Category Archives: Las Vegas Bars

Ellis Island Tiki Lounge is Like a Luau in Your Pants

Look, we’ve written more than 2,000 headlines for this site, not every one can be gold.

Let’s not allow the visual of a luau in your pants distract from the fact the pop-up tiki lounge at Ellis Island is awesome, and we’ve got the photos to prove it.

Front Yard is one of our favorite off-Strip hangs. Now, it’s even hangier.

The new tiki lounge, called The Island at Ellis, is on the second floor of the Front Yard, a restaurant venue attached to the popular family-owned casino.

The team at Ellis Island went all out to decorate the place, and nailed it on the tropical vibe.

In Maori mythology, Tiki was the first man created. Sort of a more tanned Adam.

The food is excellent, although the menu is somewhat limited.

The options are coconut shrimp, pork belly bites, wings, a quesadilla, pizza and a couple of burgers.

It’s even better than it looks.

And yes, the pizza is delicious, despite the fact pineapple should never, ever be on pizza. Everyone knows that.

Guests of Front Yard can order items from the tiki lounge menu, but not the other way around.

You have to admire any menu where the drinks take up twice the space as the food.

The specialty cocktails are equally awesome! From what we remember, we highly recommend the Painkiller and Mermaid’s Hangover.

Consider your pain killed.

Once you’ve worked your way through the food menu and cocktails, it’s time to play.

There are two blackjack tables in the new tiki lounge, and four very generous, branded slot machines.

We had a couple of nice video poker hits just to ensure our visit was especially memorable.

Tikis, it turns out, protect against evil spirits, also known as “random number generators.”

Also memorable is a 15-foot swordfish hanging in the tiki lounge.

Fun fact: It’s a replica of an actual swordfish caught by the patriarch of the Ellis family, Gary Ellis, easily one of the nicest casino owners in Las Vegas, despite how the swordfish feels about him.

Swordfish are also known as broadbills, despite that being really sexist.

Officially, The Island at Ellis is supposed to go away after July 4, but no way that’s happening if we have anything to say about it. Which we don’t, but still. We expect the tiki lounge will be extended a month or two beyond its announced expiration date.

The tiki lounge is open Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to midnight; Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4-10 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Don’t freak out. Grass is legal in Nevada.

Props to Ellis Island, already know for the freshness of its beer (there’s a brewery on-site), the lowness of its table minimums and fleekness of its barbeque, for finding a creative way to give guests another reason to visit.

If you hit the pop-up tiki lounge at Ellis Island, let us know what you think, but only if you agree with our take. If you disagree, have another Painkiller and get back to us.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill Closes Permanently at Harrah’s

Toby Keith’s fans will no longer be able to hoist their red Solo cups at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Signs point to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill being closed permanently at the mid-Strip  casino.

Toby Keith closed Harrah's

Toby Keith has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and you still didn’t know “Keith” is his middle name. Last name: Covel.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill never reopened following a closure in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Harrah’s, nor its owner, Caesars Entertainment, have officially confirmed the venue has closed for good, despite multiple requests.

However, Harrah’s staffers say the restaurant is current being used for storage, the gift shop has been completely cleared out and Harrah’s management is looking for a new concept for the space.

Toby Keith Las Vegas closed

Dibs on one of these Solo cup chandeliers.

The closure wasn’t too much of a surprise given some of the drama around Toby Keith-branded restaurants in 2020, the culmination of years of controversy.

Toby Keith’s restaurant and bar opened at Harrah’s Las Vegas on June 29, 2005.

I Love This Bar & Grill had an impressive run, given the fact most restaurants in the chain averaged a two-year lifespan.

The 262-seat venue featured live music, a dance floor, country-themed decor and a guitar-shaped bar.

Toby Keith restaurant Las Vegas

Many honkeys were tonked here.

Harrah’s recently finished what’s been touted as a $200 million renovation project.

All 2,542 rooms at Harrah’s have been redesigned, and the casino floor has been remodeled. Harrah’s has two new high-definition LED screens to show off its amenities.

About a year ago, Harrah’s removed a lot of the theming from its facade, and now the hotel boasts a more modern feel.

Creepy jesters are out.

The investments made at Harrah’s are directly attributable to the construction of the new Caesars Forum Conference Center nearby.

Yes, there’s already a Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. This will not cause any confusion whatsoever.

Anyhoo, conventioneers don’t love cheesy themes, so Harrah’s has largely gotten rid of its Mardi Gras jesters and other outdated touches.

In anticipation of your question, yes, Winnie and Buck survived the renovation.

Winnie Buck Chip Harrah's

Are you Vegas enough to know the dog’s name is Chip?

Today’s rabbit hole: If you look closely at that photo of Winnie and Buck, you’ll notice Winnie’s hand is in great shape.

Back in 2017, Winnie’s fingers were intact and sporting a huge rock.

Thanks to some asshattery, Winnie’s fingers have since been vandalized. We’d argue some of that $200 million spent on the Harrah’s renovations should’ve been devoted to restoring Winnie’s digits to their former glory.

Winnie Harrah's fingers

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Bringing things full circle, it’s worth noting the news release touting the Harrah’s renovations and entertainment offerings did not include Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. (It also didn’t mention the awkward departure of Mac King after 22 years. He’s relocating to Excalibur.)

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill will be missed by country music fans, and we look forward to seeing what’s in the works for the space.

Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas Reopens After More Than a Year

Gird your cheeks, Hofbrauhaus is back.

The off-Strip beer hall and restaurant reopened June 1, 2021.

The lively venue has been closed since March 2020. That’s because medical experts agree the leading causes of COVID-19 spread are spankings and Austrian sing-a-longs.

Top tip: When you enter Hofbrauhaus, familiarize yourself with the location of the restrooms.

Hofbrauhaus, of course, is known not only for it brews and schnitzel, but also for the paddling.

Hofbrauhaus guests can receiving a spanking by a “Spankstress” with a shot paddle upon request.

In related news, what in the hell is wrong with people?

Then again, people voluntarily order sauerbraten, so the answer is “a lot.”

Welcome back, you beautiful hangover-maker.

Hofbrauhaus is located just across the street from Virgin Las Vegas, formerly Hard Rock, at Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue.

The popular venue has been in operation for 17 years.

Hofbrauhaus hours of operation are: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.

While we are not a beer person (we’ve never had one, actually), whenever we visit Hofbrauhaus, people seem to be having an absolute blast.

Honestly, it’s all about the bigass pretzels.

Hofbrauhaus pretzels

Skip the salt, heavy on the mustard.

Fun fact: It took the owners of Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas two years to negotiate a license with the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich to replicate the iconic tavern.

The return of Hofbrauhaus is another long-awaited symbol of a return to normalcy in Las Vegas.

So, bottoms up. In more ways than one.

Ellis Island Casino to Host Pop-Up Tiki Bar

One of our favorite Las Vegas casinos, Ellis Island, is spicing things up with a pop-up tiki bar in June.

The second floor of its Front Yard venue will transform into a “delightfully kitschy, tiki bar escape” from June 3 to July 4, 2021.

Related: Delightfully Kitschy would make a great band name.

Ellis tiki bar

Somebody should give the Brady kids a heads up. Yes, that’s a reference from 1972. Don’t make it awkward.

The food at Front Yard is already universally excellent, but the culinary team is creating a custom menu just for the tiki bar experience.

Items like the Teriyaki Chicken Burger, Tiki Quesadilla and Coconut Shrimp will only be available
on the second floor, but guests can still get items on Front Yard’s everyday menus.

We remain optimistic about these offerings despite what is clearly pineapple on a pizza.

Naturally, there will be 10 island-themed specialty cocktails.

To add to the appeal of the tiki bar even further, there will be two blackjack tables.

Ellis Island is doing what it does best: Food. Drink. Gambling. Value.

Now, all those things get a tropical twist at The Island at Ellis.

Ellis Island Island

The Island at Ellis Island. Also, Las Vegas is known as the “Ninth Island.” It’s the “Inception” tiki bars.

If it were anywhere else, it would be a little goofy, but it’s flipping Ellis Island, so we can’t wait.

Starting June 3, the tiki bar will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to midnight; Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Why the breaks in the hours? Have you ever been to a tropical island? Da kine afternoon nap, bruddah.

Break out your Hawaiian shirt or muumuu, and drink up while you can. The tiki bar at Ellis Island is a limited engagement, unless we have anything to say about it.

Update (6/1/21): We got our hands on the menu for the Ellis Island tiki bar. Have a look.

We’ll take any exclusive we can get!

Despite Our Best Efforts, Karaoke is Back

One of the few upsides of the pandemic was the disappearance of karaoke in Las Vegas, but now it’s back, despite our best efforts.

Yes, yes, we know karaoke (a Japanese term meaning “ear stabbing”) has legions of fans. There are also people who enjoy having their testicles crushed between large rocks.

Anyhoo, Nevada officials have deemed karaoke and open mic gatherings cool again, as long as venues stick to a 50 percent capacity limit.

For additional protection, karaoke lounges must use microphone covers, replaced after every slaughtering of “Sweet Caroline” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Kamu mic cover

So glad we had the foresight to invest in mic condom futures.

Venues must also keep singers 12 feet from audience members, which, in the case of most karaoke singers, isn’t nearly far enough.

Anyone not actively singing, eating or drinking must be masked. Our motto: Always be drinking.

There are a slew of karaoke options in Las Vegas.

A few of the most popular are Cat’s Meow at Neonopolis, Ellis Island, Dino’s Lounge and Kamu Karaoke at Palazzo.

Yes, there are many others, but we don’t want to encourage this behavior.

Kamu neon room

Kamu Karaoke wins everything with this neongasm, one of 40 themed rooms.

It’s best to not question why authorities considered karaoke a public health hazard before now. Beyond the obvious threat to eardrums, that is.

Let’s just focus on the fact Vegas is healing, with restrictions loosening and crowds returning (at least on weekends).

The surprisingly quick return of visitors in such great numbers has caused some service issues, and don’t get us started about rideshare wait times, but overall, Las Vegas is ready to Las Vegas again.

We even sort of welcome the off-key screeching of karaoke singers. We’re confident the feeling will pass.

Resorts World Unleashes Mind-Boggling List of Restaurants and Lounges

We’ve been sharing restaurant scoop out of Resorts World for awhile now, but that was just the tip of the culinary iceberg.

Insert your favorite “just the tip” joke here.

Seriously, though, holy crap, it’s a lot of restaurant newness, and we are champing at the bit to masticate our way through the expansive roster of eateries.

Resorts World restaurants

Lucky Cat is excited to welcome guests to Resorts World while also making them purchase lint brushes.

Resorts World’s line-up of restaurants is truly mind-boggling. We have no idea if this collection of offerings is even remotely sustainable, but at this juncture, skepticism is taking a back seat to exuberance.

Here’s the rundown, which we dutifully pretty much copied and pasted from the Resorts World news release, albeit with more snark, as is required by Nevada state law. Oh, and also with 40 percent less P.R. fluffery. You’re welcome.

Resorts World Signature Restaurants

Viva
Yes, it’s technically, “¡VIVA!,” but we don’t play by society’s rules. Viva is a Mexican restaurant from Chef Ray Garcia. Garcia is an L.A. import, best known for Broken Spanish.

“Viva,” in Spanish, means “take it easy on the beans.”

Genting Palace
This restaurant from Genting (owners of Resorts World) will offer authentic Cantonese cuisine, seafood and “exceptional dim sum.” We didn’t say we’d take out all the fluffery. Besides, Exceptional Dim Sum would make a decent band name.

Even with the mutant monkey, we like the feel of this place, already.

Kusa Nori
Here’s one for the sushi fans, this “Japanese bistro” will also feature yakitori and teppanyaki dishes, plus sake. Which we probably should’ve said up front, because saki. In Japanese, “kusa” means grass or herb. “Nori” is seaweed. So, “seaweed grass”? We’ll just stick with Kusa Nori.

Brezza
Our source said it would be “Brazza,” but close enough. Brezza (“gentle breeze” in Italian) comes from two culinary veterans, Nicole Brisson and Jason Rocheleau. We love Italian, so this tops our list of Resorts World restaurants we’re most moist about.

Bar Zazu
A second concept from Brisson and Rocheleau, this cafe will “bring alive the spirit and flavors of Europe” with tapas, cheese and charcuterie and pastries.

Yes, Zazu was a character in “The Lion King.” Zazu means “movement,” for what it’s worth.

Resorts World Casual Restaurants

Craig’s Vegan
This venue is the first-ever ice cream shop from the folks behind the L.A. hotspot, Craig’s. We were the first to share (wait for it) the scoop the brand was coming to Las Vegas, so it’s already on our good side. Vegans are sure to appreciate these guilt-free scoops, pints, sundaes and shakes.

“Cashew milk” doesn’t even sound that gross. See more.

Sun’s Out Buns Out
Our source gave us some solid scoop on this one! This egg-centric restaurant will offer egg dishes all day, every day. Which is sort of weird, but we love the name so much, they get a pass. Think Eggslut at Cosmopolitan, but good.

Not a fan of eggs, but love the chairs from “Men in Black.”

Tacos El Cabron
Tacos El Cabron, out of San Diego, will have Tijuana-inspired Mexican cuisine like street tacos, street corn, burritos and bowls. For the record, there’s a huge difference between street tacos and tacos. The biggest difference is marketing.

A name so great, how bad could the tacos be?

Marigold
This offering comes from Billy Richardson, whose other restaurant in town, Holstein’s at Cosmopolitan, makes us suspect Marigold will have a following from day one. Marigold will have burgers, lobster and house-made desserts.

Richie Palmer’s Mulberry Street Pizzeria of Beverly Hills
This place wins the award for longest restaurant name at Resorts World. It’s pizza!

The Kitchen at Resorts World
It sounds like this is the resort’s 24/7 cafe. The international menu will have burgers, pasta and wok-fried noodle dishes as well as a buffet option.

Hey, function over form makes sense for a casino cafe. Resorts World has set the bar very high for interior design.

The Market
This grab-and-go spot will have sandwiches, snacks, wine and small-batch sodas, 24/7.

Pool Dining and Bars
Resorts World Las Vegas will have four food and beverage options across its 5.5-acre pool complex. Venues include Agave Bar & Grill (Mediterranean), Bites (snack bar) and two full-service bars. One of the bars will have cornhole and life-sized Jenga, further proof we don’t have to be snarky about everything.

Bars & Lounges

Dawg House Saloon & Sportsbook
Another offering our sources nailed, thank you! The original Dawg House is in Nashville, and this classic Nashville sports bar will boast live music and dancing, beer, cocktails and American pub fare.

Remember when live entertainment was a thing? Let’s bring that back. We promise not to be annoyed.

Starlight on 66
Promising sweeping views of The Strip, Starlight on 66 will sit 66 floors up. The lounge will showcase fine and rare spirits, cocktails and small plates. With all the money Resorts World is investing in its lounges and restaurants, it’s surprising they couldn’t get bigger plates. We kid! Can’t wait to check out these views. And cocktails. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

Assuming Resorts World has no fourth floor, or 13th floor, or any floor in the 40s (it’s a superstition thing), this should lounge should technically be called Starlight on 55. Just saying.

Oh, like we’re going to let that weird-ass artwork just slide by. Do you know this blog at all?

We’re pretty sure this is a tiger eating another tiger that’s eating a chipmunk eating a crow. It’s the “Inception” of WTF.

Crystal Bar
Crystal Bar will be on the casino floor and serve handcrafted cocktails and curated spirits. We, for one, demand our spirits be “curated.”

Drop-dead gorgeous.

Casino & Lobby Bars
Guests won’t have to look too hard for hooch. Bars throughout the resort include Baccarat Bar, High Limit Bar, Conrad Lobby Bar and Crockfords Lobby Bar. Conrad and Crockfords refer to two of the hotel brands inside Resorts World.

What a collection of restaurants! Color us impressed.

This was just the latest batch of restaurants and bars at Resorts World.

Resorts World previously announced Famous Foods Street Eats (a massive, Asian hawker-inspired food hall), Fuhu (an Asian vibe food experience of some sort), RedTail (a “social gaming” bar with shared plates, beer pong, darts and pool), Gatsby’s Cocktail Lounge (a fancy lounge named after Leonardo “Gatsby” DiCaprio) and Wally’s Wine & Spirits (you know, wine and spirits).

Just in case you worried the other 46 sources of liquor at Resorts World were insufficient.

Resorts World is pulling no punches (and sparing no expense) in its commitment to deliver some serious OMFG moments when the resort opens this summer. Rumors are swirling about what the opening date might be, but it could be as early as mid-May.

Las Vegas is a dining mecca, and from the looks of it, Resorts World is ready to reinforce that status with a drool-conjuring list of temptations not only for the palate, but all the senses.

We already have a crush on you, Starlight on 66ish.

We’re all ready, Resorts World. We love your unwavering belief there’s pent-up demand for Las Vegas, and for places that tickle our “wow response” again. The skeptics can suck it, Las Vegas was built on big ideas and leaps of faith. And lap dances, but mostly big ideas and leaps of faith!

Let’s gormandize again. Let’s Resorts World.

You can totally steal that line for your advertising, Resorts World. No charge. Although, if Craig’s has vegan chocolate chip ice cream, we’ll take a pint of that. Not mint chocolate chip. We aren’t a weirdo.