If you’re feeling lucky this summer and have plans to travel, don’t take a gamble on where to go for the best drinks and vibes in the city. We’ve already combed through the Yelp reviews and done the legwork, finding you the best watering holes in cities from coast to coast. The best way to explore a city is to experience the local culture, so forget about the overpriced tourist destinations and roll the dice at a historic favorite in Las Vegas, brought to you in the 9th edition of Summer City Sips.
The City of Las Vegas, NV calls itself the “Entertainment Capital of the World”—a title it has earned as one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. Featuring snazzy hotels and casinos, this desert city is anything but dull. Founded as a city in 1905, Vegas began as a railroad town before morphing into the neon-lit gambling mecca we know today. Las Vegas’ subtropical, hot desert climate and abundant sunshine year-round make it the perfect place to visit no matter the season, but that hot weather will have you looking for a nice cold one before you know it. Look no further than the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas: Atomic Liquors.
The building at 917 Freemont Street that houses Atomic Liquors was built in 1945 and started out as Virginia’s Café. According to the lore, one of the founders, Joe Sobchik got tired of cooking and, since he had major success with his “Atomic Cocktails,” decided to close down the kitchen and change things up. In 1952, Joe and Stella Sobchick renamed the business Atomic Liquors in homage to the days when customers watched atomic blasts going off at the Nevada Test Site from the roof of the joint. They built a massive wrap-around bar and custom built a landmark neon sign that still shines bright today. Famous patrons back in the day include the Rat Pack and the Smothers Brothers, who drank at Atomic after their shows. Barbara Streisand even had her own seat which has since been restored and put on display. Movies like The Hangover, Casino, and The Gauntlet feature bar scenes filmed on site at the bar.
Atomic Liquors has it all—history, atmosphere, free parking (a major perk in downtown Vegas!), and of course, the drink specials. In addition to traditional beers and liquor, Atomic serves up a variety of creative cocktails with fun ingredient combinations. From the F-Bomb to the Manhattan Project, to cocktails mixed up on the spot, Joe Sobchik’s legacy for killer drinks is alive and well. Regulars keep coming back because drinks are cheap, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is hopping. Be sure to stop by Atomic Liquors if your travels take you to Sin City this summer!