Don't tempt me with a good time, Las Vegas.
If you tell me there's a bar with a Vodka Vault in it...my drunk friends and I will visit you and pretend like we can afford to be there.
On our most recent trip to the city of craps-tables-that-don't-pay-shit, we shacked up at the super pretty Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino so we could be near all the crazy places our Instagram followers were telling us to check out (protip: there's a regular-priced liquor store within walking distance of the Mandalay Bay, across the street near the McDonald's).
First up? The Red Square restaurant, a contemporary American cuisine spot with a ton of Russian-inspired food and design cues:
Attempting to play-it-cool and not go straight to the Vodka Vault, we decided to grab a few things off their menu that sounded interesting, including our fair share of caviar, and a salmon pizza (caviar, in-house smoked salmon, pickled red onions) mini lobster tacos and some crazy good Siberian Nachos:
Then it was time.
We hobbled over to the glow of the Vodka Vault sign, and a kind, attractive woman (see video above, or just jump straight to 0:48 to see what I'm talking about) helped us find some heavy duty fur coats that would keep us warm while in the vault. Upon entering, our pale faces were met with a gush of ice cold air before we locked in by the freezer door.
And there we were -- inside the vault. Imagine a tall, circular room with sky-high walls lined with clear lockers. In the middle of the room stood a glass case with Vladimir Lenin's head inside (a headless statue of the Russian communist revolutionary stands at the entrance of the restaurant), and you are encouraged to take a shot off his dome while in the cold vault. Yes, things got bizarre.
All the lockers open from the vault's interior, but each locker has a window to the outside so that passerby can gawk over the booze porn. The appeal seems to be that you can build up a gnarly vodka collection, and casino onlookers can peek into your particular collection.
Then I inquired about getting a locker of my own.. .only to find out that lease negotiations might range to the tune of $10,000/year. I nearly spit out the vodka I smuggled in via my Aquafina bottle.
3950 Las Vegas Fwy
Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 632-7407