Located on the west edge of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas, the Velveteen Rabbit combines a homey feel with industrial chic décor.
An eclectic gem, the space here has a whimsical atmosphere. Perhaps that's inspired by its name. "The Velveteen Rabbit," originally published in 1922, is a children's novel about a stuffed rabbit that wants to become real, but can only do so through the love of its owner.
Inside the wooden plank façade, which is located two doors down from Casa Don Juan and an easy stroll from The Arts Factory and Holsum Lofts, the lighting is dark. Hanging bulbs provide soft illumination that feels cozy. Plus, there's dark textured wallpaper, a long wood bar and upholstered loveseats and chairs that appear to have come from your grandmother's living room. Each table is a curious space of its own, with some uniqueness to uncover.
Behind the bar, the draft beer taps are topped by mannequin hands. The menu features crafted "Elixirs" with names like Burning Bush, Blind Willow and Resurrection. Many of them are fresh and fruity. For example, the Cosmos is made with Svedka vodka, Solerno, lime and rose syrup. On a chalkboard, there's a list of draft and bottled beers -- a mix of popular brands like Coors Light and lesser known ones, such as Genesee Lager and Le Freak Belgian IPA.
Aside from peanuts to nibble on, food is not served at the Velveteen Rabbit. It's also a non-smoking bar, but cigarettes are allowed on the quirky back patio.
Despite its small size, they have managed to squeeze in a stage area in the back corner. Local DJs and musicians provide entertainment on weekends.
Always welcoming, the Velveteen Rabbit exudes charm and won't put a dent in your wallet. Open from 5 p.m. nightly, the early evening hours are laid back...but after 10 p.m., things tend to be hopping.
-- By Renée LiButti