In Las Vegas – Orange County Register – there is an underground world full of hidden bars
LAS VEGAS – Shhhh… we have a secret. Or more. Sin City has its fair share of Spectacular Encounters, advertised on glittery billboards across the city, but some of the activities are kept secret — and the fun is in finding them.
Speakeasies, a throwback to the 1920s when alcohol was banned and savvy party-goers went to hidden bars for bathtub gin, have had a resurgence, so to speak. Ninety years after Prohibition ended, these cozy hotspots are hidden down alleyways, behind bookshelves and behind unmarked doors. And Las Vegas is teeming with hidden bars and secret restaurants.
Now we’re sharing the lowdown on some of our favorites on and off the Strip.
Perhaps the best-known speakeasy—a personal favorite dedicated to the theme of this era—is The Underground at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. First, wander the museum, where exhibits and interactive experiences teach visitors about mafia bosses, organized crime, and law enforcement. Then go down to the basement for a drink.
The Underground features a full bar, distillery and a walled cocktail lounge. Take a seat and order a Prohibition-era cocktail, perhaps a gin-based Bee’s Knees served with a page of Charleston dance history, or a Bathtub Fizz — served in a small bathtub.
Not in the museum today? There’s a secret entrance at the top of a nondescript staircase outside, but you’ll need a password to get inside. (Luckily, the Mob Museum is posting this key detail on their social media.)
Across the street from the famous El Cortez Hotel, you’ll find The Laundry Room, tucked away in what is now the Commonwealth Bar. Or rather, The Laundry Room will find you — and reservations are essential. Stroll into the bar, text the speakeasy, and wait for a hostess to take you back to Prohibition days. The room, of course a former laundry, is decorated in 1920s style and can only accommodate 22 guests. One of the city’s most popular speakeasies, complete with bespoke cocktails, a dress code and etiquette — including quiet voices, no smoking and no standing at the bar.
The Cosmopolitan, the ultra-modern purple high-rise on the Strip, has surprises around every corner and probably the most speakeasys per square foot. The resort’s Superfrico — Spiegelworld’s Italian American Psychedelic restaurant, which opened in 2021 — will get your senses pumped as performers dance at random intervals between tables. Things get even more eccentric when you know where to go in this stunning venue. Step through the doors of Superfrico’s hidden ski lodge and you’ll be transported to a mountain lodge where penguins (or rather, people dressed up as penguins) pop up for photo ops, and the “windows” always depict a snowy scene.
Other cosmopolitan havens include Ghost Donkey, a tacos and tequila concept tucked away behind a door save for the image of a colorful donkey, in the hotel’s Block 16 Urban Food Hall. And Secret Pizza, where you can get pizza by the slice ($6.50 and up) until 4am, may be one of the cheapest fare in town if you can find it. Look for the vinyl-lined hallway—or the long line.
There are also long lines in front of the hotel’s barbershop. Yes, you can get your hair cut here. But if you head to the caretaker’s cupboard at the back of the store, you’ll find yourself in a stylish pub with quality craft cocktails and karaoke or live music, depending on the day of the week. (Psst, you need reservations.)
It’s not just bars that hide. The hotel’s pawnshop entrance is actually a frontage for New York chef Chris Santos’ Beauty & Essex restaurant, where you can sample Raw Bar oysters ($48 for a dozen), roasted bone marrow ($32) and Mexican street corn ravioli ($26). .
One of the Strip’s newer hotels, Resorts World Las Vegas has its own hidden destinations, including a new tequila-centric Jalisco Underground next to Wally’s Wine & Spirits and the Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den. A wall of calico cats camouflages the latter at Fuhu Cha Chaan Teng in the resort’s famous Food Street Eats area. Drop by the host’s booth and you’ll be ushered through a hidden passageway into an intimate, dimly lit bar serving creative signature cocktails, including at least one with a daring garnish. (After all, this is Vegas.)
If you’re heading to some of Las Vegas’ other attractions, make a detour to The Cabinet of Curiosities. The same people behind the Real Bodies and Discovering King Tut’s Tomb exhibits have set up a bar just outside Bally’s. It’s filled with weird knick-knacks – with QR codes so you can learn more – and includes the entrance to The Lock, a speakeasy hidden behind a bank vault door. Iridescent Skullcap Mojito, anyone?
Area 15 also has its own speakeasy. You need access to Omega Mart, the spectacular – and spectacularly surreal – Meow Wolf exhibit masquerading as a wacky grocery store. Hidden somewhere inside is Datamosh, a bar modeled after how creators envision a pharmacy in another dimension. The cocktails here look almost as wacky as the space itself, served in off-balance glasses — that’ll throw you off-balance as well.
when you go
The underground speakeasy: The Mob Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 300 Stewart Ave. open in Las Vegas. The speakeasy opens at 12pm and closes at 10pm or midnight depending on the day of the week. Museum tickets start at $30. Buy them in advance – highly recommended – at
The laundry room: Opens daily at 5pm in the Commonwealth Bar at 525 Fremont St. Seating is limited. Make reservations at www.laundryroomlv.com.
Superfrico, Ghost Donkey, The Barbershop: Find more than 30 restaurants, bars and speakeasies at The Cosmopolitan at 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.
Here Kitty and Jalisco Underground: Find both hidden bars at Resorts World Las Vegas, 3000 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; www.rwlasvegas.com.
The Wunderkammer: This attraction and its speakeasy, The Lock, open daily at 12:00 p.m. at 3645 S. Las Vegas Blvd.;
datamosh: Daily from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Omega Mart ($59 admission) at 3215 S. Rancho Drive, Suite 100;
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/15/an-underground-world-of-hidden-bars-exists-in-las-vegas/ In Las Vegas – Orange County Register – there is an underground world full of hidden bars