Local News


'Angel shots' help make women in Las Vegas bars safer

Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 02:31:38-05

A system of code words is making Las Vegas bars safer for women.

The "angel shot" has become part of the curriculum at Ace Bartending Academy.

Don Butner explains to his students that if a customer orders an angel shot, it's a signal that they're in trouble.

The common form of the code that many bartenders know is if someone orders an angel shot neat, that means they need an escort to their car.

If the order is an angel shot on the rocks, that tells the bartender to call a cab or an Uber.

The most extreme case is ordering an angel shot with lime. A bartender will call the police.

"I think it's amazing," said Amber Hoaeae, a student in Butner's class. "It's very low-key, it's discreet."

Stephan Galdau, the owner of Owl, a bar near Russell Road and Valley View Boulevard, knows there are a number of situations in bars that can be dangerous or even just uncomfortable for women. He has the rules of the angel shot system hung up in Owl's female restroom for all women to see.

"We hope that we never have to use it," Galdau said. "It's a precaution."

Butner likes to say bartenders have to be babysitters too, and that safety comes first.

"For the most part, bartending's a fun job but there's responsibilities that go with it," he said.

Hoaeae told us she's been in situations where the angel shot would've come in handy, and now that she's going to be a bartender, it's part of how she'll keep her customers safe.

"Whoever came up with it, kudos to them," Hoaeae said. "I'm sure it's going to help a lot of people if it hasn't already."

The angel shot is relatively new, but Galdau says it's spreading quickly across the country via social media.