Frankies Tiki Room
Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, Nevada is probably the only 24-hour tiki bar in existence. It is a classic and a must-visit destination if you are in the area. As their website boasts “Drink, Smoke, Escape”. They are not joking. No matter what time of day or night, you can expect it to be pitch dark in there. If you come during the day, its a rude awakening when someone opens to the door to enter, its almost as if Dracula has been blinded. In the same respect, if you don’t like second hand smoke, don’t plan on staying for more than one drink.
Our Wahine in the field Kiane visited on weekday on a layover. She enjoyed their signature drink, Tiki Bandit which is described as “A jackpot of rums with pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, and blue Curaçao. “This dreamy nectar will keep you rolling in sevens”. And of course, its served in the signature Frankie’s Tiki mug shaped like a slot machine. Her husband opted for the Malekula, which is described as “A glowing elixir prepared with coconut rum, Tuaca, melon liqueur, and pineapple juice. “The perfect refresher for the perfect buzz”.
There was a vintage B-Movies playing on the widescreen TV named “Mad Doctor of Blood Island” from 1968, but there was also surfer music in the background. While some tiki aficionados might question music over exotica, for me, its perfectly acceptable. But in a place like this, if you don’t like the music, you can certainly change it with a cash-operated jukebox.
While you don’t expect any bar to be busy on a day during the early week, especially a tiki bar, it was a shame that only one staff person was busy bartending, waiting tables and busing. Kiane and her husband were never even asked if they wanted another round. The tiki mugs they bought were never rinsed, in fact, they had to dump out the rest of the ice in the parking lot before they can put them away to take home.
The decor is totally tiki, from the puffer fish hanging from the ceiling to the tikis, bamboo and thatch, and all the other tropical and oceania artifacts you could expect.
It was definitely an experience to be had, if you can withstand the second hand smoke. It is definitely worth stopping into just to have one drink, even just to say you were in one of the Vegas bars that Anthony Bourdain also had visited.