We’re talkin’ bulls, not beer. PBR Rock Bar & Grill ain’t your grandpappy’s country bar. “We tried to get away from traditional country,” owner/operator Jonathan Fine says during the Weekly’s tour of the Professional Bull Riding-branded venue, which will soft-open August 22. “I think the newer country fans don’t like being in traditional country venues.”
Think of PBR then as a little bit country, a whole lotta rock ’n’ roll. The 13,000-square-foot bar and grill inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile shops has completely overhauled the former Hawaiian Tropic Zone, ditching tropical accents and adding reclaimed wood floors, faux-crocodile red paneling, two giant bull statues and restrooms (hey, we care about these things). It even has a façade of steer skulls, similar to the Dia de los Muertos wall at Dos Caminos. Fine describes the hybrid entertainment venue’s vibe as rock-inspired gothic, with cowboy belt buckle accents.
Fine was inspired by attending events at the popular annual PBR World Finals, which pours millions of dollars into the Vegas economy each year. “I’d see a lot of cowboy hats, but the floor during the start of the event would light on fire and 50 Cent would be playing.” Now, Fine brings that fire from the arena to the patio; firepits on PBR’s deck will overlook the Strip. Inside, a DJ booth and live-performance stage will branch well beyond classic-country fare. More than 100 flat-screens will broadcast sports, while a catwalk left over from the space’s HTZ days will invite hot female patrons to shake their stuff high above the main floor during peak party time. Staff will also literally swing from the ceiling playground-style, and the requisite mechanical bull will bring an extra dose of entertainment underneath a custom-made Jumbotron.
Open daily from 10:30 a.m. until late into the night, PBR’s modern comfort food will feature dishes like Dorito-crusted mac and cheese and giant hamburgers marinated in French onion soup, along with other choices concocted by Chef Billy, with menu help from Weekly fave Chef Sammy D of First Food & Bar. Desserts will be designed by local landmark The Cupcakery. “It’s more Kid Rock than Merle Haggard,” says Fine of the PBR experience. Can we get a “Yee-haw” to that? Or maybe, a “Hell yeah!” would be more appropriate.