Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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Best Dive Joints

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Leila Navidi

The facilities at the Double Down Saloon

Double Down I first walked in to the Double Down in 2000 carrying a drum for Überschall. I was underage and the classic “I’m with the band” gimmick did the trick. Of course now even if they’ve seen your face 1,000 times—including in the official Girls of the Double Down calendar (yeah, Miss August 2009 here)—you’ll get carded. But the dirty lil dive bar hasn’t lost the charm, wonder and indistinguishable combo of smells. Where else can you see a drag queen and burly biker taking shots of ass juice with each other? Is there any other place for bacon martinis, gritty punk music and punk rock bingo? Oh, and hey Moss, thanks for getting toilet paper and a kinda working lock for the ladies room. That’s one thing I don’t miss about the early visits. Double Down Saloon, 4640 Paradise Rd. Open 24/7/365 (they never close!). 791-5775. –Deanna Rilling

Dispensary Shag carpet never looked so good, but that could be because you’re a few ice-cold beers deep. The 70’s time warp is a favorite not only because there’s a giant water wheel one the wall (seriously, where else can you find that in Vegas?), but because the atmosphere is laid back, the food is tasty—try their half-pound hamburger, and on a recent visit, the woman on the neighboring bar stool won $1,000 on two separate machines. If that doesn’t buy you a few more rounds and a slippery nipple, you’re drinking at the wrong hole. 2451 East Tropicana Ave. 24 hours, daily. 458-6343. –Laura Davis

Champagnes Cafe Populated with a roughly even ratio of elderly pipe-smoking regulars to UNLV hipsters, this Maryland Avenue dive is classic Vegas right down to the fuzzy brocade wallpaper and yesteryear drink prices. Massive booths shelter young locals tipping back $2 PBRs on draught, while karaoke master Bobby Shawn croons under the front room disco ball and fills in when you forget the words. Whether you keep to yourself or join in the off-key fun, Champagnes doesn’t seem to mind. Just don’t try to order Champagne. What do you think this is, a nightclub? 3557 South Maryland Parkway. 737-1699. –Sarah Feldberg

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