Like just about everything else with a social bent, nightlife in Las Vegas has—since the shutdown in March—been all but nonexistent, and rightly so.  But, thanks to a combination of the recent loosening of restrictions by Nevada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, and some creativity on behalf of bar owners, nightlife lives, albeit in a much more mellow manner than before.

Take Commonwealth, the swanky Downtown club with its popular speakeasy, The Laundry Room, and its rooftop bar; where the club is in the midst of what it's calling The Laundry Room Takeover Experience, while the rooftop bar has morphed into the Rooftop Speakeasy.  It’s fab, and brimming with ambiance, all while adhering to mandated social distancing regulations.  The rooftop is covered with Persian rugs, while the well-spaced seating vignettes feature cloth-covered tables that are topped with cut-crystal accouterments and surrounded by comfortable leather wingback chairs.

The views—of the nearby El Cortez Hotel & Casino, with its iconic sign casting a lovely pink-hued glow to its surroundings, the Emergency Arts building, across the street, and Sunrise Mountain off in the distance—are the perfect mix of neon and nature; while the music is a delicious mélange of Classic Vegas era gems from such famed crooners as Sammy Davis, Jr., Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Dame Shirley Bassey, and the Sinatras (both Frank and Nancy).

The vibe, there on the roof—as the venue’s directrix, Miss Behave, so eloquently put it—is a combination of the seemingly disparate mentalities of “highly attentive service” and “leave me the heck alone.”  And for whatever reason, it just works.  Rather beautifully, too.

One of the things that have set Commonwealth, and especially The Laundry Room, apart from most DTLV venues, has been its cheekily innovative mixology program, and I’m pleased to report that is still very much the case.  Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided that, for my evening’s imbibement, I’d put myself in the hands of my capable mixologist, Kat, and order the Jazz Improvisation (the House Specialty), wherein Kat asked me to select some flavors that I enjoy, and used that insight to create me a custom cocktail from scratch. 

Well, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when Kat took the flavors I’d selected—apple, brown sugar, chocolate, honey, maple, pears, and tea—and returned with what she’d dubbed Brown Sugar Tea.  A sophisticated libation with a subtle kick, my Brown Sugar Tea was made using Maple Syrup, Chocolate and Cardamom Cocktail Bitters, Amaro, US Single Malt Whiskey, and Rye Whiskey, and might best be described as the coolest cocktail I never knew I’d always wanted!

I have to say, that while twenty-something me might’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the scene, there, at the Rooftop Speakeasy; forty-something me was absolutely living for it; especially as we begin to venture out from our respective exiles.  As I looked over the wrought iron fencing that surrounds the rooftop, and down onto Fremont Street, there was nary a mask-less face insight.  Nor were there any signs of anything that might’ve caused me unease with being “out” that night.

Kudos to Ryan Doherty and everyone at Corner Bar Management for trying something a bit more sophisticated, that flies in the face of the de rigueur bigger-must-be-better mentality for which Las Vegas nightlife had become known.

So, how does one gain access to the Rooftop Speakeasy; or to Commonwealth, itself, during its ongoing takeover by The Laundry Room?  Simply send a text message to (702) 291-7389 that includes your full name, the number of guests in your party, which venue you're interested in experiencing (i.e., the Rooftop Speakeasy or Commonwealth), and the preferred date and time that you’d like to go; keeping in mind that the Rooftop Speakeasy is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to 1:30am, while Commonwealth is open Wednesday through Sunday nights from 6:30pm to midnight. Then wait for someone from the team of The Laundry Room to get in touch with your confirmation.  Technology: You’ve gotta love it!

Rooftop Speakeasy
Commonwealth | The Laundry Room
Fridays and Saturdays | 8pm - 1:30am
Click HERE for info

Get into it!

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