At one end of the room, a drag queen in a showgirl outfit welcomes incoming diners. At the other, another queen dressed like late-’80s Cher lip-syncs a medley of the superstar’s hits. But it’s only 8 p.m. and the crowd isn’t waving dollars, if only because it’s too busy stuffing burgers into its mouths. Welcome to Hamburger Mary’s—or, more appropriately, welcome back.
In the 12 years since the first local outpost shuttered, the beloved restaurant and hangout chain itself ended, then was revived by new ownership. A lack of both queer spaces for those under 21 and LGBT-oriented eateries kept the local community clamoring for Mary’s Vegas return—which was eventually spurred by Flair Nightclub owner Lou Placencia’s desire for a kitchen, and Las Vegas Pride executive director Ernie Yuen’s subsequent suggestion to him to bring the franchise back to Vegas.
Two years later, Yuen has reprised his role as Mary’s general manager, and Flair has transformed into Hamburger Mary’s Las Vegas 2.0, which has soft opened with a lunch/dinner menu filled with gay-themed diner fare (to be expanded by the mid-September grand opening). At 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, the Cabaret side of the restaurant turns into the 21-and-over Club Mary’s. Weekend drag brunch is slated to begin the first weekend of September.
Despite the LGBT theme, also-returning co-owner James Healey says that Mary’s welcomes everyone. “Hopefully, it’s an educational spot to bring your spouse, your kids or maybe your co-workers that maybe aren’t as exposed to the LGBT community and [they’ll] say, wow, this is just a really fun place.”
Hamburger Mary’s 1700 E. Flamingo Road, 702-733-8787. Daily, 11 a.m.-close.