Las Vegas: The Retro Weekend
Friday Stay: Golden Nugget. Check in. Inside the hotel, there’s a Bond villain-worthy pool complex and newly renovated bars and restaurants. Outside the hotel, historic downtown Las Vegas. 3 p.m.: Brass Lounge. Enjoy a “Hello Vegas!” cocktail with a view. 4 p.m.: Nothing in your luggage glamorous enough? For ladies, try the Bettie Page store. Gentlemen can pick up slick threads from days gone by at Valentino’s Zoot Suit Connection.
7 p.m.: Golden Steer. Have dinner at the archetypical Vegas steakhouse where you can sit in Presley’s booth and have your Caesar salad made tableside using Sinatra’s recipe. 9:30 p.m.: Pogo’s Tavern. This unremarkable neighborhood bar becomes a jazz hothouse on Friday nights when the All-Star Big Band, a combo made up of veteran musicians from Vegas’ golden age, takes the stage. 11:30 p.m.: Champagnes Café. Flocked velvet wallpaper, Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and a cast of character actor-like regulars. Feeling inspired and/or tipsy? Kick out your own karaoke Neil Diamond or Judy Garland. 1:30 a.m.: Griffin. Stop in for a quick nightcap by the fireplace, hear the 60s soul and 70s punk coming from the back room and stay for a few dances with local favorites the Bargain DJ Collective.
Saturday 10 a.m.: Golden Nugget Rise, shine and, in the great Vegas headliner tradition, hit the steam room. 11:30 a.m.: Bellagio Brunch. It isn’t Vegas without a buffet. 1:30 p.m.: Classic Car Museum at The Imperial Palace. Mustangs. Cadillacs. Bentleys. Lincolns. Packards. 3:30 p.m.: Golden Nugget pool We’re surprised you waited this long to get on that water slide. 6 p.m.: Battista’s Hole in the Wall. Tip the accordion player extra to squeeze out a few Dean Martin covers. 7:30 p.m.: Jubilee at Bally’s. Old-school production with showgirls in big feathers n’ small sequins as well as a reenactment of the sinking of the Titanic. 9 p.m.: Sidebar. Have an expertly crafted martini or Manhattan at this smart little downtown bar. 10 p.m.: Atomic Liquors. The oldest bar in Clark County has seen the rise and fall and rise of Fremont Street. Get a miniseries’ worth of Las Vegas history for the price of a few rounds. 11 p.m.: Binion’s Poker Room. Vegas’ original poker room. 1 a.m.: Beauty Bar. DJ’s and the occasional live band at this small beauty shop of a bar.
Sunday 11 a.m.: Canter’s Delicatessen at Treasure Island. Mod revision of LA classic still serves lox n’ bagels. 1 p.m.: Pinball Hall of Fame. Get a pocketful of quarters and throw it back to the days before video games. 3 p.m.: Golden Nugget “Farewell Vegas!” cocktail by shark tank.
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