Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's beverage players to share their recommendations for a random feature dubbed Cocktail Confidential. Know a bartender who wants to share some top cocktail spots? The tipline is open.
Rí Rá regulars will recognize Irish native Paul Walsh, known as JNR, is a familiar face behind the bar. Born in Tralee, County Kerry in southwest Ireland, Walsh has worked in bars since he was 16 years old. In 2004, he moved to United States for a job at Rí Rá in Atlantic City. Seven years later, he helped opened Rí Rá in Las Vegas at Mandalay Place and has lived here ever since. A true Irishman, his favorite drink is a pint of Guinness.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you’re not working?
McMullan’s Irish Pub, Rockhouse at the Venetian and Olives at the Bellagio.
Which cocktails are most memorable?
When I’m at McMullan’s, I always go with an Irish coffee or a pint of stout.
At Rockhouse, bartenders Nick and Niall always welcoming with my favorite drink, a Jameson Black Barrel and spiced ginger ale. They are specialists in Jäger-infused cocktails. You have been warned!
Andrew Frizelle behind the bar at Olives always recommends a glass of Rioja Vina Alberdi paired with a charcuterie board and fig and prosciutto flatbread. Then, I like to finish off the appetizers with one of his excellent Manhattans.
Why do you enjoy going there?
I like McMullan’s for the for casual friendly bar staff. It feels like home.
I enjoy going to Rockhouse because of the atmosphere bartenders Nick and Niall create behind the bar. They always have your favorite sporting event live on TV — UFC , NFL, or most importantly, English Premier League. They’re big Manchester United fans, just like I am. This makes for a great place to watch the games.
I go to Olives to relax with great food and drinks. Plus they have a great view of the Bellagio lake and fountains from their patio.