First Look at the Bars and Restaurants at the New Durango Casino
The Durango Casino & Resort is just weeks away from its rescheduled opening date. On December 5, the new property will debut in the southwest corner of the Las Vegas Valley, on a plot of land that Station Casinos has owned since 2000. Upon opening, the Durango Casino (6915 S Durango Drive) will boast more than 200 hotel rooms, convention and meeting spaces, a pool, and 15 bars and restaurants.
Many of the bars and restaurants are getting specialty cocktail menus, with drinks served in elaborate barware, garnished with flowers and clouds, and served only in tucked-away speakeasies. Venues including the George Sportsmen’s Lounge, the Bel-Aire Lounge with an adjacent poolside patio, the steakhouse Nicco’s Prime Cuts & Fresh Meats, the Oasis at the heart of the casino floor, DRNK at the food hall, the Casino Bar, the high limit bars, the STN Sportsbook Bar, the Station Casinos staple Oyster Bar, and the Wax Rabbit Speakeasy inside Mijo Modern Mexican Restaurant are all getting signature cocktails.
The resort’s mixologist, David Bonatesta, and his team developed most of the cocktails found in venues across the property. Each of them will be open when the property opens. The George, STN Sportsbook Bar, Oasis, Casino Bar, and Oyster Bar will all be open 24 hours. Bel-Aire will be open Monday through Friday starting at 11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m. Wax Rabbit will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m.
Here are the Cocktail Highlights
Nicco’s Prime Cuts & Fresh Meats
The Durango Casino’s signature steakhouse will have 12 drinks, including the On Cloud Nine. With vodka, jasmine cocchi americano, italicus, raspberry, yuzu, lemon, and sparkling rosé the cocktail is finished tableside with a cloud of aromatic berry tea, an effect made with hot tea and dry ice. The Nicco’s Martini is an amped-up martini, with fat-washed extra virgin olive oil and dill vodka and a brine used to cook side vegetables. It comes with charred marinated olives.
Wax Rabbit Speakeasy
The resort’s speakeasy also has a cloud-inspired cocktail. Clique Hospitality’s Nadine Medina developed cocktails for both the speakeasy and Bel-Aire, like Wax Rabbit’s Cloudkicker. It combines tequila, sherry, and cantaloupe in a martini glass, decorated with a cotton candy cloud suspended above. The Candy Jar, a drink for two served in a glass vessel of the same name, is delightfully pink, with gin, aloe vera, acai, blueberry Red Bull, and vanilla flavor.
The lounge will serve small plates of hamachi tostadas, wagyu sliders, skewered grilled eggplants, and sushi rolls. But the cocktails are more elaborate. The Cactus Cooler Shot is made green with aloe vera liqueur and lime with vodka, mint, cucumber bitters, and coconut water. It’s poured into a cactus-shaped glass. And the Pebbles & Paradise blends strawberry and lemongrass vodka with Fruity Pebbles tea, lemon, vanilla syrup, and cherry and orange bitters — garnished with a cereal cone and flower petals.
Located amid the table games pits, this bar will specialize in whimsical cocktails made with desert botanicals. TheZen Universe with vodka, sakura, cucumber, yuzu, lemon, bitters, and egg whites gets served tableside with a lychee aromatic vapor revealed via a glass cloche.
At the center of the Eat Your Heart Out food hall, DRNK will serve frozen “slushy” versions of familiar drinks like the Aperol spritz, the Aviation, and the Paloma.
The George Sportsmen’s Lounge
The sports bar and restaurant will offer specialty cocktails created by Corporate Beverage Director Mark Hefter, including The Takei, featuring Takei 15 Haku Vodka, lemon juice, and yuzu syrup served with crushed ice and in a lemon logoed cup.