Since 2012, Downtown Project has allocated $350 million to aid in the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas, has invested in Life is Beautiful and owns and operates several venues including Gold Spike, Downtown Container Park, Oak & Ivy, and Inspire. Soon, the next-to-open venture, Corduroy at 511 Fremont St., will complete the stretch of the Fremont East block between Las Vegas Boulevard and Sixth Street as a drinking destination.
The 4,000-square-foot space was previously home to the high-end Coterie boutique, before that a check cashing business, and going back many years, a porn palace movie theater, which resulted in its cool awning, which still is in place at the entrance—the space has the distinction of being the only place on the street to have one.
Downtown Project developers originally planned to name the new venue The Vault, with an intended makeup similar to its whiskey bar Oak & Ivy down the street at Downtown Container Park. Regarding the change in plans, Downtown Project director of marketing Bill Kennedy says, “We already had the highly successful American cocktail bar Oak & Ivy, probably one of the best cocktail bars in the entire city, but decided to go in a different direction, to what the street needed. 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.” Downtown Project vice president of operations Mark Carlson adds, “We came up with a name and started working on the concept and at the end of the day it didn’t feel as much like ‘The Vault’ as much as it did something else, and thought Corduroy was better suited.”
Kennedy emphasizes that the new spot will not be kitschy or over-staged, with a design aesthetic reminiscent of 1975 to 1985, with several highly Instagrammable features, including antique mirrors; dark woods; colors of avocado, orange and mustard yellow; brass; and authentic vintage speakers from the time period. The bar will serve some old-school beers such as Genesee Cream Ale and craft cocktails at reasonable prices.
“We went through hundreds of names, and couldn’t believe the name Corduroy had no Nevada or federal bar or restaurant trademark.”–Bill Kennedy, Downtown Project director of marketing
Music will follow suit, featuring bands from the era, such as Blondie, Madonna, Run-D.M.C., Depeche Mode, the Ramones and the Beastie Boys. But the genres will be all over the board—with indie rock and up-tempo rock ’n’ roll.
The venue will have multiple spaces and will be divided into a main bar with an area for live DJs catering to different sounds each night, another with lounge seating, an overflow bar offering beer and basic cocktails and a small smoking room in the back complete with cigarette vending machine.
As for the name, that’s a nod to what people wore in the era and alludes to both those who wore the comfortable-named 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,” relates Kennedy. “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 are going back to the basics—a fun, no frills bar that will be a comfortable space you will want to come to.”
An opening date of late July to August is expected, with Oak & Ivy’s former creative lead mixologist Chris Gutierrez being brought over to manage the new project. Corduroy will be open Wed.-Sun. evenings till about 1 or 2 a.m.