Las Vegas Sun

December 12, 2018

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Guest Columnist:

‘Bad Ink’ tattoo star Dirk Vermin shares his guide to Las Vegas

Dirk Vermin


Dirk Vermin.

Guest Columnist Dirk Vermin

Dirk Vermin. Launch slideshow »
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Dirk Vermin.

Robin Leach has finished his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin enjoys the remainder of his working vacation with his family, we continue today with our popular guest columns. Here is Las Vegas reality-TV tattoo star Dirk Vermin of “Bad Ink” on A&E.

Hi — Dirk Vermin here, guest columnist for the day.

Busy life here at the Pussykat Tattoo Parlor in fabulous Las Vegas. Loving the tourists from all over the world coming in taking pictures, and I’m signing autographs ’til my hand hurts. I’m in most mornings and all day Thursdays through Sundays. There is a waiting list for tattoos with my whole crew, but worth it.

I’m busy as hell the rest of summer finishing my upcoming and soon-to-be New York Times-bestseller autobiography titled “The Devil and Dirk Vermin.” (An unapologetic and not-so-modest history of growing up in and surviving Las Vegas with a completely biased social commentary loaded with subversive and agnostic ideology on the way to selling my soul to become a short-lived reality-TV star.)

This town’s never seen anything like this. Profane, unapologetic and completely honest. You think you know the story? You don’t. I’m hoping for a fall release and a book tour to follow. The first-ever Dirk Vermin solo album: “Songs and Words Inspired by the Book” will come out, as well.

“Bad Ink’s” second and final season is slated to launch worldwide over the next few months. Looking forward to it, especially in Latin America where we are a certified hit. Check back often. No Season 3, but whose got time? I got a book to finish.

People all over ask me what I like to do in my hometown, so think of this is as the official Dirk Vermin’s Guide to Las Vegas.

How ’bout a drink to start the night off right? Head on down to Frankie’s Tiki Room on Charleston for an authentic 1950s-style tiki bar experience. The walls are loaded with original island-inspired artwork, and giant, one-of-a-kind tikis guard every inch of the joint. No night’s complete without the many rum-based cocktails served in real tiki mugs, including “The Bearded Clam,” of which I am responsible for designing. Get ’em while they last.

After a drink, you’re gonna need more drinks and some appetizers at Ri Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay Place. This bar is direct from Dublin and features authentic Irish food, atmosphere and the “perfect” pint always. Live music every night makes the experience complete. Just take it easy on the whiskey. The whiskey room can be dangerous. Hit up Junior and the entire crew. You won’t be disappointed. I’m there most nights, no joke.

Now we are on to dinner. I love Canonita at the Venetian Canal Shoppes. It’s my new favorite Mexican restaurant on the Strip. General Manager Justin Z. makes you feel more than welcome as you sip on the perfect margarita overlooking the gondolas full of shy tourists floating by. Chef Donna Willey makes it look easy as all the food comes out with the same care. Try the fresh guacamole and the duck relleno or the mussels … hell, everything on the menu. I think she tried serving it all to me last week.

After too many drinks, too much food and too many stogies, you’ll need to laugh and dance. Head down Las Vegas Boulevard to South Point for the best time you’ve ever had since 1986. Check out The Spazmatics, a 1980s nerd tribute extravaganza. Every Saturday at 10 p.m., you’ll sweat to these new “oldies,” from A-ha to Billy Idol. These guys can play, but don’t take my word for it. Go check ’em out. I’ll be in the front row.

Alright, enough plugging for my friends, I better get some free food and drinks outta this at the least. But, seriously, these are the places I go and the people I love. Thanks to Robin Leach for letting me do this. Thanks to you readers and hopefully new fans. Stay tuned.

P.S. I love my girls Jasmine and Tiger Lily. Hey, look, Daddy wrote something you’re allowed to read!

Dirk Vermin is a father, guitar player, singer, producer, tattoo artist, business owner, soon-to-be-author and reality-TV star on A&E’s “Bad Ink.” Follow him at, Twitter @DirkVermin and

Be sure to check out our other guest columnists today — celebrity chef Matthias Merges of Yusho at Monte Carlo and Las Vegas entertainer Tony Sacca. On Sunday, we’ll meet up with illusionist Jan Rouven from the Riviera and Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood executive Wendy Albert.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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