Peppered with a fleet of entertaining games, the jovial bar atmosphere at Beer Bellies serves as a textbook example of the ideal environment for patrons to throw back libations and snack on classic grill fare. Like a fish's dining room, the watering hole boasts limited table seating, but customers can perch along the ample bar to imbibe beers and cocktails mixed by a staff of friendly bartenders. Fried appetizers, including mozzarella sticks and cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers, precede burgers swathed in american or pepper jack cheese. Between bites, diners can test their luck and elbow strength on penny, nickel, and dime slot machines. A fleet of Keno varieties, including Caveman Keno and Lightning Keno, neighbor digital poker and black jack, and budding opera stars can take the stage for karaoke on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Patrons perched on white-topped bar stools sip liquor, wine, and carefully mixed drinks in Vanguard Lounge's candlelit interior. House cocktails layer delicious relaxation upon thirsty groups, with brand selection dependent on the current stock and bartender’s daily horoscope. The classic Negroni evokes 1920s glamour with a swirl of Plymouth gin, Campari, and liquefied jazz riffs ($10), and reserve rum, passion-fruit puree, and sparkling wine sweetly intermingle in the Jean Fleury cocktail ($9). Alternatively, guests can sip 11 wines by the glass ($6–$14) as clock hands float past 9 p.m. and DJs pump house jams directly into visitors' veins Wednesday–Saturday.
Nestled within the same high-ceilinged, industrial setting, Brass the Lounge and Las Vegas Country Saloon combine their culinary prowess to deliver a menu of eclectic gastropub fare and drinks. Live music fills the space most nights, entertaining patrons who scoop mouthfuls of the crabby dip ($12.95), a combination of blue crab, homemade artichoke dip, and birthday wishes from Poseidon. A porcini-encrusted burger, grilled and topped with brie ($12.95), receives compliments from nearby bloody marys, which are made from scratch with spices and fresh-squeezed juices ($7–$8). Between straw vacuums of the Tito's vodka–infused russian mary ($7), patrons' hands grow larger to palm the trio of sliders, with a lineup of toppings including applewood-smoked bacon, mushrooms and brie, and blue cheese ($10.95).
Home of Las Vegas’ first traffic light and high-rise building, Fremont Street keeps fans of vintage Vegas consistently starstruck, with lavish celebrations thrown by the landmark's eponymous party-planning committee. As 2011 wanes, the TributePalooza celebration shreds resolutions into neon ticker tape with eight hours of crowd-pleasing rock strewn across three stages. Headlining the event, raucous hair-metal heroes Steel Panther glam it up with unabashedly goofy stage moves and unapologetic spandex. Following suit with headbanging levity, fellow silly-string strummers Rock Sugar mash up sound-pies of ‘80s pop and mascara metal, creating laughter you can dance to.
Courthouse Bar & Grill ups the ante for lively neighborhood atmospheres with flat-screen TVs and video poker. A full menu tops off empty stomach tanks with breakfast classics such as french toast, pancakes, and eggs ($5.50 each), while noontime noshers and sundown diners can grab spinach- or flour-tortilla wraps ($6.50) and hearty classics such as fish 'n' chips ($6.50) and hot pastrami sandwiches ($7.50). Courthouse offers the comforts of a bar alongside the thrill of electronically dealt bliss; if you abjure playing poker, you can head to the outdoor patio and gamble on whether or not the ball lightning will return.
Gallery Nightclub is located in the Planet Hollywood hotel right on the Strip, and it fits in nicely with its stylish neighbors. Massive mirrors and fashion photos adorn the walls of leather-clad lounge areas. The exclusive atmosphere has caught the attention of celebrities, including Carmen Electra, Fabolous, Jenny McCarthy, and Joanna Krupa.
Every week, the club keeps things fresh with events such as Ladies’ Night Thursdays. There are five bachelorette party packages, too, some of which include bottle service, dinner, and inflatable limousines.
The chefs and bartenders at Whiskey Dick’s draw inspiration from Prohibition-era smuggling magnate Richard Williams Junior as they parade a new menu of burgers, wings, and pizza onto tables and whiskey barrels. Resting between house-made buns, the swiss mushroom burger ($8.67+) dons melted cheese over wild mushrooms and BBQ burger ($8.94) is topped with whiskey barbecue sauce, bacon, beer-battered onion rings, and American cheese. The eatery's burger challenge taunts adventurous eaters with nine, 1/3-pound beef patties, cheese, and only 15 minutes in which to consume it ($26.11). Meaty chicken wings ($8.98) emerge from fryers to flaunt golden cloaks, and 12-inch customizable pizzas ($9.79; $1.01/topping) don piles of sausage, cheese, and bacon to draw nervous glances from napkins covered in newly discovered mathematical formulas.