Friday, July 13, 2012

Escape From Douchebaggery, Part 23: The Huntridge Tavern

There are many types of Las Vegas bars, but few of them are cheap. The vast majority of the watering holes in Las Vegas are located in the Casinos (both on and off The Strip) and have little to no character and pretty high drink prices. A few of the downscale casino bars, like the ones in Bill's Gambling Hall, are cheap but not really places designed for hanging out (they want to get you gambling, obviously). Then there's the new wave of high-class cocktail lounges, Wine Bars, and Craft Brew spots... but once again, they're best enjoyed with some cash in your pocket. There are the awesome hipster bars popping up Downtown, where you can find interesting artsy types that resemble cool spots in Silver Lake, San Francisco, or Brooklyn... and where you'll paying the same prices on booze as you'd pay in in Silver Lake, San Francisco, or Brooklyn (you gotta keep things authentic, after all). The town is also filled with faux-dive bars that are actually themed to resemble down-home divey joints but sell their booze at decidedly not divey price points.

The Huntridge Tavern, my friends, is another story entirely. It's the ultimate Las Vegas dive bar, a 50 year old, 24/7 Downtown adjacent dive that's the perfect watering hole for the broke and thirsty. The Griffin, with its eclectic jukebox, Craft Brews on tap, and castle-like design is the bar we want. But in these post-recession times, The Huntridge is the bar we need.

A smoky, sticky hole in the wall with some of the cheapest booze prices you'll find... well, anywhere (beers starting at $1.50, premium beers for $3!), The Huntrdige is the best place in Las Vegas to get plastered for next to nothing. The crowd is eclectic, with Vegas locals, bikers, old timer alcoholics, hipsters, and Rock-a-Billy enthusiasts enjoying blindingly strong cocktails on the cheap as one.

The Huntridge is one of the best places to wind down after a night of epic party times. I love grabbing a booth with some friends, blasting crowd pleasing tunes from their decent Jukebox, chatting with colorful locals, people watching, and enjoying the brisk (yet not rude) interactions with the busy servers who never leave you with an empty drink for long. The place has a bit of an edge and an attitude, as you'd expect from a more local's friendly drinking establishment. As such, it's not the kind of spot where you'll run in to a lot of tourists, which is one of the great things about the place.

Speaking of the hipsters who make up some of the clientele at the bar, I have to address something that bothered me while I was researching this post. I don't do footnotes or sidebars, and this paragraph would certainly qualify for one if I did, but bare with me. While looking up what other people had to say about The Huntridge, I came across a specific Yelp Review that ticked me off. Obviously, getting annoyed at Yelpers is a fool's errand that could lead you down a never-ending black hold of frustration, but this review irked me as it blasted the "hipsters" drinking at the bar. The Yelper complained that the place had been taken over by "bicycle-riding, big black-plastic-framed-glasses-wearing Portlond Ore wannabes" with "skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts" who were "swilling hipster ambrosia, a/k/a Pabst Blue Ribbon." She then goes on casually drop a Smiths quote and says that she was "grumbling all of this into a totally UN-pretentious Campari and soda. But goddamnit-- I'M supposed to be the only ironic one in these places!" So we have a classic case of a hipster calling out other hipsters for their horribly stereotypically hipster behavior. Or something. First of all, hipsters don't really drink PBR anymore... Crafts are where it's at these days. And what's the point of pulling out the most obvious hipster cliches and complaining that you're not welcome at a Dive Bar whose very existence is based on a diverse group of people drinking their for cheap? And many hipsters are poor (while yes many are trust fund babies who went to art school). I just don't get being an indie counter-culture type and attacking other so-called "hipsters." I named myself one in my blog, but I regret it. The term has become tiresome and meaningless. And this girl quoted The Smiths! She's mad that she's not the only hipster there? She's basically being a huge hipster by saying the influx of hipsters at the bar no matter makes it authentic. It's what I call the "hipster Catch 22." Really, the thing that people get annoyed about with hipsters is their exclusivity and insecure insistence on being the most unique snowflake who discovered and "made" whatever place they go to. And then they get mad when other people there are like them? It's pure nonsense. Just enjoy your cheap drinks with the fun and diverse crowd who drinks there every night! Okay, rant over. I didn't mean to call you out, Yelp User Sarah Jane W. Next time I'm in Vegas we should talk about The Smiths and make out.

Getting back on point,  The Huntridge is not the type of place that will place on lists for the coolest or most chic bars in Las Vegas. You'll never catch a surprise set from a hot DJ or run into cool celebrities dropping for a drink. You won't take photos of the decor or be floored by Cocktails made with seasonal fruits by bartenders who prefer to call themselves mixologists. But you will get drunk for cheap with interesting people in a smoky and dingy hole in the wall with Bruce Springsteen and Rolling Stone tunes blasting from the jukebox.  Do you need anything more than that in these continually rough economic times?


  1. In 23 years of going it used to be a great place to watch sports. But then a management change. 3 of 7 TV's haven't worked for over 6 months. The last bartender with any knowledge of what and when was on left last year.They don't know what games are let alone the channel, let alone do they care. Seems all they want to do is sit at one end of the bar smoking and jawing. The new owners who took over a few years back only seem to be in it for the profit and they keep trying to get live music or karaoke and getting a more youthful crowd