Tuesday, July 9, 2013 | 4:54 p.m.
Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach is in London before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, the Amalfi Coast this year — many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue with actor and rocker Kevin Hegmann, who stars in the crowd-pleasing hit musical “Rock of Ages” at The Venetian.
By Kevin Hegmann
As a member of Las Vegas’ best party, “Rock of Ages,” people often want to know where to pregame for the show and the best places to keep the party rolling afterward.
However, being in a rock musical is very different from being a rock star; I’m not often able to indulge in Vegas’ bar scene. In order to selflessly answer this question, I scoured the Strip for the hottest bars to get in the mood for the 1980s mind trip that awaits the audience.
Due to my performance schedule, I visited these establishments over the span of a week; however, I recommend you hit up all of them on the same day, or pick your favorites. That being said, this author claims no responsibility for lost sobriety or empty wallets.
If you follow the party in the order listed below, you will work your way down the Strip toward The Venetian, the home of “Rock of Ages.”
First on the list, PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Planet Hollywood. Located directly on the Strip, Rock Bar offers outside seating as well as a deep bar and restaurant inside. With a little something for everyone, Rock Bar plays Top 40 hits and serves a menu filled with more comfort food than you could ever want. The restaurant/bar has an almost entirely female staff, and ladies drink for free on Thursdays.
Happy Hour begins at 3 p.m., which includes several drink specials, making this the best place to start your party. If you decide to return after “Rock of Ages,” the DJ will start spinning at 11 p.m., at which time Rock Bar becomes the Strip’s ultimate no dress code nightclub.
Our next stop is Senor Frogs down the street at Treasure Island. You can’t miss its bold exterior, which is equally rivaled by its exciting decor. This is a great place to chow down before the show. Senor Frogs offers several specialty drinks and 2-for-1 yard-sized drinks with coupon.
Purchase of only one yard drink is enough to fuel your battery for hours, so bring a friend. The best part? If you sit outside during dinnertime, you’ll have a prime seat for The Sirens of T.I., the free outdoor show located at the entrance.
After you’ve finished, head to The Venetian where Rockhouse provides the perfect place to wrap up the “Rock of Ages” pregame experience. Complete with all of the necessary drinking games, Rockhouse boasts 2-for-1 domestic and well drinks during Happy Hour, and $50 gets you an open bar bracelet good all day.
So once it’s time to stumble downstairs for the show, you can return to keep the party going all night long. My recommendation? Rockhouse sells (nearly) life-sized neon guitars with neck strap that you can fill with your choice of booze.
After a performance of “Rock of Ages,” you can always find a crowd herding to The Bourbon Room for a free shot. Marvelless Mark, the Bourbon’s host, gets the crowd wild with his shocking humor and illuminated ’80s getup. This is no Top 40 joint; only hair bands allowed.
Upon entering, you will find the walls are plastered with large TV screens playing classic ’80s music videos from the golden days of MTV. Cast members from “Rock of Ages” often show up, so if you liked what you saw, stick around and you might meet your favorite member of the cast.
The best place to finish your debauchery-filled drinking experience is at Carnaval Court located Strip side at Harrah’s. The good news? There is usually no cover, and the drinks are strong. Join the fun as you enjoy an outdoor performance by a live band or DJ, and watch as the world’s best flair bartenders perform astounding tricks while preparing a cocktail.
Now that your experience has come to an end, a cab ride home is probably a sure bet. If you paced yourself, tomorrow you will remember the day you lived like a rock star at “Rock of Ages.”
Check out our other guest columns today from Kevin’s “Rock of Ages” co-star Mark Shunock and fiery redheaded dance delight Tara Palsha and on Wednesday look for the penmanship of Louis Prima Jr. and Bettie Page fashion designer Tatyana, who is sewing her way to a worldwide franchise from her Las Vegas headquarters.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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