Posts tagged ‘scotch 80s’

Getting shipwrecked in Las Vegas at Frankie’s Tiki Room

December 3rd, 2008

Frankie's Tiki Room
Photos by Erik Kabik | RETNA and courtesy Frankie’s Tiki Room

Double Down Saloon owner P. Moss is a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma. We’ve heard all kinds of wild stories about him — among the most interesting: he wrote screenplays for several B-grade action and exploitation movies produced in the 1980s — but confirmed very few of them. What we can tell you, though: He doesn’t like to brag, but we happen to know he’s an excellent crime fiction writer, and one of the most brilliant bar managers on the planet. Further evidence of the latter can be found at the brand-new Frankie’s Tiki Room (1712 W. Charleston Blvd.).

Last night saw the bar open to invited media and VIP guests, giving us a sneak peek at what Moss has done with the old Frankie’s Bar & Cocktail Lounge. The answer: He’s transformed it into one of the coolest tiki rooms in existence, with an attention to detail that is impressive (no surprise – like everything Moss does, this place is pitch-perfect). If the Double Down masters the art of the punk bar – with its Bacon Martinis and Ass Juice – then Frankie’s perfects the idea of a 1950s-style, Polynesian-themed lounge. Every aspect of the décor (courtesy of renowned tiki designer Bamboo Ben) is pure South Pacific kitsch, from the beautiful cocktail tables and chairs and the bartender’s surf shirts to the bumper pool table and the coin-operated “Vice Tester” game nonchalantly installed in the corner.

P Moss and Bamboo BenBut it’s the mind-blowing drinks themselves that will impress even the most been-there-done-that tiki enthusiast. Every drink is 8 bucks — unless you opt for a $20 souvenir mug, each of which is beautiful. And each drink listed on the menu has a skull rating, letting you how much power (or much of a hangover) you’re getting.

We sampled (OK, downed completely) three from the “Frankie’s Original Tiki Drinks” side of the menu. First was the small-yet-deadly Fink Bomb, a blend of coconut rum, 160-proof rum, melon liqueur and pineapple juice that had us buzzing before we knew it. Second, there was Ninth Island, a mix of gold and silver rums, 151-proof rum and pineapple juice that, because of its larger size, was easier to nurse than the nearly shot-sized Fink. God, we wanted to sip our Ninth Island all night, but we finally had to move on to something even better: the mojito-styled Bearded Clam (light rum, mint leaves, passion fruit). Needless to say, we should’ve called in sick to work this morning, but it was well worth it.

There are also plenty of traditional tiki drinks to be enjoyed, such as the Zombie, a Mai Tai or Lapu Lapu. But we definitely encourage you to try the original drinks. Frankie’s doesn’t serve food, but you can smoke or gamble at the bar.

Frankie’s Tiki Room is less than a mile from the downtown Las Vegas‘ Arts District, giving those who live in and around that area another beautiful place to drink. The Griffin and the Downtown Cocktail Room are wonderful, but sometimes a tad too close to Fremont Street Experience-gazing tourists. Added bonus: Frankie’s is right next to University Medical Center, so if you come down with acute alcohol poisoning, help is just a few feet away.

It looks like we’ll be spending quite a bit of time and money at Frankie’s Tiki Room.


Frankie’s getting Tiki-rific makeover

October 27th, 2008

If there’s any one person who knows how to turn dirt into gold, it’s P. Moss, owner of the Double Down Saloon. He made his “Happiest Place on Earth” – really, the diviest of Las Vegas dive bars – into an internationally renowned punk rock icon, so much that it warranted a second location opening in New York City’s Bowery just a few years back.

So it stands to reason that when Moss re-opens the former Frankie’s Bar & Cocktail Lounge (1712 W. Charleston Blvd.) on Dec. 4 as Frankie’s Tiki Room, we’ll no doubt be in the presence of another truly legendary Vegas watering hole. The bar proprietor’s latest acquisition will be getting a full overhaul, according to Moss pal and local editor and writer James Reza.

“Moss assures me that this is no half-assed superficial remodel,” Reza writes on his blog. “This is the first serious tiki bar in Vegas since Taboo Cove at the Venetian closed. These design cats have connections to the Stardust’s Aku Aku and Disneyland’s Tiki Room.”

Stay tuned for more information as the opening date gets closer; until then, bookmark the Frankie’s Tiki Room website, still under construction.