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ATOMIC LIQUORS

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Fremont East Entertainment District

917 Fremont St.

Las Vegas, NV 89101

702-982-3000

website

Daily 24 Hours

Bar/Pub

A-

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A Vegas classic reborn as a retro ultralounge.

Where is it?

In the Fremont East Entertainment District of Downtown Las Vegas,

What kind of crowd does it draw?

A wide variety of folk, mostly local at this point but with a few tourists thrown into the mix.

What are the prices like?

Downtright cheap when you compare it to bars on The Strip.

When is the best time to go?

Weekend nights are when the biggest crowds show up.

Why should I go here?

Because they have a thing called an Atomic Cocktail and an Atomic Kitchen right next door if you need to cut your alcohol with some food.

What else do I need to know?

One of the bar stools is dedicated to former regular Barbra Streisand.

What's the bottom line?

A great, old-school meets new-school Vegas "joint."

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FULL REVIEW

The Fremont East Entertainment District seems like a one-block-long affair right now, with eight bars, new restaurants, and the bulk of the people all concentrated in the little stretch between Las Vegas Boulevard and 6th Street. But the district actually stretches for several blocks to the east and will eventually include retail, entertainment, dining, and a lot more bars.

Staking its claim as an outpost about three blocks from the main action is this retro charmer, a revamp of a place that has been around for decades and is now getting a new lease on life.

The building dates back to 1945, originally built as a café, and now the oldest freestanding bar in the city. In 1952 the owners saw a marketing opportunity with the people who would sit on the roof to watch the above-ground nuclear bomb blasts happening at the Nevada Test Site north of the city. The created an Atomic Cocktail and then embraced the Atomic Age by rebranding the place Atomic Liquors.

Over the years it was a favorite for locals and tourists, regular Joes and famous faces alike. Late nights you might be able to find members of The Rat Pack drinking in a back booth and Barbra Streisand was enough of a regular that she had her own seat at the bar. The latter has been restored and is on display - a neat bit of Vegas history.

The bar shut down after the original owners passed away but now it too has been restored and overhauled to be a pleasant mix of old-school retro charm and new-school hipster cool. There's a big, wraparound bar with plenty of cozy stools (including Barbra's), gaming, a few tables, and some lounge space seating. It's funky and fairly simple so if you are looking for fancy decor to create a wow factor you'll have to be happy with the classic neon sign out front.

There are lots of beers on tap and a fun specialty cocktail menu that includes both the original and a new version of the Atomic Cocktail. Prices are more than reasonable and there is only a cover charge if there is some big special event.

The Atomic Kitchen, serving everything from bar food up to surf and turf, opened next door in 2017.

If you are heading Downtown to check out the revitalized energy of the Fremont East Entertainment District, don't stop at the first block. Take a short walk to get a real blast from the past.

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