For the longest time, the only outdoor reprieve Downtown drinkers could experience was behind Beauty Bar. Now, bars with outside elements are sprinkled up and down Fremont Street, from Inspire to Oak & Ivy to PublicUs (which recently revealed via the Review-Journal that it will add a beer garden). For a developing Downtown, they’re a no-brainer, as urban planners have long made the case that activity alongside and visible to the street creates vitality and makes the area more welcoming.
Now, bars with outdoor gathering spaces will flourish on Main Street, with Velveteen Rabbit and Hop Nuts soon to be joined by three new Arts District spots, according to Eater. Two of them, King Hippo’s Urban Lounge (ostensibly named after the fighter from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!) and the Huntsman, will share the space formerly occupied by the Attic. And farther down the street, Rebar—aiming for an April 1 opening—will replace Amberjoy’s Vintage Closet.
Rebar is owned by Derek Stonebarger, co-owner of the famously patioed Atomic Liquors until a cancer diagnosis compelled him to sell off his interest. Now cancer-free, he’s jumping back into the fray with a bar/vintage retail concept. “You can buy the mug you’re drinking out of. There’s a price on your seat,” he says.
Rebar will boast front and back patios for such reasons as property investment, maximizing liquor sales and smoking (Stonebarger’s cancer battle moved him to ban it inside). Also, “we felt like there was a lack of patio space,” Stonebarger says. “Vegas is tough in the summer, but eight months out of the year, it’s nice. Other cities have so much outdoor seating. And it’s so much fun with all the people-watching.”
And, of course, it advertises the bar and adds energy to the block—big reasons Stonebarger and his former partners added one in front of Atomic. “You drive by and people are on the patio and you ask, what’s going on over there?”