Las Vegas has many local joints − places that have become a staple among the native crowd. But being a tourist, we’d understand if you didn’t know what lived past the glittery lights of the Strip. Honestly, who can blame you? With all there is to do, it’s hard enough to eat at every restaurant that serves custom tacos let alone to leave and explore the surrounding valley.
In reality, it isn't easy to become a local joint in Vegas, considering the growing number of restaurants and bars that open and close each year. But locals really value these places and often take much pride in them.
Take Frankie's Tiki Room. Built because, well, this town lacked a true authentic tiki bar. That was reason enough to take a closer look. (OK, sure, the unique drink menu didn't hurt).
In 2008, P. Moss, owner of Double Down Saloon, decided that after all the recent closing tiki joints in town, he was going to open his own version. And so, after buying Frankie’s Bar & Cocktail lounge, remodeling the venue and partnering up with Bamboo Ben to help build it, Frankie’s Tiki Room was born.
From the moment you first step foot inside Frankie’s to the moment you have your first drink, everything about the place will most likely remind you of every movie you’ve ever seen with a tiki theme − with a Vegas touch.
There’s a red glow that engulfs the dimly lit bar, which is surrounded by hand-carved tiki statues. The walls are composed of bamboo and there’s a fisherman’s net that hangs over the ceiling, complete with pufferfish lights made from real pufferfish. Even the artwork on the wall is created in custom fashion for this bar featuring various island-themed drawings with a twist.
What Makes it Special
Everything, but in particular most would agree their extensive custom drink list is really what makes this place stand out. Sure, you can still order your typical rum and coke, but why would you want to in a place that offers specialty drinks such as the Bearded Clam, Zombie, Scurvy and Dr. No? Their menu is complete with 32 original drinks, some of which come served up in a custom tiki mug that are available for purchase. Oh, and did we mention the custom mugs are designed by various artists specifically for Frankie’s? You won’t be able to find mugs like these anywhere else.
But the absolute best part about the cocktail menu is the skull count below the drink that warns you before ordering how strong in alcohol content it will be. Skulls range on a scale from three to five, with three being the lightest in alcohol and five being the strongest. But don’t be fooled, some of the fives are so strong that after two you most likely won’t need a third, which you can blame on the 160 proof rum for.
Why You Need to Visit
Until recently, Frankie's was the only surviving tiki lounge in Las Vegas − the ONLY one − and for a good six years. If you don’t want to visit for the custom drinks, authentic hand carved bamboo design and sheer Las Vegas history engrained in the name, then you have to visit it for the sole reason that it’s the only surviving tiki lounge in Las Vegas. Think of it this way − in a town where a lot of things come and go, change names or get replaced by the next cooler version, it’s rare to find something that is considered the one and only – a unicorn if you will.