If you like old-school Vegas, it doesn't get any older than Atomic Liquors. It's the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, housed in a building that was constructed in 1945. Joe and Stella Sobchik originally operated Virginia's Cafe on the site but over the years, customers seemed to be more interested in drinking the secret ingredient "Atomic Cocktails" as they watched nuclear blasts conducted at the Nevada Test Site. Yep, you read that right. People used to go up on the roof of the building and watch nuclear bombs explode while they drank. Gives a whole new meaning to the term getting "blasted."
The Sobchiks relaunched their business as a bar in 1952 and called it Atomic Liquors. After nearly six decades, it closed on January 1, 2011. Thankfully, a group of investors with deep roots in downtown Las Vegas had purchased the place from Sobchik's son. After a bit of remodeling, Atomic Liquors reopened in early summer 2013 and it has once again been a popular place to grab an affordable drink (sans nuclear blasts).
In addition to the friendly, dive-bar atmosphere, the drinks are fun and affordable at Atomic Liquors. There are 20 microbrews on tap that range from $3 to $7, as well as bottled beers and house wines. You shouldn't leave without trying one of the unique concoctions on the signature cocktails list. The F-Bomb is the official cocktail of the National Atomic Testing Museum. It contains Fireball cinnamon whisky, Fernet and Atomic Energy Drink. The Manhattan Project, Hunter S.Smash, Strawberry Fields and Atomic Cocktail 3.0 are all good choices too.
The huge, sleekly curved wraparound bar has been restored, and the original neon sign is radiating its glow on East Fremont Street. Soft red lighting emanates from the ceiling. There are signs on the walls that say things like: "Alpha Contamination Access Prohibited" and "Warning: Security Area -- Deadly Force Authorized." The interior has a brick wall facade, and a record-playing AMi Music Multi-Horn High Fidelity jukebox adds to the atmosphere. Atomic Liquors also sells logo T-shirts and souvenirs.