Gilley’s returns with a new outlook on nightlife

Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin stands inside Gilley’s, a country-and-western bar he plans to open later this month.
Photo: Leila Navidi

The nightlife community wept last October when Mist Lounge closed, but that sacrifice, along with the loss of Francesco's Italian Restaurant, was necessary to make way for a second coming of sorts.

Gilley's Saloon, Dancehall and Bar-B-Que soft-opened at TI on April 10 and will grand-open on April 15, just in time for the Professional Bull Riders World Cup, which runs April 16-18.

"It's going to be the club that everyone can go to, that everyone wants to go to," says GM David Modello. While the Strip-front, 124-seat dining room and bar (semi-enclosed by sliding glass walls) serves up rustic barbecue daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the neighboring nightclub fuses pure country with country crossover, rock and alternative featuring DJs and live bands Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday and Saturday until 4 a.m.

While nothing physically remains of the original Gilley's — TI owner Phil Ruffin's beloved country saloon that opened in December of 1999 at the Frontier — the Gilley's logo remains unchanged as does the casual, comfortable attitude. No bottle service here, partner.

Inside the club, eight custom saddle-bar stools belly up to one of two bars. A nearly 1,000-square foot parquet dance floor is home to line-dancing lessons Wednesdays and Sundays. The bull ring features a brand new, as-yet-unnamed bull for Gilley's "world-famous bikini bull riding."

Ladies, you may never be able to sit on the saddle seats in your miniskirts, but remember: You are always welcome to shed your inhibitions — and clothes — for the bikini bull riding.


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