Category Archives: Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas is a quirky alternative to the Las Vegas Strip, with good gambling, a grittier vibe and a diverse collection of restaurants, bars and casinos.

Circa Las Vegas Shares Metric Hell-Ton of Steakhouse Renderings and Details

Circa’s opening date is fast approaching, and that means the new downtown resort is spilling the toasted sesame seeds about its steakhouse, Barry’s Downtown Prime.

Barry's Downtown Prime

Even the check-in desk has flair at Barry’s.

The “Barry” involved is Chef Barry Dakake (pronounced “day-cake”), and it appears Circa has spared no expense to make Barry’s Downtown Prime a destination steakhouse.

Circa’s restaurants, casino and pool complex open Oct. 28, 2020. The hotel opens Dec. 28, 2020.

Barry's Downtown Prime

Fun fact: They were going to call it Barry’s Downtown Composite, but opinions were divided. Congrats if you’re one of the three people who got this joke. Yes, it was a joke. Rude.

The restaurant’s menu will feature a range of steakhouse favorites, including seafood and all the meats.

Here are the words that jumped out at us in the news release: Surf & Turf Sushi Roll, Chilled Shellfish Platter (Maine lobster, king crab legs, East and West Coast oysters), shrimp cocktail bites, 12-ounce Rib Cap, Tomahawk Ribeye, Japanese Wagyu Beef, filet mignon, Lobster Flambe, Baked Alaska Flambe and classic creme brulee. Mostly that last thing.

Yes, we skipped over the Vegan section, all due respect.

Barry's Downtown Prime

The Sultan’s Table features bovine busts, which would make a pretty good band name.

Barry’s boasts an impressive group of private dining areas, and the renderings speak for themselves.

Here’s a list of the private rooms, several with sweet throwback names: The Chef’s Table, The Pioneer Club, The Sultan’s Table, The Garden Room, The Sabre Room, The Fremont Room, The Mint Room and The Main Street Room.

Barry's Downtown Prime

The Mint Room is a nod to a longtime Fremont Street casino. Well, either that or the great Indian place on Flamingo. Probably the casino.

Circa also announced the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine (also known as an Executive Chef) will be Chef Patrick Hodge III.

Hodge started with Barry Dakake in 2001 when the pair helped make N9NE Steakhouse one of the best-regarded restaurants in town during its run at Palms. N9NE closed, with the requisite drama, in Sep. 2017.

Barry's Downtown Prime

The technical term is “interior designing the crap out of this place.”

These renderings for Barry’s Downtown Prime got us a little giddy, and it’s worth nothing we were mostly sober at the time.

Barry’s is set to give other downtown steakhouses a run for their money, including our favorites Vic & Anthony’s at Golden Nugget, Oscar’s at Plaza, Top of Binion’s at You Figure It Out, Hugo’s Cellar at Four Queens and Andiamo at The D.

Circa Las Vegas

Circa frequents Glamour Shots, apparently.

Get more details about Barray’s Downtown Prime steakhouse at Circa on the official site.

Here are more glorious renderings. You can bet we’ll be sharing some of our poorly-framed and out-of-focus food and cocktail pics from Barry’s Downtown Prime soon.

In case you’re curious, while it’s never been officially announced or confirmed, our sources say Circa resort in Las Vegas cost $1.156 billion.

Checking In on the Downtown Las Vegas Archway

YESCO is making quick work of the downtown Las Vegas welcome archway. We snagged some progress pics on Aug. 19, 2020.

Downtown Las Vegas arch

We could not be a bigger fan of new and shiny things.

By the time you read this, the arches will have connected, but we figured it was worth sharing these for posterity.

Downtown Las Vegas arch

You don’t even realize how inside Vegas we get you.

The archway is at the foot of The Strat. That’s the tall casino with the thrill rides at the top.

Guests drive through the legs of the new archway to enter the porte cochere (a fancy term for “entryway”) of The Strat.

Here’s the view from valet.

Downtown Las Vegas arch

Look at all the “between the legs” jokes we’re not making. The word you’re looking for is “maturity.”

The completion date for the welcome archway is Aug. 28, 2020. YESCO doesn’t mess around.

If you’re ever asked why YESCO is capitalized, reply, “None of your business.”

If you’re every asked why YESCO is capitalized as part of a bar bet, answer, “It’s an initialism. YESCO stands for Young Electric Sign Company.”

YESCO is the same company that renovated Vegas Vickie for her return to Circa Las Vegas, so they’re permanently on our good side.

Vegas arch

The technical term is “boop.”

There’s a lot involved with this seemingly straightforward archway. We got all up in its business to illustrate.

Vegas arch

We would share details of the technical aspects of the archway, but that would involve “effort” and we all know that’s not happening.

The downtown welcome archway is about 80 feet tall. Or 82 feet in heels.

All told, the arch will cost about $6.5 million. Which is a total bargain if you consider the St. Louis Arch cost $13 million back in 1963. That’s about $110 million in today dollars.

Here’s another look at what the finished product will look like.

Las Vegas arch

Passing under an arch is good luck, irrespective of the fact we may have just made that up.

We’re about a week away from the completion of this new downtown photo op, so check back to see the finished product.

Downtown Las Vegas Welcome Archway Has Legs

Construction of the downtown Las Vegas welcome archway is underway and we’ve got all the latest scoop. Along with some sweet-ass pics, of course. Do you know this blog at all?

The archway is slated for completion on August 28, 2020.

Here’s a look at this sparkly new photo op being built downtown.

Downtown Las Vegas arch

This is the caption where we’re legally obligated to share this fun fact: The Las Vegas Strip isn’t in the City of Las Vegas.

The archway will extend from one side of Las Vegas Boulevard to the other, basically at the foot of The Strat. The cross streets are E. St. Louis Ave. and W. Bob Stupak Ave.

The City of Las Vegas will pony up about $6.5 million to build the illuminated archway.

Las Vegas arch

Here’s what downtown’s new erection will eventually look like. Related: Grow up.

Here’s our photo from the same general perspective for comparison purposes.

Strat arch

There’s a pretty good chance people are going to call this the “Strat arch.” The Strat probably isn’t going to complain.

Watch us talking about the arch on the local news when it was originally announced in May 2018.

We were all so much younger and unsoiled a year ago, weren’t we? Well, at least we were all younger.

Vegas arch

Paging Dr. Freud.

The archway is being built east to west by Las Vegas’ go-to sign company, YESCO.

The bases of the 80-foot archway, on the Strat side, are substantial.

Vegas arch

Yes, we took a photo of the arch support. You’re welcome.

When complete, the archway will feature the City of Las Vegas logo. Interestingly, the logo being used was abandoned by the City for official uses in August 2017, because some found the logo confusing because it was seemed to convey “fun” and “a classic vibe” and “visual interest” and “you know, all that crap Vegas is supposed to be about.”

Anyway, the ditched logo will be back in a big way.

Vegas archway

Here’s a closer look at the arch’s inner steel frame and ourter fancy.

The archway joins another “welcome to downtown Vegas” photo op a couple of blocks away.

That display, unveiled in August 2018, cost about $400,000 and features dice, poker chips, a roulette table and showgirls.

Downtown gateway display

Many actual Las Vegas showgirls were nearly this tall.

The welcome sign and arch grew out of a need for a new way to welcome visitors when downtown’s original sign (a replica of the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign near Mandalay Bay) was destroyed when an asshat crashed into it with his truck in July 2016.

All due respect to asses, hats and trucks.

Vegas arch

If you can’t tell the difference between a parabolic arch and a catenary arch, we can’t be friends.

You know we’ll be keeping an eye on the construction of the new downtown welcome archway. We’re always up for some new bling or whatever the kids are calling it now.

Reveal of Five Circa Resort Bars Creating a Buzz

Circa Las Vegas seems to keep topping itself.

First, the downtown resort had its construction topping off ceremony on June 19, 2020.

Now, the casino has shared plans for five bars and lounges, just what we needed to help get us through all the pandemic-related WTF currently trying to create a buzzkill in Las Vegas.

Mega Bar Circa

Behold, our future home away from home.

Circa Las Vegas will have two opening dates: The first five floors (including the casino) open Oct. 28, 2020. The hotel opens Dec. 28, 2020.

How much did Circa cost? While it’s never been officially announced or confirmed, our sources say Circa cost $1.156 billion. We have really good sources.

Here’s a look at the new bars planned for Circa, as well as what inspired them. In addition to hooch. That’s sort of a given.

Vegas Vickie’s

She’s back! Circa’s lobby cocktail lounge will be named after a vintage Vegas sign, Vegas Vickie. Vickie once sat atop the Glitter Gulch strip club, now part of the Circa footprint (along with the former Mermaid’s and the Las Vegas Club).

Vegas Vickie's bar Circa

How many homes away from home is someone allowed to have? Asking for a friend.

We’re so excited for Vegas Vickie to make her return to Fremont Street. We got a little weepy when she was taken down back in 2017.

Vegas Vickie

No, you grow up.

Vickie’s been fully renovated by YESCO Signs, and Vickie will be reunited with her “husband” (yes, they were married), Vegas Vic, when Circa opens in October 2020.

We’ve heard exclusively Vickie’s leg will kick again!

Vegas Vickie Circa

Another exclusive: Vegas Vickie’s boot will feature the signature of the sign’s designer, Charles Barnard.

Mega Bar

How do you top the longest bar in Las Vegas (Longbar at The D, same owners as Circa and Golden Gate)? You build a Mega Bar.

Mega Bar looks to be Longbar, amplified.

Mega Bar Circa

We suggested Leviathan Supersize Elephantine Bar, but apparently that was already being used.

The bar will set another record for its size (165 feet, Longbar is 100 feet-ish), and will have the only acceptable flair bartenders in Las Vegas. Flair slows down the drinks, but the Longbar guys make up for it with their charm and long pours.

Mega Bar will sport the requisite 40 double-stacked TVs and 120 beer taps.

Mega Bar

Remember, it’s not just the length, it’s the mirth. You can totally steal that for your advertising, Circa.

Overhang Bar

Overhang is pretty much going to be a sports lover’s dream, overlooking Circa’s sports book, complete with a 78 million pixel video screen.

The cleverly-named Overhang, pronounced “hangover” when intoxicated, will have video poker machines, which will almost make all the sports tolerable.


We need sports back or everyone at Overhang will be watching “Love Connection” reruns.

Circa Bar

The outdoor bars at The D and Golden Gate are pretty much paying for Circa, so it’s no surprise there will be an epic outdoor bar at Circa itself.

Circa Bar will be in the thick of the circus that is Fremont Street Experience, with 24 frozen cocktail flavors and dancing bartenders. The bar top will be fashioned from recycled Skyy Vodka bottles.

Circa Bar is 118 feet long.

Circa Bar

The most popular slushy flavors on Fremont Street are strawberry, pina colada and margarita.

Legacy Club

While the previous four bars will open, Oct. 28, 2020, guests will have to wait until December 2020 for Legacy Club.

Legacy Circa

We long for a time when everyone can mingle again.

The bar is said to be inspired by Las Vegas’ founding fathers, and will have one of the best views in town from Circa’s 35th floor. Metal busts will line the hall of Legacy Club, so we’re thinking along the line of the Crazy Girls butts. We didn’t read the news release all that closely.

Legacy lounge Circa

Downtown’s about to get a metric shit-ton of fancy.

Legacy Club will boast a 10-foot display of 1,000 ounces of gold, pretty much guaranteed to be a must-see photo op after one hits up Vegas Vickie.

Legacy lounge Circa

Circa is the tallest structure downtown (if you don’t count Strat), so the view is guaranteed to be spectacular.

We’re thrilled about the promising collection of bars and lounges at Circa.

They even threw in a bonus beverage offering, Jack Pots, a coffee shop. This coffee stand comes from one of our favorite new Circa partners, the “sandwich legend” behind Michigan’s Zingerman’s Deli, Paul Saginaw.

Saginaw will also oversee Circa’s Saginaw’s Delicatessen, a 24-hour cafe. Expect the cafe to serve a shrimp cocktail using the same sauce recipe that made Golden Gate a thing.

Jack Pots coffee Circa

Sorry, Jack Pots, this blog has never had coffee. All due respect.

Read all about the Circa restaurants.

It’s an entirely surreal time to be opening a Las Vegas resort, but Circa’s line-up of bars has given us something to look forward to, and just three months away!

We can’t wait to test drive all these Circa bars on your behalf. We’re selfless like that.

Hotel Cloe Planned for Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

This one has flown under the radar, but a new boutique hotel planned for downtown’s Arts District has been dubbed Hotel Cloe.

Details are few at this point, but Hotel Cloe’s Web site describes the hotel as “following a new worldwide trend towards lean-luxury, service-focused, 4-star resorts.”

The four-floor Hotel Cloe will have luxury 74 rooms.

Talk about a tall order, luxurywise. It’s Vegas, after all.

Hotel Cloe Las Vegas

Nope, no renderings, but renderings aren’t a reliable way to judge whether a project will actually exist. Just ask the asshats at Bleutech Park.

The site goes on to say the hotel will have “a cozy, minimal, yet modern aesthetic, programming rich in art and culture, and lush greenery throughout the hotel, bar and restaurant and poolside areas.”

The hotel will “be constructed largely of steel, glass and concrete, with a design-aesthetic that pays homage to the neighborhood.”

As mentioned, the neighborhood in question is the downtown Arts District, also known as 18b. The 18b comes from the original Arts District being 18 blocks.

Links on the Hotel Cloe Web site go to various social media platforms named “18b Hotel,” so we trust that was the working name of the project.

A shame to lose this logo. Bonus points if you see a heavyset guy being crushed by the walls of his hotel room.

That’s about all we know about Hotel Cloe. We’re not sure if it has financing or who’s behind it, other than a blurb on the Web site saying they’re “local designers, builders, architects and entrepreneurs who live in and believe in Downtown Las Vegas.”

We’re pretty sure COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into plans for the new hotel, as the site says, “Coming spring 2020 to the Las Vegas Arts District.” Yeah, not so much.

The site also shares, “Hotel Cloe is set to start construction in the coming weeks.”

In hotel financing circles, that’s what’s referred to as “wiggle room.”

While we won’t be holding our breath on this one, we enjoy sharing things before they’re a thing.

Downtown Las Vegas Archway Is a Go Again

Construction of a downtown welcome arch is back on track, according to our sources.

The long-awaited archway will be located near the foot of The Strat, between E. St. Louis Ave. and W. Bob Stupak Ave.

Road closures and construction will begin July 30, 2020.

Downtown Las Vegas gateway arch

Before the latest news, our hopes of seeing these arches had fallen considerably.

The downtown Las Vegas welcome archway should be completed by August 28, 2020.

The archway is expected to cost about $6.5 million.

Construction was originally supposed to start on March 16, 2020, but the schedule was shifted.

Because it’s 2020. Shift happens.

The first component of the “downtown gateway” project opened several months ago. The display offers visitors a photo op with larger-than-life showgirls, dice, chips and a roulette wheel. See more.

Downtown gateway display

It’s no “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, but it’s got more gambling tchotchkes.

While we we skeptical tourists would stop at the welcome display, we’ve driven by it dozens of times and people were taking advantage of the photo op virtually every time, day or night.

We expect the new downtown archway will get a similar positive response.

We’re always up for something new and shiny, and the new downtown Las Vegas welcome archway certainly qualifies.