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Hsieh buys Atomic Liquors land, building

Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project has paid $3.48 million to purchase the land and the building housing the historic Atomic Liquors bar at 917 Fremont St., according to Clark County records.

The Downtown Project did not buy the business, spokeswoman Kim Shaefer said Friday.

The bar is touted as the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas and was founded in 1952.

At a time when package liquor stores are under fire by the Las Vegas City Council for creating problems on the Fremont Street Experience, Atomic Liquors brags it nabbed the first package liquor license in Las Vegas.

The first business there was called Virginia’s Cafe and opened in 1945.

According to the bar’s website, when they decided to switch from restaurant to bar, owners Joe and Stella Sobchik “constructed a classically huge, wrap around bar, and built a one of kind landmark neon sign that still shines today.”

Their son sold the bar in 2012 to investors who included attorney Larry Johns and his brother Kent. Neither could be reached for comment Friday but they are expected to continue operating the bar business by leasing the building from the Downtown Project, which buys property under the LLC 100 10th Street.

The Atomic’s website said the Rat Pack and the Smothers Brothers drank there. Barbra Streisand even had her own seat which has been restored and is on display.

Contact Jane Ann Morrison at jmorrison@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0275. Find her on Twitter: @janeannmorrison.

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