Las Vegas is full of shows. On any given night, you can see aquatic marvels, acrobats flying through the air or balanced precariously, slight of hand feats of wonder or your favourite artist performing or you can enjoy laughs aplenty. If you are a cocktailer, however, Las Vegas may appear to be a desert. Frozen daiquiris in large plastic cups, large beers (PLUS FREE SHOT!) and Red Bulls seem to dominate the drinks scene. Where is the oasis in this desert? Cocktailers, to find it you will have to go off The Strip. This is the show you are going to want to see.
Regular readers of Travel*Food*Cool know that we have a thing for secret speakeasies. In the past, we have checked spots in Seoul, South Korea, Montreal, Canada and Buenos Aires. On our recent trip to Las Vegas, not that it was easy, but we found The Laundry Room.
The Laundry Room requires you to take a trip to Old Las Vegas. It is located in The Commonwealth Hotel. The Laundry Room also has rules. Quite a few of them. To start, one must text a request for a reservation. Please be polite when you do this (and say hi to Angelica). The first thing they will tell you is that there is a business casual dress code: No tank tops, swim shorts or athletic wear allowed. When you arrive at the red doors of the Commonwealth Hotel, you have to text again and let the door host/hostess know that you have a reservation. Reservations will only be held for 10 minutes, so be punctual.
Once you arrive, you are lead to a secret door which, when opened, admits you to The Laundry Room. The Laundry Room is so named because it was the original location of the laundry room at the Commonwealth Hotel. While the original room may have been a nice laundry room, I doubt that the original room was as quaint as the bar is now.
My favourite feature may be the hanging lights, which are bulbs hung in decanters (bottoms removed). [Ssssshhh…don’t tell, I broke Rule 10 – see below.]
That evening, a small piano in the corner sat beside a decorated Christmas tree (’twas the season).
The bar is quite small. I counted six seats at the bar and a few tables. The room holds maybe 20 people total.
The menu, beside some suggested drinks, contains “The House Rules”. Here they are.
Rule 1: No standing at the bar, every patron must have a seat. Once you sit down, you are given the house rules and a drink menu. [ELIN’s TIP: don’t order off the menu, have a drink created for you]. The bartender (we had Anthony the night we were there) will come over to talk to you. The first thing he said was “We do not serve beer, wine, Red Bull or Grey Goose. Please tell me what you like, but I don’t want to hear ‘I like gin, rum, rye or rum’. Let me know whether you like an alcohol-forward drink, a tall drink, spices, herbs, etc.”.
Rule 2: No making or taking phone calls – it’s old school, so text
Rule 3: Regarding guests – do not bring anyone here you would not allow in your house to babysit your child and/or newborn puppy
Rule 4: Speak easy, no loud conversations
Rule 5: Brawling is poor form
Rule 6: No name dropping! If you name drop, they’d better be dead.
Rule 7: Don’t be creepy. “If you came to hit on strangers, you are at the wrong bar.”
Rule 8: No smoking – this means no cigars, cigarettes, pipes, vapes, bongs, hookahs, joints or one-hitters.
Rule 9: No PDAs (oh, and don’t do coke in the bathroom)
Rule 10: No photography (sssh! don’t tell)
Rule 11: Please be patient – handcrafted cocktails take a while to make!
Rule 12: You have to leave one hour after your last ordered drink
Rule 13: Cut yourself off when you have reached your limit
We were in The Laundry Room for about two hours and each had two very different cocktails. We managed to switch seats from a table to one of the six bar stools, where we were able to watch the cocktails being made and chat with Anthony the bartender. The conversation ranged from bitters to glassware to Amari.
I would recommend going if you want to get a little off the beaten path and do something different. If you are a cocktail nerd (guilty), you will really enjoy sitting at the bar.
Oh, and just a heads up, April 15 is National Laundry Day, I know where I’d like to be!
Where: 525 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA; When: Open Sunday through Saturday: 7 pm – 1 am, reservation only: Text requests to: +1 702-701-1466