On Sept. 6, 2018, after a two-year, $52 million construction project, the Las Vegas Arts District debuted an improved Main Street outfitted with wider sidewalks, trees, bike lanes, and twinkling strings of lights.
This fresh look brought new attention to the downtown neighborhood, which has long been defined by its industrial feel and creative spirit. Tourists willing to venture out from beneath the Fremont Street Experience canopy will find a uniquely local experience in the Arts District. The area, which is also occasionally referred to as 18b, trades casino marquees for vintage shops and major recording artists for local musicians. It’s also a pretty great place to grab a drink. Here are five bars to check out when discovering — or rediscovering — the Arts District.
A bar where everything is for sale
Like that Marlboro alarm clock sitting on the bar at ReBar? Good news; it’s for sale. ReBar is part antique shop, part local watering hole. The neon-lit space serves more than 50 beers, wine on tap, specialty cocktails with a portion of proceeds going to charity, plus vegan bar food. Where else can one order a gin and tonic and a new lamp?
ReBar, 1225 S. Main St.; 702-349-2283
Seasonal cocktails with flare
The cocktail list at Velveteen Rabbit is part literary magazine, part menu. In addition to the selection of poetry, prose, and artwork, patrons will find seasonal cocktails. Summer may bring drinks prepared with mango and raspberry and autumn may bring ingredients such as ginger, caramel, and applewood. No matter the season, this Arts District bar is always in style.
Velveteen Rabbit, 1218 S. Main St.; 702-685-9645
A taste of the islands
Jammyland is a reggae-soaked bar and restaurant with a sizable outdoor space that’s perfect for drinking cocktails beneath the sparkling lights. The drink list, which features an accompanying Spotify playlist with songs to match each cocktail, includes fruit-focused choices such as the Downtown Story, made with mezcal, pineapple, and honey, and the Gundolero made with tequila, watermelon, and coriander.
Jammyland, 1121 S. Main St.; 702-800-9098
The go-to karaoke spot
The blinking sign outside of Artifice beckons crowds inside, and the happy hour specials, live music, and karaoke nights keep them there. This classic Arts District spot is the ideal gathering place for anyone who likes $2 PBRs, theme nights, and singing some karaoke.
Artifice, 1025 S. First St., Suite 100; 702-489-6339
A boozy love letter to Nevada
Derek Stonebarger, who also owns ReBar, opened Nevada Taste Site as a tribute to all things Nevada. The bar, which features Silver State artifacts, boasts an impressive list of Nevada beers, including selections from Banger Brewing, Bad Beat, Tenaya Creek, and Pigeon Head. Curated flights of five ounce pours are available.
Nevada Taste Site, 1221 S. Main St.; 702-381-0812
• Where To Dine in The Arts District in Las Vegas [ELV]