In the early 1950s, at the start of the Cold War, crowds would gather on the roof of Atomic Liquors, cocktails in hand, waiting for the show to begin. However, this particular brand of Vegas entertainment didn't feature singing, dancing, or strongmen wrestling slot machines. In fact, the stage was nearly 50 miles away,
where the massive blasts from nuclear-bomb tests sent mushroom clouds billowing into the desert sky. Atomic Liquors?n?e Virginia's Cafe?changed its name in 1952 to jibe with its free entertainment. That same year, the bar's original owners, Joe and Stella Sobchik, outfitted it with a new sign, which the Huffington Post recently lauded as a classic piece of Americana.
When it first went up, that now-iconic sign was a beacon for Las Vegas' stable of stars. The Rat Pack and the Smothers Brothers used to drink here after their shows, and Barbara Streisand even had her own seat, which has since been restored and put on display. Indeed, as Atomic Liquors' list of famous patrons grew, so did its acting resume?movies such as Casino and The Hangover and TV shows such as The Twilight Zone have all filmed scenes at the bar. Yet despite the history of glitz and glamor, Sin City's oldest freestanding bar doesn't rest on its pedigree; its updated list of libations includes 60 different kinds of beer, including 20 on tap, as well as a plethora of whiskeys and other spirits.
Free parking is located on Fremont Street.