How many cool night spots can fit into the Cosmopolitan? Every time we marvel at the resort’s dynamic collection of restaurants, bars, lounges and clubs, another venue suddenly drops into the mix. There are so many exciting options, it becomes a challenge to choose which ones you’ll hit on any given night.
It’s even more challenging to create those new venues, but that’s what hospitality industry experts would call a good problem. Competition breeds creativity, and that’s what brings us to the Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails, Clique Hospitality’s second project at the Cosmopolitan, launching its grand opening weekend March 15.
It won’t be anything like the company’s Clique Lounge, a mixology-focused hideaway that opened near the hotel lobby in 2015, but it won’t be like anything else on the Strip, either.
“We were trying to formulate need and functionality into a space that could be operated almost 24 hours a day,” Clique partner Ryan Labbe explains. “There are tons of amazing cocktail bars and mixology destinations just at Cosmopolitan, and the resort has done such a great job of curating everything. So we had to think about what the guest needs. It’s not just about what we want but what makes sense.”
That’s why the Barbershop is an actual barbershop, an old-school grooming parlor and hangout open every day from 10 a.m. until midnight on the northern end of the casino floor, former site of the Bond bar. New York transplant and master barber Jose Sosa is in control here, anchoring the experience whether you’re in for a classic cut or a straight-razor shave. The 600-square-foot, three-chair shop should prove to be the masculine counterpart to Cosmo’s second-level Drybar, Labbe says.
At night, things will start to happen on the other side of a nondescript door. Yes, that’s not really the janitor’s closet. “Think John Varvatos meets CBGB,” Labbe says of the Barbershop’s speakeasy-style bar space. “Mismatched furniture, an old bar we didn’t build but brought in from Kentucky. … It feels like a space that’s been here 20 years. We don’t want that new cool feeling; we want that warm, vintage, homey, living-room feel.”
Musical programming will mix live sounds with DJs and include cover bands, Tuesday karaoke, rock, R&B and more. The Friday opening brings an intimate performance by ’90s Brit rock faves Bush, and house band The 442s will take over on Saturday. Coming up, Dennis Quaid & The Sharks play March 22 and Robin Thicke visits March 30.
Acknowledging Cosmo’s craft cocktail supremacy, the Barbershop is going in a different drinking direction. “We separated ourselves from that for this one. Clique Lounge has a great program and does all that tableside stuff, but we want people to go into the Barbershop and drink what they want, whether that’s whiskey or PBR or tap beer,” Labbe says. “We’ll have a small, curated cocktail list that’s very whiskey-, bourbon- and Scotch-driven, but there’s only six cocktails and two shooters. There’s no vodka on the menu. It’s a straight old saloon, for lack of a better term.”
It seems what’s old is new again at the Cosmopolitan, and it sounds like it will fit right in.
THE BARBERSHOP CUTS & COCKTAILS Barbershop: Daily, 10 a.m.-midnight. Bar: Tuesday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-close. Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000.