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ARTIFICE

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Downtown Las Vegas

1025 First St.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-489-6339

website

Daily 4pm-1:30am

Bar

A-

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

An art-themed bar and nightclub with a relaxed, come-as-you-are vibe.

Where is it?

In the Arts District, not too far from The Stratosphere.

What kind of crowd does it draw?

Mostly locals, mostly younger but the crowd changes depending on the frequent special events.

What are the prices like?

A lot cheaper than your typical bar on the Vegas Strip.

When is the best time to go?

Check the website for their events and pick the one that sounds the most interesting to you.

Why should I go here?

Because you know the difference between Monet and Manet and would like to dance while discussing it,

What else do I need to know?

Take some time to look at the art work on display, which changes frequently.

What's the bottom line?

A cool, low-pressure place to have a drink and dance.

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FULL REVIEW

The arts scene in Las Vegas is booming these days with the epicenter being the 18b Arts District between The Strip and Downtown. This is where you'll find a number of galleries, boutiques, and art-focused businesses including this, a bar/nightclub devoted to all things creative.

The space is art-gallery spare, with a big bar dominating the main lounge areas, which in turn spill out into a utilitarian dance floor that doubles as a performance space. Or maybe it's a performance space that doubles as a dance floor depending on your outlook. The walls feature gallery-style showings of works from artists that rotate in and out and there are frequent live bands, guest DJs, and other events all with a decidedly artsy bent. A DJ tribute to David Bowie? Yes, please!

The crowd varies depending on the event, the night, or the moon perhaps but you can usually expect a younger, hipster (in a good way) audience especially on weekend nights when the dance floor gets packed and the bar is booming.

Despite its name, which implies trickery or guile, Artifice feels authentic. The art world can be filled with pretentious attitude but I didn't feel any of it when I visited, nor did I feel terribly out of place despite the fact that I was old enough to be the father of most of the people in the club. The friendly, laid-back, non-judgemental, all-are-welcome vibe is a pleasant change of pace from the usual Las Vegas bar scene.

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