The swankiest old-school lounge in Vegas was named one of "America's 10 Best Make-Out Bars" by Nerve Magazine, for reasons that will be abundantly clear as soon as you walk in. So strong is the Fireside Lounge's juju, you can practically feel the requited lust in the parking lot.
The Fireside redefines the notion of a dark room: It is the brightest dark room I've ever seen, or maybe it's the darkest bright room. It is rimmed with mirrors, filled with low, cozy booths and anchored at the south end of the room by a fire pit, its flames erupting from a pool of glowing white water.
The booths, cozy and intimate, encourage quiet conversation. The waitresses, garbed in long black dresses slit to mid-thigh, sit down at your table as they take your order or freshen your cocktails. And the house's specialty cocktail, the "Scorpion," is a mega-girlie drink served in a glass the size of a soccer ball.
Though it's been remodeled several times since the 1970s -- most recently adding dozens of flat-screen monitors that almost detract from the ambiance -- the Fireside still looks and feels like an artifact of the "fern bar" era. And yes, it's true: Many couples come to the Fireside just to make out. They paw at each other like crazed lemurs. Even the music videos glowing on the flat screens can't distract them.
Want to be one of them? I can't blame you. Shower, shave and find yourself a date. Bring that unsuspecting soul to the Peppermill, grab a seat by the fire pit, order a pair of mai tais and make your play. If the Fireside Lounge's love vibe doesn't work in your favor, subscribe to Nerve.
-- Review by Geoff Carter