Freedom Beat Restaurant Opens at Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat has opened at Downtown Grand, offering a shiny new menu with American favorites, live entertainment and an energetic vibe that could inject some new life
into the three-year-old resort.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat was designed by Bunnyfish Studio, the company that also did Eat, Perch, Carson Kitchen (still no Captain Morgan, so suck it) and Nacho Daddy, among many others.

Freedom Beat replaces the casino’s original cafe, Stewart + Ogden, utilizing that restaurant’s space and more. Freedom Beat also incorporates part of another closed venue, Red Mansion.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Unforgiving seats in this section for the Millennials, booths with cushioned seats for the rest of us.

Freedom Beat will operate 24/7, and the plan is to have a variety of artists perform in the space.

Music was front-and-center during our visit. We’re pretty much of the mind that the world is divided into two groups: Those who love live music in restaurants and those who don’t. We tend to be in the latter group, as we like our music as an undercard as opposed to the main event.

Yes, we made a sports analogy. Don’t freak out.

Here’s a walk-through of Freedom Beat.

We are as impressed with our videography as you are, especially since most restaurants discourage indoor droning.

But enough about us. What’s up at Freedom Beat? Well, for starters, we love the decor. It has a rock ‘n’ roll vibe, with guitar cases built into the booths and artwork fashioned from vinyl records. You remember those, right? They were a thing.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

A thing of beauty, but that paint is going to wreck your stereo needle.

Freedom Beat is a collaboration between Downtown Grand and 34th Floor Hospitality Group, the same folks who revamped the hotel’s Citrus pool deck with very pleasing results.

The restaurant’s menu was developed by Chef Scott Commings, a name that might sound familiar because he won season 12 of “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Here’s a look at the menu.

Freedom Beat Menu

Breakfast anytime, apps, sandwiches, salads and desserts. The prices don’t scream a locals play, but aren’t bad given there’s live music.

While you look adorable squinting, for a version of the menu you can actually read, click here.

We haven’t tried the food at Freedom Beat yet, but it looked tempting on its way to customers, and we did try a signature cocktail. You know us so well.

The Bathtub Gin Daisy is a bone fide panty-dropper. All the cocktails run $12, and we expect to try them all over time. And by “over time,” of course, we mean our next visit.

Freedom Beat cocktail

Panties, consider yourself dropped.

Freedom Beat also has regional boilermakers, craft beers and a healthy selection of wine.

Overall, Freedom Beat is a huge leap forward from the previous restaurant, and there’s a lot to like about the joint. If loud, live music isn’t your thing, just plan to dine when there’s no entertainment scheduled.

Freedom Beat bar

In music, a “bar” is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of “beats.” Freedom Beat has thought of everything!

We’re interested to see how live music is received in the casino floor, and how much of the ambient casino noise bleeds into the performance space. We’re also curious whether Freedom Beat will cannibalize business from Triple George Grill, just across the street, as it also serves American fare.

Now that Freedom Beat is open, we understand The Commissary at Downtown Grand will be put out of its misery, although that hasn’t been announced yet.

Freedom Beat private room

We’re a big fan of this smaller, quieter dining room area. The screen door wasn’t even installed yet.

Props to Downtown Grand for changing things up and striving to attract a younger crowd (an ongoing effort exemplified by the eSports lounge on its casino floor).

Let us know what you think of Downtown Grand’s new restaurant, Freedom Beat.

Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand

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  • Funkhouser

    Great coverage Scott. All the Red, White, and Blue kinda reminds me of Toby Keith’s at Harrahs. I am kinda disappointed to see S&O go by the wayside. I loved the styling and food at that place. It’s clear by the redesign I am again not the demographic DTG is going for. Again anything that gives this place a bump up to get traffic is a welcome addition.

  • Marie
  • Wolfdog

    Nice new restaurant, live music, AND my required good video poker. I’m there.

  • LVBigBear

    Now the consumer gets socked with a 9% LET should they choose to dine during the live entertainment times. Or if DTG chooses to absorb it in their prices (as casino lounges/bars often do) reduce already thin F&B margins by an additional 9%.

    • Good point. Didn’t see anything about that tax, but it appears the prices include it.

  • Jefe

    Great coverage! Can’t wait to check this place out in November.

  • CanGirl

    Thanks Scott, I really had to laugh at your comment about squinting at the menu as that’s exactly what I was doing!!

    • The smaller versions are for illustrative purposes only!

      • CanGirl

        Yeah, just found it funny that you knew somebody would be doing it 🙂

  • NHBill603

    Less than great food was one of the reasons this joint struggled.
    Hopefully they are finding the answers.
    Citris was a positive step.
    Fingers crossed for FreeBe.

    • LVBigBear

      Look! The kids are already starting to nickname it… that’s a good sign, right?

  • Wally Marshall

    I like the way my earlier negative comments have been removed. Thanks Vital Vegas for managing your viewers comments to only the ones you want.

    • Dude, when have I ever done that? Unless a comment has a racial slur, I don’t remove comments. So, I don’t know what comment you’re referring to, but I haven’t removed anything. I’m open to all input, and appreciate that you contribute regularly. On a related note, I can do anything I damned well want. I didn’t damned well remove any comments, though. “)

  • Mike L

    I really don’t like being negative, but I will not patronize Downtown Grand again until (if) they get new owners. The service started out amazing, became abysmal and is now just downright terrible. They have spent SO MUCH money on this place and they just got worse and worse. I hope Derek Stevens, the Epstein family or Boyd buys this place and runs it properly.

    • Bill B

      I agree, DTG is operated by bean counters without a clue how to operate a casino On our last trip,in April, we tried the DTG yet again. Even signed up for player cards, the lady who dealt with us made it clear we were an inconvenience. Plus it’s the very first time in Vegas we have never got a little gift or a few $ of free play, not even a cheap souvenir.
      We’ll be in DT Vegas for 2 weeks in October & with the closing of the Vegas Club, Mermaids & La Bayou, we would like another place to play but DTG never fails to disappoint. It’s a real shame because the potential is there.

      • Mike L

        Similar situation. They even refused to honor an offer they sent to me last year because it was “too popular”. Why would any establishment send someone an offer, then a month later refuse to honor it? I would agree with the bean counters comment but from most reports, it doesn’t even sound like they are bringing in that many beans to count… I believe they are in this for well over $200M (including the building and renovations, Scott feel free to jump in if I am wrong). In contrast, Derek Stevens paid $40M for a hotel/casino (Vegas Club) that is actually on Fremont Street.

        • Hundley Fan

          My experience with their promos earlier this month (Labor Day weekend) was very different than yours.

          I played there for a short while one day in July and received a survey request via e-mail a few days later. The hook to complete the survey was $5 in free slot play. Meanwhile, I received a mailer stating I would get $5 in free slot play for any two days in September. I asked about the free slot play at the cage and was told it’s pre-loaded on my players card account and how it’s activated. She reminded me that I would get another $5 in free slot play when I came in a second day that month. It was then I remembered I had the printout for taking the survey back in July. When I handed her the printout, she said, “Oh, you took the survey. Great. That means you’ll get $10 in free slot play today.” She couldn’t have been any nicer.

          The casino is still distressingly empty, though. I hope they can find the right promo to get more gamblers through the doors. Back in the day, Lady Luck’s cheap hot dogs (99 cents, I believe) was enough to get my parents to walk over from Fremont Street every trip to Las Vegas.

  • Bouldersteve

    Looks like a winner. Hope management gives the place time to build up a customer base. Good word of mouth can take some time to show results. DTG has had a history of pulling the plug quickly on restaurants that do not meet sales expectations shortly after opening.

    • Not sure about the format. Live music in a restaurant isn’t common, and that might be for a reason. At clubs and bars, loud, live music is a thing, but when people are having a meal, they tend to want to talk. Guess we’ll see.

      • Bouldersteve

        The music is something they can ditch if it doesn’t work. Restaurants live or die by the food and service. If they get that right its just a matter of getting the right atmosphere by tweaking things.