Downtown Cocktail Room
The entrance to this cozy, bohemian speakeasy isn’t as obvious as it may seem: enter Downtown Cocktail Room through a steel door that isn’t the one under the sign … mysterious we know. The drink menu is diverse and inventive with options ranging from pints of beer to custom cocktails like Sir, Mezzy Have Another (made with mezcal, banana, beer, and a cinnamon twist) and Mr. Bull’s Morning Joe (made with tequila, sherry, coffee liquor, and topped with whipped cream. You can even build your own Buck (just choose the spirit, the ginger beer, and the garnish). Just to give you an idea, they've offered over 300 different cocktails since opening. There is no kitchen here, but they let you order in from Flippin’ Good until 9pm, a burger and shake joint down the road that serves up typical greasy American finger foods.
The Downtown Cocktail Room is the perfect combination of authenticity and ingenuity—two things you don't always see so close to the Fremont Street tourist trap. Established long before the Downtown resurgence, "DCR" was designed as a word-of-mouth destination with a trick door originally meant to keep the average drunk from stumbling in. The mixology team is always on its toes, revamping the drink lineup with every season. Hundreds of original cocktails have been represented across more than 50 menus over the years. If that wasn't enough, the back room was recently transformed into another bar entirely—Mike Morey's Sip'nTip—with its own menu, vibe, and seperate entrance from the alley. Think of it as a speakeasy within a speakeasy.
How to get in: Give yourself a moment to figure out the main door facing Las Vegas Boulevard. Just look for the glass panel that appears a little different from the rest and push—don't pull—to get inside.
The greatest happy hour deal in Las Vegas happens every single day Downtown Cocktail Room is open (Tuesday through Sunday) from 5 to 7 pm. They call it “Halfy Hour,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like: half-off everything. Half-off every single expertly made cocktail on their fairly extensive and always inventive seasonal cocktail menu, as well as half-off everything else (beer, wine, straight booze, traditional absinthe pours, etc). This happy hour is hardly a secret but it’s still the best-kept secret in Vegas despite being right off Fremont Street. Also, their cocktails slap.
Part of the Fremont Street bar scene long before the area's recent resurgence, the Downtown Cocktail Room often enjoys "best-kept secret'' status, thanks in part to a trick door that's hard to open on the first try. The team of mixologists here are more like mad scientists, coming up with a rotating list of 10 drinks that change with each season. A few classic drinks stay on the menu year-round, and the deep selection of absinthe is served in two-ounce pours. Be sure to check them out during "Halfy Hour,” when everything is half-off. For a more intimate experience (read: the bar is very small and the crowd very local), seek out the even-more-secret Mike Morey's Sip 'N Tip, located in the back of the bar.