It seems anyone can have an Irish pub nowadays.
Slap a clover on your front door, keep bottles of Jameson and Bailey's in stock and put House of Pain on the jukebox and instantly you have a recipe for an Irish tradition as genuine as wearing green on St. Patrick's Day.
Once you get past the 99-cent store versions of an Irish pub, there are some operators that have gone to great lengths to achieve a traditional pub atmosphere even commissioning Irish companies to build pubs in the Emerald Isle, break them down, ship them stateside and reassemble them.
But nothing says Irish pub quite like the newly-opened Rí Rá. Rather than creating an all-new pub, relics from old Ireland pubs and other outposts were salvaged, restored and retrofitted to become a standing testament to Irish tradition inside Mandalay Bay.
Separating Rí Rá from the indoor-mall it's located in is the classic dark wood entryway you can find at many pubs. But once inside you'll find the attention to traditional detail the other 11 Rí Rá locations have become known for.
The deceptively large Rí Rá is composed of five sections each with their own different pub theme.
Upon entering, the first room looks like a cross between a long frequented pub and the pantry at your grandmother's house. The checkered tile floors give way to an old-fashioned bar, complete with knots in the wood and fine detailing -- a characteristic lost in many modern bars.
Behind the bar sits bottles of spirits neatly lined up while 85 bottles of beer rest on the top shelves throughout the bar. Rí Rá also has 17 different beers on tap. Across from the bar is a number of bottles and bags of cooking ingredients.
As you delve further into the venue, you'll find a whiskey bar, a dedicated dining area in the back and another area designed to be rented out by large bachelor or birthday parties.
The different bars throughout the venue look classic for a reason, many of them are. One is an authentic Victorian bar that was part of Foley's in West Cork, Ireland in the 1880s and is topped off by an early 20th-century etched glass window from an Irish pub.
The crown jewel of Rí Rá is the 500-pound statue of St. Patrick that sits in the middle of the second bar. Showing the wear of 150 years, the 8-foot statue dates to 1850, but still enjoys a pint of Guinness daily as evidenced by the glass in his hand.
The first Guinness Store outside of Ireland is right next store, with plenty of novelty items, pint glasses and rugby balls just in case you left yours at home.
It's like having a slice of Ireland in Las Vegas, conveniently located next to Egypt and down the street from New York.
-- Review by Justin Lawson