LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Every town and city in America seems to have a Main Street. Until a few years ago, main steer in downtown Las Vegas was rather unremarkable.
Most people didn’t visit the area unless they were interested in antiques or attending the monthly First Friday art festival, which began in 2002.
That has changed now with the influx of trendy restaurants, a beloved resale clothing store, several brewing companies, art galleries, a couple of gyms and, coming soon, a comedy club and bakery
A recent stroll on a Friday night revealed many Las Vegas locals and probably even a good number of tourists enjoying a bite to eat and drink at various restaurants and food trucks, enjoying live music and purchasing artwork, clothing and other trinkets or collectibles.
The effort to transform Main Street began in earnest in October 2014 when it released is 2045 Downtown Master Plan. The city committed $13.9 million to improve the area that most people wouldn’t visit unless they had to.
Before the revitalization effort, Main Street was a two-way street with few crosswalks and little lighting.
Now the street is one-way only and lights were strung overhead in 2018, giving it a warm and inviting atmosphere during the evening hours.
Although the most popular night is, undoubtedly, the first Friday of every month, many people are now choosing Main Street as their designation throughout the week, both day and night.
If you are thinking about visiting Main Street, here are a few of our suggestions.
Casa Don Juan, which has been on Main Street since 1995, is one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas. There’s often a line on the weekends, even before the pandemic, but it is well worth the wait.
If you are looking for an excellent cup of coffee, head to Makers & Finders. The coffee shop says it was founded on 3 pillars — coffee, Latin food and culture.
If wine is your thing, head to Garagiste Wine Room and Merchant. Garagiste says its goal is to be a leader in the evolution and growth of wine culture in Las Vegas.
Or, if you are a beer lover, you might want to check out the new Silver Stamp, which is owned by Rose Signor and Andrew Smith. The Silver Stamp isn’t like most bars in town with its wood paneling, vintage beer signs and den-like feel.
Some of the best pizza in Las Vegas can be found at Good Pie, which opened in December 2020. Good Pie is known for its authentic Brookyn, Detroit and Grandma style pizzas.
Vegans and taco lovers will want to check out Tacotarian. The plant-based Mexican eatery claims to serve the largest selection of vegan tacos in the universe.
Esther’s Kitchen, helmed by Chef James Trees, is the place to go for Italian food. The restaurant was named after Trees’ great-aunt Esther, a tough, smart and non-nonsense type of person. The restaurant isn’t just a favorite of locals, but Las Vegas headliners like Usher have also dined there.
We also recently heard that local’s favorite Freed’s Bakery will be opening a location on Main Street in a few months. If you’ve never had a cake from Freed’s Bakery, you have missed out.
If you’d like to combine antique shopping with drinking, you can do both at ReBar. The owner, Derek Stonebarger, was one of the first to recognize the potential of Main Street and has been instrumental in its development in recent years.
In addition to finding some nifty clothing or selling some of your own at Buffalo Exchange, you can also get your hair cut at Downtown Vintage Barbershop & Shave Parlor or get a blow out at Viva Blowout.
Level One Bar and Lounge is another newcomer to the area. The new venue is offering live blues, smooth jazz and comedy to a more mature customer base.
Majestic Repertory Theater is the place to go for cutting edge, immersive theater in Las Vegas. During the pandemic, they offered shows on Instagram and car shows. Their most recent show is titled “Hot Trash,” which was described as a ranch, avant-garde cabaret served in the guise of a 1970s Times Square peepshow.
Cork and Thorn is known for both its wine, live entertainment and party atmosphere and sometimes, the party spills out into the street.
EDIT, which is also a newcomer to Main Street, will help you up your coffee table book game. The ultra modern store features a mix of the top publishers in its book gallery and artwork by local artists on its walls.
If you would like a tattoo, Koolsville Tattoo is always willing to inject a bit of ink into your skin. They even offer $10 tattoos. However, be prepared for a line, especially on the weekends.
For those wanting to get hitched. The Little Vegas Chapel offers a variety of packages, including the option of being married by Elvis.
If you are wondering what else is coming to Main Street, a new hot dog place — Chicago Street Food — is due to open at any time now.
Last but not least, if you are into street art (i.e. graffiti and murals), just start walking down one of the many alleys off Main Street. It’s not hard to find an interesting wall to use as a backdrop on Instagram or TikTok.
And, if you are worried about parking, there’s quite a few spots on either side of Main Street and on side streets like Colorado Avenue, California Avenue and Imperial Avenue, parking can be a bit of challenge.
Additionally, there’s at least two paid parking lots run by the city. One is near the new comedy club across from Able Baker Brewing and the other is behind ReBar. You can also find spots on Commerce Street, which runs parallel to Main Street. The best advice is if you are having a problem finding a free spot, drive around a couple of times until something opens up.
Of course you can avoid the parking issue by moving into the area. There’s several apartment buildings in the area with plans to add more in the future.