Getting Rescued in Vegas

One of my favorite hang-outs, legendary blues bar The Sand Dollar, is in the midst of a Bar Rescue.

All those things that make a blues bar ‘unique’ – like a dark, dingy interior; a stage with wiring that makes all the amps hummmm; remnants of various decorator touches – you get it. Basically the ick that has built up over time and given it a certain…ambience.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe it improvements – like fixing the toilet and making sure everything is clean. But what they’re going to change is the bigger question.

Since I moved to Las Vegas, almost nine years ago, the ‘Dollar’ has gone through several hands. Some good, some not so good.

But a few facts here – it has (barely) survived the recession; is located near the Strip – with no real neighborhood nearby which makes it a destination instead of ‘the place around the corner’; looks sketchy from the outside (HOWEVER, I ALWAYS FEEL SAFE THERE); has had no real love in years; been closed and reopened several times; and the worst part – the string of new owners didn’t re-hire Lola – the best cocktail waitress who has ever served a gin and tonic.

The place is an institution for locals. It will be interesting to see what it gets turned into. The guy doing the rescue has decades of experience turning bars around. He has a pretty standard plan, but when you fix things for a living, you know what works – or doesn’t work – usually.

But then again, this is Vegas. Off the Strip, bars here have a completely different set of challenges. All have liquor, gaming, and some have food and / or music in some form.

The challenge is, that any one of those attractions can be enjoyed in another bar, restaurant, Dotty’s, Albertson’s, CVS, or car wash. (Yes, I can gamble at my local Fabulous Freddy’s Car Wash.)

Anyway, there’s a short article in the local City Life about the changes a comin’.

I understand there was a ‘reveal’ last night. I couldn’t make it. Dang, I wanted to see what they’ve done to the place. But will surely head there tonight.

I hope the rescue included the restroom.