Rock & Rita’s revives Circus Circus

A bartender at Rock & Rita’s bus bar.
Photo: Mikey McNulty

There’s flair in the air again!

The fanaticism over bottle flipping may have died out for a while in Vegas, but a resurgence in its popularity could be on the horizon thanks to a group of world-champion bartending hotties and the new Rock & Rita’s.

Located inside Circus Circus (the first cool, new thing there in... well... as long as we can remember), the new bar and restaurant created by the team behind Kahunaville at Treasure Island. Rock & Rita’s celebrates its grand opening this holiday weekend with a built-in party bus, bar stools made of kegs and Americana gone delightfully awry.

“We created a fictitious couple, Rock and Rita,” says David Z. Tuttleman, the restaurant/bar’s co-owner, nay, “executive producer/tour manager.”

Elements throughout the space are from Rock’s career as a once notorious star who still wants to party. Rita is his gal. In front of the main dining room sits his tour bus, rejuvenated from an actual bus Tuttleman and his team found and transformed into a bar.

The Details

Rock & Rita's
2880 Las Vegas Blvd South
(Inside Circus Circus)
Rock & Rita's

Twenty of the world’s best flair bartenders now work at Rock & Rita’s, and, upon entering the restaurant, a touch video screen lets your peruse not only the food and drink menu, but the bartenders’ history and awards, as well as short video clips of them performing their best bottle flipping tricks.

Rock & Rita’s occupies the space formally known as the Pink Pony and the Garden Grill at Circus Circus. “This is the first step in the rejuvenation of the property,” says Tuttleman. The sportsbook next to Rock & Rita’s just got a facelift, and a third large bar area extending the Rock & Rita’s theme will surface there, as well.

The main restaurant/bar’s interior design was by Mark Track of Chemical Spaces (who’s name you might recognize as he worked on some of the pool suites at the Hard Rock Hotel), and includes a painting that’s “American Gothic” meets the face paint of Kiss. Also, there’s red, white and blue everywhere. “Rock is from Philly and totally patriotic,” says Tuttleman. The characters of Rock and Rita, whose personas are throughout, might periodically make appearances and are local Vegas residents. Many of Rock’s loves — a trailer, hot rods and Lucho Libre — are on display.

The 2,000 Flushes at Rock & Rita's

The 2,000 Flushes at Rock & Rita's

Including booze. What rock-star persona would be complete without massive overconsumption of alcohol? There’s the Suck it From the Bucket, a 120-ounce concoction for party people to share (or all for yourself if you are looking for a blackout); a Super Margarita at 42 ounces; and our personal winner for creativity, a drink straight out of a toilet bowl, because that’s probably what you’ll end up in front of at the end of the night anyway. It’s miniature souvenir ceramic commode in which drinks like the 2,000 Flushes are served.

If you need to soak up some of that alcohol, perhaps try the 10-ounce “Ulcerator” Cajun burger topped with ham, pepperjack cheese, jalapeños, fried onion rings and Butt Burnin’ Blaze Sauce (their words, not ours).

If the food and drinks weren’t entertaining enough by themselves, a live rock ‘n’ roll cover band performs on the weekend and a full-on flair show takes place about every hour and a half.

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