You can’t miss it. The vintage neon sign with a sparkling star dotting the “I” and a brand-new, matching teal paint job draws attention to the refurbished Mint Tavern on Sahara Avenue, just west of the Strip. It stands out so much that it’s a bit of surprise—though not as surprising as new owners Jonathan Fine and Todd Worz’s discovery that the Mint name was available.
The Mint was a Downtown Vegas hotel and casino, opened in 1957 on Fremont Street next door to where Binion’s is today. It was the original sponsor of the Mint 400 off-road race, the sporting event made famous as the assignment that brought Hunter S. Thompson to Las Vegas and resulted in his writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. Accordingly, there’s a typewriter sitting quietly in the corner of the Mint Tavern with the first few words of Thompson’s masterpiece imprinted on the page set in the reels. If you wanted to instill a bit of Vegas lore into your bar, you couldn’t do much better than that.
That was the goal for Fine and Worz when they snagged the decades-old Red Label Bar and began creating a new classic Vegas lounge just a few doors down from the Golden Steer Steakhouse. The new signage goes a long way, but the interior design keeps the vintage vibes going with simple, clean décor. Classic cocktails and throwback rock and R&B contribute to the mood, and Swing Dance Vegas will take over the adjacent lounge Friday nights. The old-school approach has all but disappeared from the Strip, but there’s at least one new spot that’s more than willing to take you back.
The Mint Tavern 332 W. Sahara Ave., 702-776-3313. 24/7.