Owned by Caesars, Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has earned a reputation for being a bit on the wild side. Considering all the temptations offered by the casino gambling capital of the world, that is saying something. Located on I-15 just off the famous Strip, The Rio has been able to carve out its own unique piece of the pie when it comes to first-rate entertainment.
172 Live Music is a new music venue, restaurant and nightlife bar all rolled into one. It has been described as a “Sunset Boulevard rock-n-roll club meets Madison Avenue restaurant and bar” mixing the best of both coasts. Patrons can drink and dine while listening to live bands playing everything from rock, funk, Motown, alternative, and Latin. All the music is designed to keep the party going deep into the night.
See How West Coast Meets East Coast at Rio’s Casino Hotel & Resort 172 Live Music Venue
Bar manager Ahmad Butt and head bartender Chris McDonald were tasked with creating cocktails that fit the theme. Butt was quoted as follows:
“The owner, Tony Sgro, had an idea about serving upscale cocktails with a rock-n-roll atmosphere. So we focused on a craft cocktail program.” Also added to the mix is a whiskey program with the use of over 50 different labels. A few of the noted highlights are:
- Blanton’s bourbon
- Yamazaki 12-year Japanese whiskey
- Basil Hayden dark rye
The signature cocktail menu fits the bill. It features fun rock song names with top-notch recipes. The Smoke on the Water is a mix of bourbon, rye or whiskey with bitters and orange peel along with a drunken cherry. This is modeled after the classic Old Fashioned. However, the presentation includes the drink in a small box filled with swirling smoke.
Another example just in time for summer is the Raspberry Beret. This is a sweet blend of raspberry vodka, fresh raspberries, raspberry gum syrup, Chambord and pineapple, cranberry and lemon juices.
One signature drink is a tribute to funk master Bootsy Collins. The drink is a play on a Tom Collins mixed with gin, passionfruit syrup, lemon and lime juices with club soda. The twist is a Curacao float and a garnish of star-shaped orange peels to represent Bootsy’s famous sunglasses.
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When it comes to his bartenders’ limits, Butt went on to add:
“I’ve brought in the mad-scientist bartenders who’ve always wanted to make amazing drinks. And, I’m like ‘this is your playground to do that’.”
When it comes to draught beer, all the selections are from local breweries. An example given was a shandy made with Banger Brewing’s El Hefe jalapeno hefeweizen.
Top-rated executive chef Joe Richardson is co-owner and also in charge of the dining menu. He has over two decades of experience in Japanese cuisine. His menu at 172 offers traditional Japanese offerings with a Latin influence.
His thoughts on the entire presentation 172 Live Music offers Las Vegas patrons are:
“We wanted to do a really cool music venue along with cool food, not just burgers, and hot dogs. We wanted something that’s a dining experience, cocktails, with amazing entertainment at the same time.”