Classy night spots in Vegas show how it ought to be
Grabbing a cocktail on the Las Vegas strip can be a daunting task, with dozens of bars in such close proximity to each other.
But just like drinking in Honolulu, there are different choices available for those who are feeling a little adventurous. If you've got the bankroll, high-end ultra lounges and nightclubs have seen a resurgence in recent years.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a quiet spot to bring a date and take in the scenery along the strip, there are quite a few possibilities as well. And let's not forget about the cheapest way to drink while you're in Vegas -- the complimentary beverages that come with gambling in the casinos!
ONE OF the newest spots in town is the Shadow Bar, located inside Caesars Palace. Ever been to a club here on Oahu where there are projection screens set up, with video of a shadowy go-go dancer dropping it like it's hot?
At the Shadow Bar, there are no projectors -- just real women shaking it behind a sheer screen. And we're talking completely choreographed numbers here, no generic gyrating to tracks that don't match what's being played on the sound system.
This is a great spot for warming up before moving on to other nightspots in the casino, like Cleopatra's Barge or Pure (a nightclub partly-owned by Shaquille O'Neal).
Another new addition is Caramel in the Bellagio. As you'd probably expect, the atmosphere here is über-plush.
Think classy is drinking a martini at John Dominis or the Hanohano Room? Pay a visit to Caramel the next time you're in Vegas and see how things should be done.
Besides all the usual high-end alcohol (and high drink prices), I was most impressed by the customer service here. Sure, you're going to pay through the nose to drink at such a nice place, but I liked how the staff wasn't snobby while taking my money. Thursday nights are pretty interesting, with "Bounce" mixing old-school hip-hop for clientele who probably couldn't tell the difference between Grandmaster Flash and 50 Cent.
BESIDES THE new and trendy, I also have a few favorites that never fail me when I visit Sin City.
If you're a martini fan, a visit to Red Square at Mandalay Bay is a must. They've got more than 170 different drinks on the menu here, complete with an ice bar (a frozen strip built into the bar itself to help keep drinks cold) and private vodka storage lockers for high rollers and corporate sponsors.
Another fun place to drink at is ESPN Zone at New York New York, with over 100 monitors and two 14-foot screens to watch all the latest sports action. They've even got screens in the bathrooms here, so you don't miss a single play while taking care of business. If you stop by, try to score a seat in the Screening Room, which contains individual "Zone Throne" viewing stations with plasma screen televisions. It's the ultimate couch potato experience.
Barfly appears every Friday in Star-Bulletin Weekend. E-mail Jason Genegabus at firstname.lastname@example.org
with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.