Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Two robots walk into a bar. Well, OK, maybe they don’t walk, but they can pour you a perfect drink.
Tipsy Robot, a 2,500-square-foot bar to open Friday at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, boasts two robotic bartenders ready to make your favorite concoction any way you like.
Looking to gain a step on other major nightlife cities in the U.S., owner Rino Armeni decided to open the first permanent robotic bar in Las Vegas.
“We have so much talent in this town. However, trends always come from New York,” said Armeni, the chairman of Robotic Innovations who's lived in Las Vegas for almost 30 years. “So my partners and I decided to do something to create a new trend so we can be ahead of time. So, this is a gift from us to the city of Las Vegas.”
Customers place their order on one of the dozen tablet stations in the bar or through the Tipsy Robot app on their smartphone. They then pay with cash or credit card and enter their email address.
A QR code (barcode) is sent to the email, which the customer places above various windows available. The barcode is scanned and the drink is entered into the system. Patrons can see where their drink is in the queue and are alerted when their order is up.
Each robot has access to more than 60 kinds of liquor, and drinks can be mixed and poured into a 12-ounce plastic cup within 70 seconds.
“This is the most high-tech bar in the world, as the robot can perform the duties of the bartender,” Armeni said. “It’s not just a bar — it’s also an attraction and entertainment.”
Ice, lemon, limes and sugars are stored behind the wall of the robots. Juices, sodas and liquors are housed above them.
Aside from perfect pours every time, Armeni said the robots don’t spill and don’t waste any ingredients.
“They work to perfection, so everything the robots make is perfect,” he said.
Tipsy Robot’s location at the Las Vegas Boulevard entrance of the Miracle Mile Shops was chosen because of its heavy foot traffic.
“We wanted to find a place where there was a lot of people coming through,” Armeni said. “At this location, there is an average of 72,000 people coming through a day, so that was what sold it to us.”
A standard one-shot drink will run a customer $14, with tax and gratuity included in the price. Additional shots and garnishes can be added for an extra charge.
Technology that carries out human jobs won’t ultimately replace flesh-bearing counterparts at bars, Armeni said.
“We have a human bar on the side, and the robotic bar is mostly an attraction and entertainment,” Armeni said, “It’s no different from the fountains at Bellagio and the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.”
The staff of 16 also includes the “Galactica Ambassadors,” women dressed in space-themed metallic silver dresses. They will provide guests an experience in addition to the robots’ moves, Armeni said.
“The robots are the attraction — the people will come back for them (the employees),” Armeni said. “The human part to this is still as important as the robotics. Our staff is about the loyalty to the customers.”
A technician is on hand if any problems should arise. The techs also ensure the robot's self-cleaning system is working properly. Like any quality bartender, they wash their “hands” between each drink.
“After each drink, they actually put their hands in a steamer,” Armeni said.
The Tipsy Robot opens Friday and operates 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday.
This version of the story corrects the number of people coming through the Las Vegas Boulevard entrance of the Miracle Mile Shops daily, according to a Tipsy Robot spokesman.