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A bartending competition brings talent from around the world

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Flipping out: A Flair Battle competitor shows off his moves at The Lodge at Shelbourne.
Photo: Big Tom

Cirque du Soleil residencies line the Strip, but some of the most impressive jugglers in town are working their magic behind the bar at the Lodge at Shelbourne this month. The restaurant, bar and lounge is presenting Flair Battle, a juggling competition minus the beanbags and balls and plus bottles of alcohol, bar tools and a crazy crowd to cheer on the participants. Twelve flairtenders from all over the world—some from as far away as Argentina, Italy and Bulgaria—are flying in to compete for $2,000 in cash and prizes. Two Americans will represent the U.S. in the battle, which will be decided by speed, style and bottles dropped. The crowd can cheer, but this one’s out of its hands; three former flair champions will do the judging.

Calendar

Flair Battle
January 20 and 25, February 1
8-10 p.m., free
The Lodge at Shelbourne
8350 S. Rainbow Blvd., 260-9721

The four-week fight is half over, but don’t let that stop you from checking out these very handy barkeeps and their moves. The last round of preliminary competition takes place January 25, and the event will name its champion after the finals battle on February 1.

Three Olives Vodka and Coors Light are just two of the event’s sponsors, so guests can sip on $3 pints and Three Olives cocktails while watching the servers perform. Or do the performers serve? Aw hell, just watch ’em do their thing. When’s the last time your club’s cocktail server tossed a bottle in the air, caught it behind his back and winked at the girl across the bar while making a killer cocktail? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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