Editor’s Note: This article was updated on August 9
Corduroy (515 Fremont St.) opened on August 5, completing the stretch of the Fremont East block between Las Vegas Boulevard and Sixth Street as a dining and drinking destination.
The 4,000-square-foot space was previously home to the high-end Coterie boutique; before that, it was a check-cashing business, and, going back many years, a porn movie theater, which resulted in the cool awning that is still in place at the entrance.
One of the spaces owned by Downtown Project, developers originally planned to name the new venue The Vault, with an intended makeup similar to its craft whiskey cocktail bar Oak & Ivy down the street at Downtown Container Park. “We already had the highly successful American cocktail bar Oak & Ivy, probably one of the best cocktail bars in the entire city, but [we] decided to go in a different direction, to what the street needed,” Bill Kennedy, Downtown Project director of marketing, says. “You come down here and everyone’s playing the same music—hip-hop or EDM—so we felt it was time for a high-energy rock ’n’ roll bar right here in the heart of the Fremont East Entertainment District.”
“We came up with a name and started working on the concept. At the end of the day, it didn’t feel as much like ‘The Vault’s as much as it did something else, and [we] thought ‘Corduroy’ was better suited,” says Mark Carlson, Downtown Project vice president of operations.
Kennedy emphasizes that the new spot is not kitschy or overstaged. The design aesthetic is reminiscent of the decade between 1975 to 1985, with several highly Instagrammable features, including antique mirrors, dark woods, brass and authentic vintage speakers from the time period. The bar serves some old-school beers such as Genesee Cream Ale and craft cocktails at reasonable prices.
The music features bands from the era, such as Blondie, Madonna, Run-D.M.C., Depeche Mode, the Ramones and the Beastie Boys. But the genres are all over the board, with indie rock and up-tempo rock ’n’ roll.
The venue has multiple spaces and is divided into a main bar with an area for live DJs catering to different sounds each night, another space with lounge seating, an overflow bar offering beer and basic cocktails and a small smoking room in the back complete with a cigarette vending machine.
As for the name, that’s a nod to those who wore the clothing back in the day and how those too young to relate will feel coming here. “We went through hundreds of names, and couldn’t believe the name Corduroy had no Nevada or federal bar or restaurant trademark,” Kennedy says. “We’re not trying to make this a theme bar; that’s the last thing we want. It’s just a bar. We want it to feel like it’s a place that’s always been here, and we are going back to the basics—a fun, no-frills bar that will be a comfortable space you will want to come to.”
Oak & Ivy’s former creative lead mixologist Chris Gutierrez is managing the new project, which is open Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 5 p.m. till late.