As I find myself getting older and the hangover lasting longer, I’m particular in the ways I like to have fun on my days off. I’m a “yes woman” to most day parties and BBQ’s, an advocate of cocktail bars and lounges, and a new supporter of local dive bars. Now I’m not talking about the usual types such as the Double Down Saloon or the Stage Door, but the new breed that has emerged onto the scene. Yes, some traits have carried over such as that they are usually still small, dark and in remote locations but the service, food and beverage expectations have risen above par and claimed stake on the local market. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome OWL, its owner and staff to the community. Stephan Galdau, OWL’s owner and operator, has had this dream in the making for years and I am thrilled to see it become a reality.

Located off Russell Road in the old Hammer and Ales location lies OWL. Adorned with none other than its animal’s mascot and logo on the building’s wall, many passersby may be oblivious to this hidden gem. Purposely planned “cool kids only” clubhouse perhaps? Trust me, word of mouth travels fast in this town and soon everyone will be stopping by.

Once through the doors, the setup is pretty simple: some booths, some tables, a bar, a kitchen. But that’s the point. People are going there for the farm-to-table food, specialty cocktails, local brews and most importantly, to interact and make memories. It is easy going and comfortable. It’s your home away from home. They offer a variety of organic and vegan plates all prepared by Chef Daniel Schneider. I am in no way vegan, but am obsessed with the deviled eggs. As for the drinks, the cocktail menu is extensive and the beer list is growing. They offer twenty-four taps, specifically making eighteen of them local beers, a few nitro options, and four designated to Butternuts Beer and Ale out of Garattsville, New York. They are the first bar in Las Vegas to carry them. However, the Tijuana Hooker is my drink of choice, made with Absolut Mango, passion fruit sorbet, roasted jalapeno simple syrup and lemon juice. I can’t even tell you how many I’ve had, but they are delicious. Spicy, sweet, and oh so dangerous. My sincere apologies to Kevin the bartender, who had to muddle myriad cocktails for me, but that’s the consequences of such an amazing concoction.

Being only open since Memorial Day, the team still has a lot of unfinished ideas. They want to add some local art on the walls and offer some open mic nights to performers around town. But all in all, it’s a homerun. It’s different. It’s better. And most importantly, it’s local.