Double Down Saloon owner P Moss indulges in love of writing

Updated May 15, 2018 - 3:20 pm

Chicago native P Moss lived in Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas in 1991. The following year he opened the Double Down Saloon on Paradise Road, which quickly gained a cult following for its welcoming atmosphere, free live music and quirkiness, which extends to its slogan, “Shut up and drink,” and signature cocktail, Ass Juice.

The Double Down also is known to draw celebrities, whom Moss won’t identify. Rumor has it that one famous patron was Prince Harry, whose consumption of Ass Juice one afternoon in 2012 contributed to that evening’s foray into strip billiards and a naked shot seen around the world.

Moss opened a Double Down in New York City’s East Village in 2006 and Frankie’s Tiki Room on West Charleston Boulevard in 2008. While he still owns all three properties, he said, “I’ve got a great business partner now, I’ve got a great management team and I just want to concentrate on writing.” He’s the author of three novels, “Blue Vegas,” “Vegas Knockout” and “Vegas Tabloid,” which was released last fall, and “Liquid Vacation,” a Frankie’s companion book with recipes for original and classic drinks.

Moss started writing on a family car trip at age 8 and later studied journalism, “but I didn’t have a passion for that.” We recently talked to him about writing and his dive bar empire.

Review-Journal: What did you do before you opened the Double Down?

Moss: I was a gambler. I was writing all of that time as well. When I was in L.A., I was writing screenplays — but then again, who isn’t? I had a little bit of success, but none of the movies were ever made. When I moved here, I was working on something with a producer I’d worked with before. It was going to happen; it was kind of a big deal. And then the next big thing came along and it got pushed to the back burner. I knew it would never get made. That’s when I decided I’d never write anything I didn’t own.

What brought you to Las Vegas?

Gambling, for one. The casinos. I’ve always been a gambler, still am. But it was different then. Back then I used to play blackjack, and I still am a sports bettor. There were a lot of sports books, and there were a lot of guys who were characters. I’d sit in the sports book a row behind them and listen. And it’s a nice town; you can really get a nice house five minutes away from the action. It’s a place I always wanted to end up.

Why did you want to open a dive bar?

I spent most of my life sitting in bars, so why not own one and enjoy that? I wanted to open a bar that would be a place where I would like to go. I just did something the opposite of what a lot of people were doing. I tried to fashion it in my own image, and then you let it take on a life of its own.

Why did you choose the location on Paradise Road?

Nobody wanted it because it was a piece of crap. There was a dead bird in the beer cooler. It was filthy. We had to scrub this place for a month to get it clean enough to get a cleaner to come in. Nobody liked the location because it was in “the fruit loop”; that’s ridiculous. I open the door and I’m looking right at the MGM. How could it not be an amazing location? How could nobody see this? I did.

What is it about the Double Down that has brought it fame around the world?

The vibe in this place is really unique, it’s cool as hell and people love it for their own reason. What I tried to do from the beginning was treat everybody equally. We have a very wide demographic. You’ve got these people sitting next to each other at the bar. There’s a plumber who just got off a hard day’s work. Next to him is a kid, next to him is a guy in a suit, next to him is a movie star, next to him is a bum. The guys are thrilled because they’re being treated the same as the movie star; the movie star is thrilled because he’s being treated like everybody else.

What prompted you to write novels?

When you’re writing fiction, you’re writing for yourself. You get to create situations. You get to become part of situations you couldn’t in real life, because there are consequences.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Any good writer is observant. Sometimes you’ll see something and you write about what you see. I don’t do that. I see something that interests me and I’ll take the basic idea and I’ll just embellish it and take off in another direction. Becoming good at writing came from reading — reading the kinds of things you like to write, and learning from what you’re reading. My perfect day would be if I could write something over the top like (James) Ellroy and phrase it beautifully like (Truman) Capote would. I’m not saying I’m as good as either of those guys, but if I can do that, it’s been a good day.

Who is your main audience?

Pretty much everybody. I was doing a book signing at a Borders. I went back to my car to get some props and this old lady — she had to be 85 — she’s running, like an old lady can run, and yelling at me and waving a book (“Blue Vegas”). She wanted me to sign it. She told me how much she loved the book and how much I got old Las Vegas correct and nobody ever does. I looked at her and said, “Even the part where the hooker cuts the guy’s (body part) off?” She looked at me and said, “Every page.” I just did an event at the Henderson library; it’s these older ladies. And the stuff I write isn’t for old ladies. I write about nasty things. I’m not stuck in one demographic. But the old lady thing, that makes me really happy.”

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

Entertainment
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like