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Old 07-01-2005, 01:21 AM   #1
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I (Don't) Love This Bar & Grill - a review

Toby Keith has partnered with one of the major Las Vegas hotel/casinos to open a themed restaurant/night club inside the casino on the Las Vegas strip. Wednesday, June 29th, was opening night - - and I was there. This is my review.

About as far away from Toby Keith's Oklahoma roots as one could be, the so-called "down-home atmosphere" that was advertised actually sports plenty of plasma monitors and chrome fixtures. Domestic beer costs $6 a bottle and the venue has a small dance floor and stage area but there is no chicken wire in sight. Instead, heavy velvet curtains shroud the stage. It’s *gasp* a “Vegas Lounge.”

At about 8:00pm the music changes from all Toby all the time music videos to a DJ who spins mostly country music for dancing on the too-small dance floor for about an hour. Then, a small 4 piece band hits the stage. None seem over 21. They DON’T PLAY COUNTRY MUSIC and the music they do play is not performed well and the sound is poorly mixed. I hope this is not the standard that Toby has laid down. Not only is the band NOT extraordinary, they’re actually under-ordinary, which was very disappointing for opening night.

How is the food? I heard one older gentleman say it was "really good", but my experience was that it ranged from "acceptable" to "virtually unedible". The portion sizes were impressive but the flavor of the food was not.

Unlike Jimmy Buffett's 'Margaritaville' (just down the street) there is little actual atmosphere at all, “down-home” (as it was advertised to be) or otherwise. It seems more like a shrine to Toby, with glass cases containing clothing worn in his music videos and other Toby-abilia.

Margaritaville, on the other hand, plays to a genuine ‘theme’ - - the laid back lifestyle in the islands. Video screens show music videos from many different artists that support the theme. The décor looks like something you might find in Florida, with thatched awnings over indoor and outdoor bars, wooden floors, bamboo tiki torches, well - - you get the idea.

No, Toby - - I do not “Love This Bar”. It was not what we were promised. It looks nothing like the eclectic and interesting version recently opened in Oklahoma and, rather than being a fun, interesting and exciting venue - - it is shrine to Toby styled in what is (in my opinion AND the opinion of other country fans in Las Vegas) an expensive and generally disappointing Las Vegas lounge.

If you love Toby more than life itself, it might be worth a visit next time you're in Vegas. There's even a GIFT SHOP!!! Otherwise, I'd steer clear and hit Margaritaville instead.

Actually, in all honesty... I know the band that is playing next week and they are quite good. I WILL be going back, but I'll just make sure that it's later in the evening when I know that there is a good band playing.

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Old 07-01-2005, 01:04 PM   #2
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So, Z, what casino is this place in?
and thanks for the warning!
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jkath
So, Z, what casino is this place in?
and thanks for the warning!
It's at Harrah's Hotel/Casino up the escalator near the walkway to the Monorail. If you're a huge Toby fan you might like it.
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:30 PM   #4
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not a Toby fan, actually....
(okay, stop throwing suff at me, folks!)
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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How was Disney, J? Did you have good weather? It's been pretty warm here and there has been a bit of smoke around from the fires in AZ. Seems a little better today - - but still warm.
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