Located approximately three to four blocks east of El Cortez and Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Atomic Liquors has an old school "dive bar" feel that's not to be missed.
In addition to the friendly atmosphere, it's got a long and storied history. In fact, Atomic Liquors lays claim to being the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas. It's housed in a building that was constructed in 1945. Joe and Stella Sobchik operated Virginia's Cafe there. Over the years, customers regularly used their roof to watch the nuclear blasts conducted at the Nevada Test Site. Tired of cooking food, the Sobchik's 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.
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.
Drinks are fun and affordable at Atomic Liquors. In addition to 20 microbrews on tap that range from $3 to $7, there are 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. Dark n' Stormy is a creative and tasty blend of spiced rum, ginger beer and lime. Or the Manhattan Project, Hunter S. Smash, Strawberry Fields and Atomic Cocktail 3.0 are all good choices to sip and savor.
Atomic Liquors also sells logo T-shirts and souvenirs.
-- By Renée LiButti