I hereby proclaim my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017! This is my year to finally leave my standard happy-hour haunts behind me and try new cocktails at new (or gloriously old!) watering holes. I will drink my way through this great state and by December 31, I will proudly declare myself a Nevada-brew expert! Who’s with me?
1. My first stop in 2017 has to be Churchill Vineyards, just outside Fallon. I’ve been there before and am well-versed in the wine list. But they just started commercially producing spirits under the Frey Ranch label, and I have got to get my hands on a bottle of their estate whiskey! Everything is sourced from their own ranch, for godssake! I cannot let 2015 go by without swigging a Frey Ranch spirit!
2. While we’re on the subject of spirits, Las Vegas Distillery is next on my list of resolutions. It’s got some serious street cred as the first distillery to open in Nevada, and it’s in the heart of the “Booze District” in Henderson. What’s not to love?
3. I may be the last Nevadan to hear about the legend that is Atomic Liquors, and it’s now on my resolution list. This is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, so yeah, I’m tardy for the party. Word on the street is that the “F-Bomb” is the bar’s signature cocktail, so I resolve to drink an F-Bomb ’til I’m dropping f-bombs. Keep it classy, Nevada.
4. Too many people tell me that they fly right through Tonopah when driving between Reno and Vegas with no apparent reason to stop. Well 2017 brings a great reason to stop: the new Tonopah Brewing Company! It’s owned by the Cline family, who happen to know a thing or two about creating successful businesses (ahem, Mizpah Hotel… cough, multiple wineries in Sonoma). I am absolutely making it my mission to spend a day at the Tonopah Brewing Company tasting all the bbq appetizers and drinking my way through the brew list. I’m hearty, I can take it!
5. I’m kind of a spaghetti-western junkie. I grew up on “Gunsmoke,” “The Rifleman,” and “Wagon Train,” so of course I have to sidle up to the bar at a place called The Dillinger! Food and craft beers in Boulder City, and my own little cowboy reel spinning in my head. Yes, I could do this.
6. I have been telling people for years about the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, but I’ve actually never been there! Shame on me! I resolve to fix that in 2017 and sit on the bar stool that Clark Gable sat on for three days straight while he waited to hear the fate of his wife, Carole Lombard, after her plane crashed in the mountains nearby. A downer, for sure, but what history! I hear there are bullet-holes in the walls too! And it’s haunted, FTW!
7. Speaking of haunted bars in Nevada… I resolve to drink MORE at The Washoe Club in Virginia City. I’ve been there, I even bought a membership ($20 club membership gets you $1 off your drinks, free admission to The Haunted Museum in the back, and a monthly Members’ Appreciation Party, and by “appreciation” they mean drinks… lots of drinks.). But I haven’t used my membership much and haven’t been in The Haunted Museum in ages! You heard it here first: 2015 will bring me many a beer at The Washoe Club!
8. Chapel Tavern in Midtown Reno is a no-brainer if you want a craft cocktail in a bar that oozes rustic ambiance. I’ve been there and I’ve loved every cocktail I’ve had. But I’ve always been in a rush, and I have yet to sit down and truly enjoy the location, soak in the mastery of the mixologists, and simple Be. In 2017, I resolve to experience Chapel Tavern as it’s meant to be experienced. Not rushed.
9. Midtown Reno has too many great bars to name, but one that I resolve to visit more in 2017 is the midTown Wine Bar. This is the place for non-snob winos who want to try something fun and different, and maybe play a round of Bingo or watch some live music. Leave your pretensions at the door, and don’t you dare talk about “bouquet” or “mouthfeel” here.
10. There’s only a town or two left in Nevada that I haven’t seen yet, and Belmont is at the top of that list. I absolutely must visit Belmont in 2017 and drink at Dirty Dick's Saloon, which has been serving drinks for more than a century, so I think my time has come!
Cheers to 2017, and bottoms up!