SPORTS & RECREATION
A Score Card for Sports Bars
This Lineup Delivers Some Heavy Hitters
Las Vegas is clearly in a league of its own. But when autumn rolls around, Sin City, like the rest of the nation, is swept up in the excitement generated by the Major League Baseball playoffs, the National Football League and college football. As the
action on the gridiron kicks off and the pennant races come down to the wire, the activity heats up at the sportsbooks, as well as in the sports lounges.
Here is a rundown on some of the hottest places to eat, drink and root for the old ball team.
40/40 SPORTS LOUNGE
Vegas’ newest sports bar and lounge is the latest in a string of upscale sports-themed clubs owned by showbiz mogul Jay-Z. You never know when you might spot the hip-hop artist himself or his celebrity friends Alex Rodriguez or LeBron James on the premises at this Palazzo hot spot. The club’s centerpiece is The Bleachers, an amphitheater where 125 plush seats look out onto a gargantuan 120-square-foot TV screen; 85 more plasma TVs are scattered throughout the club, which has five bi-level bars, five VIP suites and an outdoor terrace right on the Strip.
The Palazzo Resort and casino, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
The most interactive experience can be found at ESPN Zone in New York-New York, another multicity sports-themed operation. Its two-story Las Vegas venue is tricked out with all sorts of high-tech gadgetry. With an early opening time of 10:30 a.m. and more than 165 TV monitors scattered throughout — including in the HD Studio Grill, the SportsCenter Bar and even the restrooms — sports junkies won’t miss a second of the action.
The Screening Room dominates, with two 14-foot wide HD screens and a dozen 36-inch video monitors for multigame viewing, plus direct audio control in booths and free wireless Internet access for getting updated statistics and managing fantasy teams.
If you get bored watching TV, the Sports Arena is an arcade housing 75 games and attractions, some of them proprietary to ESPN Zone.
New York-New York Hotel and Casino, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South
702. 933.3776, www.espnzone.com/lasvegas
BLONDIE’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL AND HAWAIIAN TROPIC ZONE
Blondie’s is more of a typical neighborhood sports bar with a bargain proposition unusual for Las Vegas: Its daily happy hour (4 to 6 p.m.) offers all-you-can-drink draft beers for $10. Other promotions include all-you-can- drink wells and drafts for $10 on Tuesdays from 9.30 till close and Beer Pong contests on Thursdays with a prize worth $500. The restaurant carries multiple games on its 43 plasma and big-screen televisions.
Also located in the Miracle Mile Shoppes at Planet Hollywood is Hawaiian Tropic Zone, which sometimes hosts public viewing parties sponsored by major sports industry players and televises major sports events on its state-of-the-art video wall.
Miracle Mile Shoppes, Planet Hollywood, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Blondie’s, 702.737.0444, www.blondiesvegas.com
Hawaiian tropic Zone, 702.731.4858, http://www.hawaiiantropiczone.com/lv/index.html
MONTE CARLO BREW PUB
A favorite among locals as well as tourists, the Brew Pub has 38 flat-screen and three big-screen TVs, as well as a 10-by-10 foot projection screen for watching games. When the game’s not the thing, the pub features a piano bar and live bands, usually on weekends.
Monte carlo Resort and Casino, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Tucked away behind the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s sportsbook, the Sports Deluxe is an intimate, dimly lit sports bar that is much less frenetic than the property’s other watering holes. Plush leather U-shaped booths are equipped with their own personal mini-TVs, while a bank of HD plasma TVs provides the bigger picture.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Road
PETE & SHORTY’S
Also adjacent to a sportsbook, this one at Hooters Casino Hotel, Pete & Shorty’s is modeled after a typical small-town tavern and promotes a relaxed, neighborly atmosphere. Patrons watch sporting events on 24 42-inch plasma TVs — when not being distracted by Hooters girls.
Hooters Casino Hotel, 115 E. Tropicana Ave.
Buzzy Gordon is a freelance writer based in Valley Village.