Vanguard Lounge offers open-air nightlife in the heart of Downtown

Vanguard Lounge
Photo: Mikey McNulty
Sarah Gianetto

The Details

Vanguard Lounge
516 Fremont St.,868-7800

Vanguard soft-opened Sept. 16 on Fremont Street.

Behind a glass garage door opening directly onto an already hip block of Fremont Street, locals will find Vanguard Lounge, the ultimate addition to a Downtown pub crawl, adding variety al fresco.

"When we travel we love to sit on patios of bars and restaurants and enjoy the fresh air," says Andrew Wheatley, who owns the new lounge with wife Jennifer Wheatley. "This is the major part that separates us from the other great bars on Fremont."

The lounge also offers a distinct atmosphere from a certain similarly named LA venue. Whereas LA's massive Vanguard nightclub is renowned for giant weekly electronic-music events, Fremont East's new addition offers a far lighter experience. And that common name? Pure coincidence.

Vanguard's airiness, coupled with modern décor and an exotic menu of craft cocktails, evokes coastal metro areas such as San Diego, Santa Monica and South Beach: The cutting-edge design doesn't impose on the friendliness of a neighborhood bar. Upon entry, planters lining the patio give way to white, leather-seated high tops. A little farther in, you're drawn past a long, white leather sofa with matching cocktail tables into an otherwise open space with plenty of room to mingle or dance in front of the unobtrusive DJ booth. Beyond that, your bartenders await.

And there's plenty to like about the bar at Vanguard, too. Open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, Vanguard features a daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. that includes half-price beer, house wine and well cocktails. Their crafted cocktails go for $7 during happy hour, $10 during regular hours, and range from the spicy, like the gingery Leopard's Spots and rosemary-forward Rosy Cheeks, to the sweet, like the Flight of the Pisqus, a Brazilian twist on berries and cream, or the Avant-Guard champagne cocktail.

DJs provide tunes four nights a week starting at 9 p.m., and the sound is as clean as the lounge's sleek concrete bar, walls and flooring.


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