Downtown Las Vegas -- at least, the part anyone used to cared about -- once was restricted to the area north of Charleston Boulevard. But with the rapid development of the Arts District to the south of that imaginary demarcation line, a renewed sense of life is flowing into the little streets that time forgot.
Art Bar is one of the blips on the increasingly busy radar in the "Naked City" that lies between the Stratosphere Tower and Glitter Gulch. Its exterior is unremarkable, a greenish rectangle nestled between a Jack in the Box and a row of furniture stores. But inside, Art Bar is classic Vegas: a boxy center bar surrounded by red leather booths and white plastic cocktail tables suggesting a retro-future aesthetic. A small stage sits in the southwest corner of the room. And that's it -- no frills, no fluff, no fancy.
As its name implies, art is the focus here. And it's all over the walls. The Elvis-impersonating proprietor of this establishment is providing space for artists at no charge, rotating the exhibits every two to four weeks. The bar hosts openings for its featured artists, complete with wine and cheese. Art Bar also features late-night entertainment on its stage.