cups, and there’s beer on tap and in the bottle. The bartenders are polite, prompt and will ID you if you look remotely underage, as Naked City Pizza’s jurisdiction ends just inside the order window at the back. Patrons understand if you need to use your outside voice inside Moon Doggie’s: Not only can you yell at any of the eight screens playing the game, but you can also sing Billy Joel lyrics—or whatever else you can find on the jukebox—at the top of your lungs. 3240 Arville St., facebook.com/moondoggieslv—Shannon Miller
Las Vegas overflows with great restaurants boasting great bars, but just about every bearded mixologist from the Strip to the suburbs can credit Nora’s for celebrating the civilized drink in a town spoiled by cheap booze and crappy mixers. For more than a quarter century, it has elevated the boozing experience, curating a collection of local fans who appreciate proper drinks and tasty nosh. Last year, the Mauro family nudged Nora’s into a brand-new building; we like to slide in on Sunday nights, when the UNLV jazz band complements the best Sazerac in town. 5780 W. Flamingo Rd., norascuisine.com —J.P.R.
- Nora's (12%)
- Moon Doggie's (2%)
- John Cutter (4%)
- Jackson's Bar & Grill (66%)
- Irene's (0%)
- Hard Hat Lounge (4%)
- Big Dog's Draft House (13%)