Despite — or maybe because of — the dour nature of 2020, holiday joy seems to be popping up all over the place these days — most recently on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.
“We normally decorate for the holidays; we just went overboard this year,” said Ryan Doherty, founder of Corner Bar Management, which owns Commonwealth (with its “secret” cocktail bar, The Laundry Room) and Park on Fremont.
Corner Bar Management’s Holly Jolly on Fremont kicked off Wednesday evening at the two properties, and for Doherty, it wasn’t a moment too soon.
“We just wanted to do something happy,” he said. “It’s just like a big warm hug when you walk in there now.”
The warm hug comes courtesy of freshly roasted chestnuts — but without the open fire — at Commonwealth, plus hand warmers and, instead of Santa, a DJ on the roof (and a pianist playing holiday classics in The Laundry). Special holiday cocktails include the Thyme with G-ma, made with Galliano Balsamico liqueur, honey, lemon, apple bitters and soda, garnished with apple rings and fresh thyme, and the Mistletoe-politan, which is gin, green chartreuse, cassis, lemon, pomegranate and Angostura bitters, garnished with rosemary.
At Park on Fremont, which has been turned into Santa’s Workshop, special cocktails include the Foggy Noggin Martini, made with Bacardi Spiced Rum, Ellis Island’s Holiday Nog, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom and sliced orange, and the S’more Coco Please! with 360 Madagascar Vanilla Vodka, toasted marshmallow syrup, hot cocoa, whipped cream and graham cracker crumbles.
“We’ve had so many rough months,” Doherty said. “We’ll ride out the rest of the year with this holiday concept.”