Location: Fremont East Entertainment District
516 Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-Late
Nightlife Type: Bar
Vegas4Visitors Rating: A
At a Glance
What is it?
A craft cocktail lounge serving up some of the best drinks in town.
Where is it?
In the bustling East Fremont Street distict of Downtown Las Vegas.
What kind of crowd does it draw?
Mainly a younger crowd, especially on the weekends, but people who appreciate good cocktails are definitely welcome.
What are the prices like?
Insanely cheap, at least compared to what you’ll pay on The Strip.
When is the best time to go?
As mentioned, weekend nights can get really crowded so go during the week if you just want to sample their amazing cocktails.
Why should I go here?
Because you were paying attention when I said “amazing cocktails.”
What else do I need to know?
A live DJ spins on many nights to keep the energy flowing.
What’s the bottom line?
Be prepared to savor.
The bar boom in Downtown Las Vegas along East Fremont Street has turned what was a scary couple of blocks into a hot spot heaven, lined with fun and funky taverns like The Griffin and The Commonwealth to name a couple.
Tucked into a space so narrow that if you blink you’ll miss it, the Vanguard Lounge is yet another great bar that helps turn this block just east of the Fremont Street Experience into a must-visit destination.
Vanguard is a craft cocktail lounge, meaning that they don’t just open bottles and pour drinks, they mix them with almost scientific calculations and loving care using the finest ingredients. This is where you can get a first hand look at what the term mixology really means.
Many of the things they mix into their cocktails are homemade including their own bitters, jams, and purees. Even the liquors that form the base of many of the drinks are infused with richer flavors creating things like spiked apple brandy, persimmon infused gin, and bourbon spiked with bacon and sage.
I sampled a concoction called the Jean Fleury: fancy rum, lime, passion fruit puree, and sparkling wine served in a champagne flute. If I hadn’t had several more bars to review that night I would’ve stayed and ordered a few more.
Amazingly these drinks are not at all expensive. Most of their specialty drinks are between $8-$10, which is about what you’ll pay for a bottle of water in one of the big nightclubs on The Strip.
The room itself is fairly bland. Polished concrete walls and floors, a polished concrete bar with simple white and grey stools, a small sitting area up front with a couple of white chairs and couches, and a few tables in an outdoor patio on Fremont Street. But that’s okay – anything more might distract you from all the drinking you should be doing. Although there is no formal dance floor, they do have a DJ on several evenings to keep the energy up.
The Vanguard Lounge is more evidence that the real nightlife scene in Las Vegas is Downtown.