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Checking In on the Cocktail Lounge Velveteen Rabbit

The future bar at Velveteen Rabbit.
The future bar at Velveteen Rabbit.

[Photos: Chelsea McManus]

Looks like Velveteen Rabbit, the coming cocktail lounge from sisters Pam and Christina Dylag on Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas, is taking a bit longer to finish than expected. The women are practically rebuilding a building that suffered a fire two years ago. Now the roof has been finished, so much of the construction is taking place inside. Exposed beams will remain.

A green metallic pattern adorns one of the walls, giving the feel of velvet on the walls. Behind the bar, which is still being constructed, sits a china cabinet for displaying found glassware. The Dylag sisters have been shopping thrift stores to find furniture for the lounge. Above the bar, empty frames will decorate the walls. The bathroom walls will be decorated with broken mirror murals the two have been putting together themselves. One wall will feature a video installation, while found glass chandeliers will light the room.

They tapped Bryn Esplin to come up with the cocktail menu. The veteran bartender of P.J. Clarke's in New York City and A Cote Restaurant in San Francisco showed off a Burrbon Milk Punch, a warming drink that waltzes on the tongue as one of the specialty cocktails on the menu. "We'll have classic cocktails done well," Esplin says. "Simple drinks that people haven't seen before."

Another cocktail, the Florodora, comes with a tale of a musical with six identical singing and dancing girls who each married millionaires. One, Evelyn Nesbit, became the mistress of an eccentric millionaire and architect, Stanford White. After they broke up, Nesbit married Harry Thaw, who remained jealous of the affair. Thaw ended up shooting White three times in the face. The drink combines gin, lime juice, a raspberry ginger syrup and ginger beer.

Esplin also plans to serve up punches by the cup. "It's almost a labor of love," she says of the complicated drink with its own history.

Look for a late February or early March tentative opening date now.
· All Coverage of Velveteen Rabbit [~ELV~]

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