Vital Vegas Blog

30 New Things in Downtown Las Vegas Since Your Last Visit

There’s always something new happening in Las Vegas, and we try our best to keep up with the latest restaurants, bars and offbeat things to do and see.

Here, we’ve decided to focus on downtown, so let’s dive into a metric ass-ton of what’s new since your list Las Vegas visit.

1. Golden Gate Expansion

Downtown’s oldest casino recently unveiled an expansion into the space formerly occupied by La Bayou. The space added about 100 slot machines to the casino, and features an entrance highlighted by a 24-foot-tall fountain of TVs.

The TV “fountain” is surrounded by 468 mirrors, much like Jennifer Aniston.

2. Corduroy Bar

Corduroy Bar opened on Fremont Street between Beauty Bar and The Griffin. It’s a good drink and a good time. What else do you need from a Vegas bar?

Corduroy features a “bubble wall” behind the bar and Moscow Mules on tap.

3. White Castle on Fremont

White Castle got a lot of buzz when it opened on Fremont Street. It no longer serves liquor (liquor license trouble), but still fills a void for those experiencing the “drunchies.” So, pretty much everyone partying on Fremont Street.

Yes, they screwed with the Trader Bill’s sign, but we’re trying to get past it.

4. Las Vegas Lights Soccer

Yes, Las Vegas now has a pro soccer team, the Las Vegas Lights. The team was named by fans, and its logo was also crowd-sourced. The team starts play in downtown’s Cashman Center in 2018.

The “FC” stands for “football club,” and you can’t go wrong with Googie stars.

5. Downtown Grand High Limit Room

Downtown Grand’s high limit room has gone through several iterations, but we like it’s current one the best. It’s petite, but welcoming and visually appealing. Also new at Downtown Grand is an e-sports lounge in the former Commissary.

Just the right amount of fancy.

6. Sidebar Renovation

Just across the way from Downtown Grand is Triple George, one of our favorite restaurants in Las Vegas. Sidebar is attached to Triple George and recently got an overhaul. We hear Sidebar will be rebranded soon, so we’ll have something for a future “new in downtown” list.

Yes, Sidebar is on one side of Triple George, but the name refers to the fact lawyers who work downtown frequent the establishment.

7. Waffelato at Downtown Container Park

This new treat spot specializes in “Hong Kong-style egg waffles,” whatever those might be, and Italian gelato. We know exactly what that is.

Hong Kong-style waffles are eggy leavened batter cooked between two plates of semi-spherical cells. Oh, just eat them, already.

8. Downtown Terrace Kitchen & Bar

Perch restaurant has a new name, Downtown Terrace Kitchen & Bar. Apparently, the eatery heard from another venue with the same name and decided to rebrand to avoid any legal hassles.

Here’s Downtown Terrace Kitchen & Bar, especially that last thing.

9. Movies at The Dome

Also at Downtown Container Park, there are now movies showing inside The Dome. The Dome shows family-friendly fare on an “ultra-HD” screen billed having 14 million pixels and “360-degree imagery.” The Dome seats 25 and tickets run in the $15 range.

Fun fact: There is currently nothing in Las Vegas that isn’t described as “immersive.”

10. Ike’s at El Cortez

El Cortez revamped its casino bar and now it’s Ike’s. The hope of Ike’s is to grab some of these elusive millennials casinos have heard so much about. Surprisingly, we hear Ike’s is actually drawing its intended audience, as they’re already bar-hopping on Fremont East, anyway.

While you’re there, check out the table with chips from the closed Thunderbird and Western casinos embedded in it.

11. Chumlee’s Candy on the Blvd. at Pawn Plaza

The popular goofball and fan favorite of “Pawn Stars,” Chumlee, has opened a candy store at Pawn Plaza. There’s a great selection of classic candy, and Chumlee makes frequent appearances at the store, so consider the bumped up prices the cost of rubbing elbows with reality TV royalty.

Fun fact: Nostalgic candy has fewer calories than typical candy, and that’s the story out thighs are sticking to.

12. Carson Kitchen Expansion

A downtown favorite, Carson Kitchen, recently got a new bar when it expanded into a neighboring tattoo shop. Same great menu, with more seats and cocktails.

Carson Kitchen’s expansion arrived just in time because downtown was lacking in watering holes.

13. World’s Largest Keno Board at The D

Yes, it’s just a large video screen at The D, but it does show live keno games, so it probably qualifies as the “world’s largest keno board.”

We sort of put this on the list so we could share this photo because we are nine.

14. Fear the Walking Dead Survival Attraction

This new walk-through attraction was created in conjunction with “Fear the Walking Dead.” It’s (wait for it) immersive and features a motion ride.

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. Well, that and becoming a reanimated corpse.

15. Life is Beautiful Murals

Life is Beautiful is an annual music festival in downtown Las Vegas, and the event brings with it some impressive murals. The mural below is on the Fremont Street Experience parking garage. The Plaza and El Cortez got murals, too.

We’d tell you who painted this mural, but that would involve “effort.” We can barely muster the effort needed to swallow our Captain Morgan, and we really like Captain Morgan.

16. 7th & Carson Restaurant

Glutton’s out, 7th & Carson is in. The menu is divided into Oven, Land, Sea and Earth, so you’re pretty much covered.

If only we knew where 7th & Carson is located.

17. Flippin’ Good Restaurant Renovation

Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes is back after a major overhaul. The name of the place has been tweaked to Flippin’ Good Chicken, Burgers, Beer, and the former fast food place is now a casual restaurant complete with servers.

Except for the country music, we love the joint.

18. Not Your Father’s Root Beer Pint at Hennessey’s

It’s billed as the world’s largest pint glass, and it sits atop Hennessey’s tavern. For some time, the Hennessey’s pint glass doubled as a billboard for Bass Pale Ale. It took a full year (no, really), but the pint glass now touts Not Your Father’s Root Beer.

The Not Your Father’s Root Beer mug was originally designed to have a handle. Unrelated: In gambling, a “handle” refers to the total amount of bets taken.

19. Downtown Loop Shuttle Service

The Downtown Loop moves riders between seven stops, at least three of which you’d actually want to visit: Bonneville Transit Center, The Arts District, Pawn Plaza, Fremont East, the Mob Museum, Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas North Premium Outlets.

The Downtown Loop stops about every 20 minutes, or approximately four times longer than sex with us.

20. Las Vegas Club Demolition

This blog loves it some Las Vegas Club demolition. The gradual dismantling of the Las Vegas Club, as well as Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club, has changed the downtown landscape, and there’s more newness on the way as a new resort gets built. And, yes, a demolition is a “new thing.” Like we were going to do a list with 29 things on it.

Hey, even excavators get the drunchies.

21. Axe Hole at Neonopolis

The business model is simple: Pay to throw sharp objects at targets. It’s therapeutic, it’s challenging and it’s utterly addictive. Axe Hole is a fun diversion and your new eye patch will really up your mystique quotient.

There are no actual holes involved in Axe Hole. Marketing!

22. Mural at Evel Pie

One of our favorite Las Vegas pizza joints is still evolving, including a new mural that captures the spirit of the 1970s throwback.

Evel Pie sits between Park on Fremont and Red lounge. You sort of can’t miss her. It, you sort of can’t miss it.

23. Smooth Eats

Smooth Eats, from the owners of the popular Donut Bar, serves up smoothies, salads and sandwiches in the space that used to be home of Grass Roots Juice Bar. Come for the paninis, stay for the wheat grass shots, you freak.

The last time we had anything this healthy, our liver could do 50 push-ups without breaking a sweat.

24. Neon Museum Expansion

Downtown’s Neon Museum recently bought up some neighboring land and has expanded its footprint to allow for about 30 more classic Las Vegas signs. Bonus: There was demolition involved.

We haven’t been by since the expansion, but we were giddy about the arrival of these giant Googies.

25. Wana Taco at Four Queens

The Wana Taco stand just inside the northeast entrance of Four Queens started as a temporary offering, but is back permanently. The tacos are surprisingly good, and the price is right. You can’t get hooch at the taco stand, but there’s a casino bar just a few feet away.

Save room for cookies, which isn’t just a tip for Wana Taco, it’s a tip for Life.

26. Downtown Parking App

Downtown has frequently tried to change public perception about its parking challenges, and is now touting a new app to make parking (or at least paying for it) easier. The app, Passport Parking, helps visitors monitor their parking “session,” pay for additional time remotely and get receipts by mail. Hey, we didn’t say it’s “fun,” we just said it’s “new.” Well, new-ish. It’s been used in the City’s surface lots for two years.

Here’s a frequently asked question: If the story’s about the City of Las Vegas (downtown), why are the folks at Passport using photos of The Strip?

27. Troy Liquor Bar at Golden Nugget

Gold Diggers at Golden Nugget is no more, but there’s something new already in the works. The Gold Diggers space is being renovated and will be rebranded as Troy Liquor Bar.

Troy Liquor Bar is already an established brand in New York’s meat packing district. “Meat packing,” surprisingly, is not a euphemism for anything.

28. Golden Nugget Sports Book Renovation

Also new at Golden Nugget is a recently-unveiled sports book renovation. We do not know the specifics of the renovation because we are not a sports person, but we understand customers quite like the improvements.

This is where you can bet on your favorite sportsball.

29. Binion’s Poker Room Relocation

Poker was a thing at Binion’s before poker was a thing, a sentiment they should clearly steal and use in their advertisements. Binion’s has turned its former poker room into a space for arena gaming and to debut new slot machines, so its live poker area has moved to the main casino floor. The casino has erected a wall to separate the new poker room from the sports book, complete with photos from its Poker Hall of Fame.

On Jan. 23, 2004, Harrah’s (now Caesars Entertainment) bought Binion’s Horseshoe. They sold it on Mar. 11, 2004, keeping the Horseshoe brand and World Series of Poker.

30. Driverless Shuttle on Fremont East

It’s back and nobody’s at the wheel. After a short test in early 2017, a driverless shuttle (autonomous vehicle) is back for a year-long run on Fremont East. The shuttle is free, travels in a .6-mile loop and is the first of its kind to be deployed on a public roadway in the country.

While there won’t be a driver, there will be an attendant onboard at all times. It’s not about making sense, it’s about making news!

Unless we’ve miscounted, that’s 30 new things, and boy are our arms tired.

We’d list more, but we’re fairly exhausted. We’re also a big fan of more doing things and less writing about things.

Please note, as our day job, we work in digital marketing at downtown’s Fremont Street Experience. And, yes, we tend to put “work” in quotation marks.

There are a few noteworthy new things going on at Fremont Street Experience, including a resurfacing of the mall (happening now) and an upgrade in the works for the Viva Vision canopy, but seriously, our arms are very tired and we might need them for something.

If you think of anything we’ve left off our list, please send it our way so we can be duly impressed.