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.
Las Vegas native Katie Cruz kicked off her career in hospitality as a barback a Rise Nightclub while she was studying journalism at the University of Nevada Reno. Back in Las Vegas, she worked as a graveyard bartender at Jalisco Cantina, where met some local USBG members who recommended that she should work at Oak & Ivy in the Downtown Container Park. From there, she moved on to Tacos & Beer before finding her home at Atomic Liquors and helping open The Kitchen at Atomic. Here the brand ambassador for Mestizo Mezcal shares some of her favorite places to drink in Las Vegas.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you’re not working?
I can usually be found at Starboard Tack, Double Down, and The Sand Dollar Lounge.
Which cocktails are most memorable? Please describe each cocktail.
Starboard Tack just recently changed up their cocktail menu and although I usually go for a shot and beer when I’m there, I do love imbibing in their varying frozen drinks: the Chi Chis. The Sand Dollar has a fun beer and shot menu as well as outstanding cocktails. However, when I’m there I love to get a mezcal Negroni. Honestly, sometimes I’m just craving a bacon martini at the Double Down. It may not be the craftiest of cocktails, but it’s just what I need after a long day.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Starboard Tack is a quick trip from Atomic Liquors so it’s perfect for after work. They have amazing food 24 hours, great cocktails, and some of my favorite people bartend there. The Double Down has fun shows, cheap drinks, and a perfect dive-y atmosphere. The Sand Dollar always has awesome live music and I’m guaranteed to run into a fellow industry pal while I’m there.
Are there any outstanding coffee cocktails that you enjoy? Where do you go?
Bound at The Cromwell has a really neat coffee cocktail, called the Cafe Francia with Ketel One Oranje, Kahlua, Averna, and espresso.
Where do you like to stop for a wide selection of beer?
Eureka! just opened in the Emergency Arts Building downtown and has an insane beer selection. I’m slowly working my way through their list.
Would you like to include any other information?
It’s truly exciting watching the progression of downtown. There are many great bars and restaurants in this city, but the concentration of such rad places in this particular area is incredible. There’s a lot of talent down here and I can’t wait to see more places do so well in my favorite part of town.
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