Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 | 2 a.m.
The bar is stocked, the dance floor is polished and the mechanical bull is ready to ride at the new location of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country bar, which celebrates its grand opening Thursday night.
A popular stop for those in search of drink specials and country tunes, Stoney’s packed up its old location near Las Vegas Boulevard and Serene Avenue last month and moved 3 1/2 miles north to a spot at Town Square. Stoney Gray, co-founder of the establishment, said the move was prompted by a desire to be closer to the action on the Las Vegas Strip and attract more tourists to the bar.
“It gives an opportunity to reach out and touch that tourist base that we couldn’t do down (at our old location),” Gray said. “We want to be that country destination that I really believe is missing in this town.”
The 19,000-square-foot Stoney’s location at Town Square, which Gray described as part nightclub and part honky tonk, offers a number of new touches, including a gift shop, an expanded dance floor and a DJ booth that can support live radio broadcasting from the club.
It’s also staying open every night of the week, up from four, and will begin hosting private catered events on afternoons and evenings.
The past months have seen the marble accents from the previous tenant, a spa, replaced with dark leather furniture and lots of roughly finished wood paneling as part of a $2.5 million renovation. The company also has hired 70 new staff members as it aims to increase its events business, expand its retail line and book higher-profile country music acts.
Gray is hoping to draw on the millions of visitors who pass through Town Square each year in addition to the loyal following he has built during 20 years in the Las Vegas nightlife industry. After spending several years in a mostly vacant shopping center with only a massage parlor and tattoo shop for neighbors, Gray said he was excited to have high-drawing attractions like the Rave movie theater next door at Town Square.
“You can go to dinner, then you can come in here and go dancing. You can go to the movies and then go dancing,” he said. “Town Square has a function almost every single night, whether it’s a pub crawl or a gourmet tasting.”
Amid all the changes, Gray said long-time patrons could expect the same Southern hospitality they found at the old location, plus such attractions as beer pong, bikini bull-riding and line-dancing lessons.
“Our ability to entertain different types of people at one time has stayed the same. People can expect the country western experience they’ve grown to love,” Gray said. “It’s the kind of place where you’ve got a doctor, a lawyer and a construction worker all hanging out together.”