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September 18, 2021

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Joe Downtown:

Joe Downtown: CNN’s Anthony Bourdain dropping by The Atomic for season finale

Atomic Liquor

John Glionna/Los Angeles Times / MCT

Derek Stonebarger, from left, Lance Johns and Kent Johns, pictured April 29, 2013, closed their purchase of The Atomic in downtown Las Vegas in June of 2013. County records show it was sold to Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project on July 17, 2014.

The Atomic Reopens In Downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, right, uses a torch to cut a tape during the grand reopening of The Atomic on East Fremont Street Wednesday, June 20, 2013. Looking on are Allan Palmer, left, CEO/executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum, and Jennifer Albright. The bar was was originally built in 1945 as Virginia's Cafe but was renamed Atomic Liquors in 1952 when patrons used to go to the roof to watch the nuclear blasts from the Atomic Test Site. Launch slideshow »

Someone’s going to have to start keeping track of all the free publicity being scored by The Atomic, a downtown bar on Fremont Street.

On Sunday, the CNN show “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” will air the last show of the season live from The Atomic starting at 7 p.m.

The show, to be called “Parts Unknown Last Bite,” will be produced inside the bar, one of the oldest and named The Atomic because patrons back in the day would drink cocktails on the roof while taking in Nevada Test Site nuclear blasts to the northwest.

Atomic owners Kent and Lance Johns and Derek Stonebarger don’t typically open the bar on Sunday nights. But they’re going to have a party on the patio outside with TVs to watch the show starting about 5 p.m.

Kent Johns said The Atomic’s draw is its timelessness. “As Las Vegas was changing and reinventing itself, this place stayed the same,” he said.

Last weekend, one photo inside and one outside The Atomic were featured in USA Today’s spread called VegasBuzz. The Las Vegas Sun’s Steve Marcus is credited with taking the photos, along with several more of areas in and around east Fremont Street.

In August, along with downtown’s Velveteen Rabbit and Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broads, The Atomic was mentioned in’s Eatocracy for one of its crafted drinks.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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