Since it opened in August in the Fremont East Entertainment District, the 1970s-styled Corduroy has been a welcome return to the easy-access, straight-ahead night at the bar approach, moving away from the various hipster themes that have dominated Downtown drinking. Sure, there’s a couch-filled conversation pit from a bygone era, a special “lightbox” room for group selfies and vintage TVs, speakers and microwave ovens serving as art installations. It doesn’t feel like Old Vegas in here—it still feels like a brand-new Fremont East bar—but it’s comfortable and cool enough to keep you around for multiple rounds.
Also, there are good drinks and goofy snacks. We cannot in good faith recommend you pair a shot of Fernet with a sundae cone ($12), but we will acknowledge there’s a time and place for a Jameson pickleback ($9)—and this is probably it. You can also order half a spicy pickle to throw into the mix.
The Oak & Ivy team created the Corduroy cocktail menu, so you should feel comfortable experimenting with the mules on tap ($11)—either a classic made with Ketel One or the flavorful Frontier Mule with Bulleit rye and ginger beer. Moving on down the menu to its obligatory Fear and Loathing reference, the Raoul Duke ($11) blends Tanqueray Ten with Cherry Heering, triple sec, benedictine, grenadine, lime, pineapple, angostura bitters and a dose of Mezcal for an extra wild ride.
If rock ’n’ roll ’70s bars had a penchant for silly drinks, the Punch Pouch ($8) might make sense, though the Capri Sun-style container for this fruity, Sex on the Beach-esque libation seems like an ’80s thing.
CORDUROY 515 E. Fremont St., 702-553-2548. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m.-4 a.m.