If you lived in Vegas in the 1970s, you were among those lucky enough to experience Starboard Tack in its original glory. Now, the restaurant and bar, which operated as Gilligan’s Hideaway in more recent years, has wind in its sails again.
Owners Lyle Cervenka and Bryant Jane (the same guys behind shuttered Downtown Amaro bar Retrocena) have been quietly renovating Starboard Tack, currently in its soft-opening phase, while whipping up a delicious menu for patrons that will soon be available 24/7.
“It was mostly an afterhours place,” Jane says of the o.g. Tack. The building—located in the auto shopping center off Sahara and Atlantic—is still owned by the original owners, the Kostelecky family, and fixtures from the original bar are strewn throughout the sizable dining area, including a fireplace, stained glass windows and tables. “From the stories I’ve heard, they would have lines out the door at 3 and 4 in the morning. It was a lot of performers like Tom Jones, Sinatra. It was the only place open 24 hours that served food.”
Jane and Cervenka have already stacked the menu with Caribbean and South East Asian-influenced fare, including PuPus like the Merienda sandwich with grilled Spam, house-made cheese pimento, adobo pickles and pan de sal, Filipino-style longganisa empanadas, poke and raw Long Island Bluepoint oysters with house tarragon mignonette.
Move down the menu and you’ll find a selection of skewers that changes daily, like Szechuan Chimichurri beef, tom kha mushroom and coconut shrimp, served with white rice and an irresistible peanut sauce.
And under “Fo da’ Haoles” (haole means white person in Hawaiian) you’ll find the West Indies fried chicken sandwich and Starboard cheeseburger with kasundi mayo—a popular Indian mustard sauce.
With two of Downtown’s best behind the bar, it's no surprise the drinks are damn good, too.
“We’re a rum bar, [and] we try to incorporate the rum trade with everything,” Jane says. “We’re not a tiki bar whatsoever.” With that in mind, you’ll find five original cocktails (try the Gunpowder Swizzle) and five “obscure classics” on the menu, the latter including the Cherry Blossom (hibiscus rum, lime, fassinola, maraschino liqueur and cherry bitters) and the Ting and Sing (J. Wray White rum and Ting soda). If you hear the Shabba Ranks song “Ting-A-Ling” while you’re there— Jane calls Shabba Ranks the bar’s "unofficial mascot"—the Ting and Sing drops to just $3.
As if all that wasn't enough, Starboard Tack plans to offer 24-hour gaming, live music, film events and more soon, Jane says. “We’ll probably be the only 24-hour, gaming, food and craft cocktail bar [in Vegas].” Land, ho!
Starboard Tack 2601 Atlantic St., 702-684-5769.