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Friendly and intimate, this gathering spot is H ave a conversation perfect for meeting up after work and sampling cocktails — the drinks, such as Señor Pooh Bear, (a margarita with a honey-powder rim) are top-notch, and served by genuinely genial bartenders. Well-suited to conversation, the bar, tables and booths are set up to maximize connectivity. Whether you’ve come for a quick bite or plan to kvetch into the wee hours, this is the place to do it. JP Panorama Towers, 4515 Dean Martin Drive, 702-430-4444, theblindpiglasvegas.com

The Blind Pig

The Blind Pig: Jakob Mccarthy

Herbs & Rye This building bleeds old Vegas. We’re thankful, then, that Nectaly Mendoza rescued it from a series of ill-advised runs as a video poker joint, reclaiming what was once the Ruvo family’s old school Venetian Ristorante and turning it into this wonderful Italian steakhouse and classic cocktail bar. Even before several recent aesthetic tweaks, H&R’s lounge was a stellar spot to meet for a chat. Now that the TVs and the DJ booth have been permanently removed in favor of a listenable mix of period-correct swing and jazz, there might not be a better off-Strip spot for a second date or business meeting. Cheers: While we deeply dig the Hemingway (a hand-mixed daiquiri, natch) our fave libation is the sneakily potent Ford, a turn-of-the-20thcentury orange-tinged gin martini variant. JPR 3713 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-8036, herbsandrye.com

Above, The Blind Pig; right, Herbs & Rye

ENJOY THE AMBIaNCE

Tower Suite Bar Sneak a peek into the lives of the One Percent at this swanky, old-school lobby bar located at the base of the snooty Wynn Hotel’s even snootier VIP tower. Sip a cocktail surrounded by lush potted palms, gleaming brass fixtures and gorgeous mosaics, and watch the comings and goings of the Other Half — bluebloods and capitalist kingpins and high-class escorts, oh my. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a reality TV star or celebrity athlete — but the real fun is watching the wealthy crones of the Old Guard turn up their man-made noses at these nouveau riche poseurs. Cheers: Drown your ennui in a classic martini ($12). If you ask nicely,

the bartender might even add a dash of Botox. SJW Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-7000, wynnlasvegas.com

The Saloon at Bonnie Springs Ranch When you’re all Vegased out, head to the western edge of town, past the last subdivision, and follow Blue Diamond Road through the canyon to Bonnie Springs Ranch — a weathered wooden relic from a bygone age, when men were men and their M AY 2 0 1 4

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Desert Companion - May 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada