Of all the places that we have visited in the world, Las Vegas is a place that we return to again and again. Why? It’s cheap to get there and there are a million things to keep us entertained for a few days. In a nutshell, it’s an easy getaway. We have a pretty typical routine in Vegas… we take some gambling lessons (free at many casinos), we eat at great places, we visit with friends and family in the area, we spend an evening or two seeing if we learned anything in our gambling lessons, and we see a show.
On this visit, however, I wanted to escape the same old routine. I started looking for obscure things to do in Vegas and I came up with quite a few oddball things to do. One of the things that popped up on many searches was a visit to a old fashioned, super secret speakeasy called The Laundry Room, located within another bar in the Freemont district. This space was once the laundry facility of the El Cortez hotel across the street, hence the name. But, while many sites made mentioned this place, the descriptions were themselves quite cryptic. The only useful information I could find was how to gain entry – text a secret number (which you also have to do a bit of digging to find) and list your desired date along with the number of people in your party. They do not take reservations by phone and you do not want to wait to try to make them in person as it is likely they will be booked solid.
Once you send your text, the only thing to do is hope you have the right number and wait for a response, which, for me, came within 48 hours. Since I had waited until a week before our trip to send the text, the only time they had available for our party of four was 12:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning – a bit late for us, but I thought we could make it work.
When you arrive, you are asked to send another text. When they are ready for you, you are asked to proceed to the end of the bar and wait for entry. A somewhat camouflaged door opens in what otherwise looks like an ordinary wall and you are led into an anteroom where you are given some of the rules of the speakeasy – low/normal tone voices, no pictures, no phones, no PDAs, and, most importantly, DON’T BE CREEPY. When seated, the bartender asks for a description of your favorite flavors and proceeds to whip you up a multi-ingredient cocktail to match your flavor profile. For one in our party who listed “bacon” as a favorite flavor, the bartender produced a neat whiskey concoction, complete with alder smoke.
Watching the bartender put together the cocktails in this 27-seat establishment is as much a part of the experience as drinking the cocktails tailored to your taste buds. If you’re in Vegas and looking for more than a two ingredient cocktail and a show to go along with it, I highly recommend The Laundry Room. In keeping with the super secret spirit, however, you’ll have to dig up the number on your own.