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April 19, 2014

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O’Sheas, block party will live on, in some form or another

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

As the rain begins to fall, Donovan Curtis, of Las Vegas, and Leohei Munemura, of Japan, right, continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Hennessey’s Tavern Block Party Saturday, March 17, 2012, in Las Vegas.

St. Patrick's Day at O'Sheas

Visiting from Kansas, Scott Grogg, right, goofs around with his friend, Justin King, while celebrating St. Patrick's Day at the last O'Sheas' St. Patrick's Day block party before it closes on the Las Vegas Strip Saturday, March 17, 2012. Launch slideshow »

St. Patrick's Day festivities

KSNV coverage of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Henderson and block party at O'Sheas, March 17, 2012.

Lucky the Leprechaun has saved O’Sheas — well, sort of.

Brian Thomas, 46, the spokes model for the Irish pub-themed casino, said he bet Caesars Entertainment Regional President Rick Mazer that if he lost a beer pong competition at the start of start of Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day block party, Mazer would get to knock down O’Sheas.

If Thomas won, he would give O’Sheas a spot in the new $500 million Linq development that was announced this month.

Lucky the Leprechaun came through for O’Sheas fans, who enjoy the casual setting of beer pong tables, low minimum wagering and karaoke, and won the drinking game “by a pot of gold.”

“I feel pretty good about it,” Thomas said. “We’re putting O’Sheas as part of the Linq project. All the old vintage spots on the Las Vegas Strip are coming to an end. It is sad because it’s a little piece of history that’s going away.”

The current O'Sheas location will close April 30 for demolition.

Thomas has played the role of Lucky for seven years and said his main job is making sure there’s not a frown in sight at the final St. Patrick’s Day block party.

Thomas remembers the first party he worked with the casino on as a learning experience. Pouring shots of a green concoction into the mouths of hundreds of green-dressed patrons, he said this year the party was going out with a bang.

“It turned into something that ended up being really huge and a cult following,” he said. “It’s been working for seven years.”

Rain and dreary weather conditions may have shut the block party down outside, but Jon Lockhart, 25, and his friends continued to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day inside the crowded casino late Saturday afternoon.

Decked out in a green “Save O’Sheas” T-shirt, Lockhart said the Irish-themed spot is always on his list of places to visit while in Las Vegas.

“I love O’Sheas,” he said. “This is like my favorite place on the whole Strip just because it’s such a great atmosphere here. They’re tearing it down now so it sucks … I want this place to stay.”

Lockhart said he’d love to come back as long as a little piece of O’Sheas is still intact.

“I just hope it stays with the same tradition, karaoke, beer pong, easygoing atmosphere.”

In between beer pong turns, Roxc Romero said she too will miss the casual mood of O’Sheas.

“It’s chill,” she said. “I’m sad because this is the place I come to gamble, the people are cool, the dealers are cool.”

Mazer said loyal followers have nothing to worry about. A section of the Linq project will have a designated O’Sheas area that will stay true to its original feel.

“It will be O’Sheas 2.0 and it will have all the key elements that have been so iconic, like the table game element, the bar, live music and beer pong,” Mazer said.

The new O’Sheas will be accessible from Linq and the new Imperial Palace, he said.

“It will have a distinctly different space and design — still Irish pub-style and casual feel, unpretentious,” he said. “But the food and beverage and retail won’t be in there.“

Mazer said a few hours after the casino officially closes, the area that is now the garage will implode, making way for the new O’Sheas section.

As for the block party, he said there hasn’t been much discussion on what will become of it in the future, but there is still hope.

“The Linq has courtyard open spaces — so it could possibly be something quite similar,” he said. “You can anticipate something special for St. Patrick’s Day.”

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  1. I've been to Las Vegas 3 times in the past 5 years and I will miss O'Sheas. I also enjoy the smaller casino/ bars and the special atmosphere they generate. The same can be said for Blackhawk/Central city Colorado. There are still many small casinos, but the big boys are slowly taking over with the giant properties and the special small type atmospheres are slowly going away.

  2. St. Patrick's Day: right up there with New Years Eve on the Strip; AMATEUR HOUR. The same people digging the vibe at O'Shea's on St. Paddy's day probably never set foot in the dump during the other 364 days of the year.