Dollar bills transform into hundreds, coins mutate in size, forks dramatically bend and your playing card appears from a stack. It’s magic, and you can experience it, thanks to bartender Chris Hanna way out at Wildfire Anthem.
“My parents wanted me to be a magician, but I actually wanted to be a doctor,” Hanna jokes. “My great uncle was a magician, [but] he just did it as a hobby, like most people. One of my favorite things when I work is when people ask, ‘What do you do for your real job?’”
Hanna, originally from the LA area, is a bartender at the southeast-neighborhood favorite but also an entertainer and master of close-up magic. He has been perfecting his tricks since age 5, when his parents bought his first magic kit for Christmas, and began performing professionally after high school. He draws inspiration from his favorites: Lance Burton, Penn & Teller and Bill Malone.
Hanna moved to Las Vegas more than three years ago, aiming for a casino residency and special-event gigs at high-end restaurants. He performs at plenty of private events apart from the entertainment he provides from behind the bar Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from midnight to 8 a.m. “When I first started [at Wildfire], the graveyard numbers went up,” he says. “One couple came in, and then the next night they brought in eight people to see the magic. It blew my mind.”