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Bryan Tamayo Shares His Favorite Local Watering Holes

The beverage manager and mixologist has some new barrel-aged and beer cocktails at Flour & Barley.

Bryan Tamayo
Bryan Tamayo
Amelinda B Lee

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.

Block16 Hospitality’s new beverage manager and mixologist Bryan Tamayo started bartending in 2008 and was introduced to craft cocktails in 2009. He began working at 2012 at Ox Restaurant, where he worked with the chefs to create cocktails using culinary techniques and flavor pairings. He moved to Las Vegas last April to work at Comme Ça, and then joined Flour & Barley at The Linq in September. In November, he won the Boiron Cup Cocktail Competition with his variation on a classic Tiki drink recipe originated by Don The Beachcomber.

"I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at Flour & Barley," he says. "In addition to continuing to strengthen our use of house-made ingredients, I’ve already been experimenting with fun modifiers like house-made blue Curacao and melon liqueurs (Vegas, am I right?) and we're going to be expanding our barrel aging program to include some interesting takes on classic Italian cocktails. This winter we've began to experiment with beer cocktails and I look forward to working with the team to build upon that even more for our spring menu."

Here he talks about three of his favorite places to drink when he’s not working.

Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you're not working?
For cocktails, Velveteen Rabbit and Oak & Ivy are fantastic. For my neighborhood dive, Moon Doggies is definitely one of my favorites.

Why do you enjoy going there?
When I'm in the mood for cocktails, I really enjoy Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a place where you can always count on solid craft cocktails done right, plus the bartenders are friendly and the atmosphere is awesome. When it comes to the ambiance, they have a great one as well — there is really dark lighting (not to mention a chandelier made of Mason jars).

Oak & Ivy at the Container Park is another great spot if you really want to "geek out" on cocktails. The bartenders are passionate, willing to impart their knowledge and they whip up some mean libations; not to mention they have an impressive whiskey list.

If I'm looking to just enjoy some bar food and have a couple of drinks, Moon Doggies is the place. Rock and roll, stiff drinks and Naked City hot wings. Yes, please.