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With exposed undies and cheap drinks, Charlie’s maintains its lively, casual atmosphere

Charlie’s Las Vegas
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m covered in baby oil!”

A warm welcome from my bartender for the night, Jason, who is speedily slinging cocktails in black, barely there briefs.

It’s Wednesday and I’m at Charlie’s Las Vegas for Skin Men’s Underwear Night, where bartenders pull beers and mix drinks in boxers and briefs (some with lubrication—yes, pun intended) and those brave/fit/intoxicated enough to strip down with them are awarded free well cocktails and PBR drafts. Several twenty- and thirtysomethings in brightly hued Andrew Christians are taking advantage of the free drinks (along with one octogenarian in tighty-whities), but thankfully Charlie’s is still a cheap night for the fully clothed—so a $5.50 mini-pitcher of Newcastle it is.

I first stepped foot inside the country-western gay bar as a broke, doe-eyed UNLV student five years ago, drawn in on Sundays by the $2 Long Island specials that friends had told me about so many times before. The promo packed them in back then, wall-to-wall guys knocking back cheap (and mighty strong) cocktails and awaiting the 9 p.m. drag revue.

The crowd was thinner this past Sunday, though a solid turnout filled the bar by 10:30 p.m (which eclipsed Wednesday’s showing). Those Long Islands are still $2 from 8 p.m. to midnight (though many opted instead for the mini-pitchers of Miller Lite, also a steal at $3.50), and the drag revue’s lovely ladies now take the spotlight at 10 p.m.

Nonetheless, it was great to see that Charlie’s has maintained its casual, laid-back atmosphere—almost a gay Cheers. Sure, there were bedroom eyes darting everywhere, but the floor was packed with clusters of friends enthusiastically engaged in booze-soaked conversations. That’s the Charlie’s I remember.

Charlie's Las Vegas 5012 Arville St., 702-876-1844. 24/7.

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