Las Vegas is known for resort facelifts up and down The Strip. But the city is quite proud of its past as much as it is of its present and future. From the speakeasies of Las Vegas Boulevard to downtown’s Mob Museum, there’s no shortage of Rat Pack-era nostalgia for those who romanticize about days gone by. While not every piece of memorabilia can be preserved, many cultural trends of the time are reimagined for today’s visitors.
If you’re among those longing to experience “old school” Las Vegas, these five destinations can satisfy the urge.
The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails
Tucked away behind the “janitor’s door” of an actual barbershop on the first floor of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Boulevard Tower is the resort’s homage to prohibition-era speakeasies. The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails prides itself on serving an unprecedented selection of whiskeys, scotches, and bourbons, with a rotating lineup of musical acts to entertain you. Though there are few secrets in the age of social media, you may want to keep your phone in your pocket and challenge friends to discover The Barbershop on their own.
Golden Steer Steakhouse
Though the neighborhood surrounding Golden Steer has evolved since 1958, Las Vegas’ oldest steakhouse hasn’t changed one bit. Behind its heavy wooden doors sits a perfectly preserved tribute to the city’s Rat Pack days. You can hear the music of Frank Sinatra ringing throughout the bar and dining room. And the booths pay tribute to the icons that once sat there, including Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood and the aforementioned Chairman of the Board.
The Italian American Club
Another hidden gem you’ll find far from The Strip, The Italian American Club is a longtime favorite of locals for its live music, chops and Italian dishes. Billed as a social club and “hub” for Italian Americans, the venue has its membership criteria and bylaws of its own, though you don’t have to be a member to dine at the restaurant. Located on the city’s east side, The Italian American Club is the off-the-beaten-path destination that nostalgia seekers crave.
The Mob Museum
The nonprofit Mob Museum, officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a popular destination for those who want to know more about Las Vegas’ seedier past. Like The Barbershop, however, it boasts a speakeasy with design and decor that harkens back to the Vegas of yesteryear. If you’re planning a visit, you’ll want to visit in early December, as the Mob Museum is fond of throwing an annual Repeal Day celebration to mark the December 5, 1933 end of Prohibition in the United States.
The Study at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.
The lower levels of The Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea Tower boast enough mid-century and throwback art to fill your Instagram feed for a month. But if you’re looking for that classic social experience, follow the second-floor signs to Rose. Rabbit. Lie. and its hidden gem, The Study. Adorned in dark woods and leather seating, The Study is the kind of place you’d imagine Sinatra and company would retire to after a night on stage. Vintage books and table games inspire guests to put their phones away, and The Study even allows you to choose the evening’s soundtrack via its vinyl collection.
Are you looking for more old school vibes and secret pleasures? Here are some off-the-menu beverages to consider on your next night at The Cosmopolitan.