He was welcoming. A free spirit. An original. The life of the party. And that golf cart?! Oh man, you should’ve seen him in that cart, zipping around Downtown like a madman.
Las Vegas said goodbye to a beloved East Fremont figure February 28, with the passing of Kent Johns, the Atomic Liquors co-owner often called “the mayor of Downtown.” He was 53. Johns died from complications following gastric-bypass surgery, a step he took in anticipation of his upcoming restaurant, Atomic Kitchen. “I think he was trying to make the change for the beginning of his next adventure,” says Atomic general manager Rose Signor. “He had a different air about him. He just seemed so determined and happy to make the change.”
Known as a jolly extrovert who would befriend anyone, no matter their station, Johns was born in Orange County, California, and moved to Las Vegas in 1989. He spent 15 years in commercial real estate before turning his attention to the Atomic full time. He loved his family, Downtown and film, and was always making connections (and jokes) from his favorite seat at the bar. “He was so invested in this place. He was so in love with the history of this place. And there’s nothing he wouldn’t have done to make this place what it is today,” his brother and business partner Lance Johns says. “I know a lot of people will miss seeing him in here.” We know we will.
A memorial service will take place March 4 at 2 p.m. at Place on 7th, 115 Seventh St.