Nightlife

A club for all mankind: Sampling the Valley’s best unpretentious hangs

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Get down with your bad self at Insert Coin(s).

CARLOS’N CHARLIE’S Ever since LGBT-themed burger bar Hamburger Mary’s closed in the early ’00s, we’ve been waxing nostalgic for a kitschy, tropical restaurant to step up and fill the void. Our wish was finally granted this month when the Mexican grill inside the Flamingo launched its new weekly outdoor LGBT party, Sunset Sundays, featuring appearances by long-standing drag staple Divas Las Vegas. With no cover and no dress code (plus a $20 all-you-can-drink bar until 2 a.m.), the no-fuss vibe at Carlos’n Charlie’s makes the restaurant and bar an ideal spot to wind down as the weekend comes to close. Bring a few buddies or make a few new ones while throwing back margaritas, noshing on chips and salsa and dancing on the patio—and when you hear the whistle, you better make sure your ass is at the bar, ’cause that free shot has your name on it. Flamingo, 702-522-9254. Monday & Tuesday, 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Wednesday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 a.m. —Leslie Ventura

HAVANA GRILL One by one the dining-room lights wink out, leaving banana-leaf wallpaper washed with specks, squiggles and kaleidoscopes of neon coming from the booth. DJ Krazy eases the Cuban restaurant into its nightclub alter ego with some shimmery EDM, weaving it into traditional salsa, banging reggaeton and stick-in-your-head hip-hop, bouncing from Romania’s Edward Maya to Jamaica’s Ini Kamoze, Bolivia’s Azul Azul to Puerto Rico’s Daddy Yankee. Later in the Saturday night set, singer Gladys will add live talent to the beats making teen girls start conga lines, parents twirl their toddlers and older women dance like it’s four drinks in and 40 years ago. It’s joyous and totally relaxed, like the best wedding reception of your life. But that doesn’t mean you won’t see gorgeous girls in stilettos and sequined booty shorts showing you how cumbia is done. And there is bottle service, but why bother when you can have a table for an $8 mojito? 8878 S. Eastern Ave. #100, 702-932-9310. Live entertainment Friday-Sunday, times vary. —Erin Ryan

FREEZONE It might be the cheap drinks. Or that it’s not somewhere to see and be seen. Or maybe it’s the dancefloor’s communal stripper pole, not strictly reserved for ab-tastic go-gos. Whatever it is, people seem to be comfortable at FreeZone. Just ask any of the girls (or boys!) who attempt their sexydance skills on that pole. And while a lot of the nightlife geared toward the gay community caters to niche communities like bears, Burners and the I’m-Never-Missing-Leg-Day set, you’ll find a more diverse crowd at the Fruit Loop staple. Men, women, young, old, all different scenes and styles and usually every part of the LGBTQ spectrum will be represented, (though the weekly Ladies Night obviously skews one way). So come as you are for the friendly service, fierce drag queens and those inexpensive cocktails. Why not stop in next time on the way to Piranha? The pole’s calling your name. 610 E. Naples Dr., 702-794-2300. 24/7, karaoke Monday & Tuesday; drag shows Wednesday, Friday & Saturday; Latin Night Thursday; Ladies Night Sunday. —Mark Adams

INSERT COIN(S) Frogger is life. Think about it. In the beginning, you realize patience is a virtue, that if you take your time, survey your surroundings and move carefully, everything comes easy. But as you advance through Frogger/life, everything gets complicated and moves faster. If you chill on any lily pad or floating log for too long, a snake could bite you. So it goes at Insert Coin(s), still the most singular and welcoming bar along Fremont East. Sipping on a Red Stripe, browsing the old-school arcade cabinets and mixing it up with friends while mellow hip-hop thumps ... this is the relaxed early vibe. But when the DJ takes over around 10—like Silent John did last week, pushing the pace with funk and soul—it’s time to ditch the joystick and join the nerdy-cute crowd on the dancefloor. If there’s an easier place to have fun Downtown, show me. 512 Fremont St., 702-477-2525. Wednesday-Sunday, 8 p.m.-close. —Brock Radke

REVOLVER The northwest isn’t known for its nightlife, but for country fans, the action is at Revolver at Santa Fe Station. Wear your favorite buffalo plaid tee and put on your best cowboy boots, then get your dance on underneath Delilah, the saloon’s 6-foot mirrored armadillo. On Saturday night, Dee Jay Silver’s on the decks, spinning the latest in chart-topping country, and Revolver offers up plenty of drink specials like $2 drafts, $2 moonshine, Jell-O shots and $2 well drinks for ladies. Got two left feet? Revolver isn’t the best place for the uninitiated, but the country bar offers complimentary line-dancing classes from 8 to 9:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday, so you can learn the basics, then show off your new skills to a lucky partner—or at the very least, a big, shiny armadillo. Santa Fe Station, 702-515-4390. Wednesday & Friday-Sunday, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. —LV

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Photo of Brock Radke

Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for almost two decades. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering entertainment and ...

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Photo of Leslie Ventura

Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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