Rockhouse lightens club vibe by keeping things small, offering casual atmosphere

Jonathan Fine understands how someone can walk by his club, Rockhouse, 3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South, and think it’s a dive.

But he invites the uninitiated to stick their heads inside to see that, while it may be a weird little place, it’s crazy fun.

Rockhouse strives to be what Las Vegas needs right now, a nightclub that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Where else will you see bartenders flying over the crowd on a tire swing, just for the heck of it? Or women climbing into a giant bird cage to dance?

"It’s crazy, controlled chaos," says Fine, president of the 2,200-square-foot club.

Since it opened four years ago, Rockhouse has gone through several changes. It started out as a "dark cave," Fine says, but with the addition of lighting, smoke effects, snow and live DJs, it transformed into what he calls an ultra dive bar.

"Everything has to be ultra in this town," he jokes.

Because it’s on the small side, they do things a bit differently than the mega clubs. For instance, you won’t see Paris Hilton hosting her birthday bash there because they don’t have the space, Fine says.

But depending on what’s in town at any given time, you might see a fashion show, an Ultimate Fighting Championship party or bands putting on impromptu after-show concerts.

During the day, the club is more of a bar with 28 televisions showing sporting events. Well drinks, which cost an average of $7, are two-for-one until 6 p.m.

After 9 p.m., the place earns its name when DJs spin raucous music and dancers pack the small floor. Women sell beers straight out of a 7-foot-long beer tub while bartenders serve up liquor. Bottle service is available and starts at $195. Cover charge is $5 for women, $10 for men with locals getting in free on Mondays.

Women drink for free from 10:30 p.m. to midnight Thursdays.

"It’s no hassles with a very casual atmosphere," Fine says. "It’s the economic alternative to the bigger clubs."

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett or 702-380-4564.

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