Nearly three months ago, the most common word we were hearing in Las Vegas was “cancel.” This sport is canceled, this event is canceled, golf and hotel reservations are canceled, your bet is canceled. Everything was being put on hold, postponed and refunded — except at The D Hotel in downtown Las Vegas.
On Friday night, March 13, the word downtown was not “cancel” but rather “Canada.” Bar Canada opened for the first time at 5 p.m. that day on the second floor of The D, and I made my way down for a visit.
On June 4, Bar Canada at The D got a second grand opening as the Las Vegas hotel casino industry re-emerged from quarantine. The world-famous Long Bar, seen numerous times on VSiN, is on the first floor of The D. The second floor has always been home to a smaller bar, slot machines and the Circa Sportsbook, with an odds board and a game viewing area. Now, when one takes the escalator to the second floor and makes a U-turn, the bar and the slot machines are still in view — along with the fantastic, mechanical horse racing game by Konami. But as you continue toward the back of the area, it opens up into a beautiful space, and that is Bar Canada.
With the addition of this bar, the second-floor space offers more room to move and breathe. The walkways are more defined, and the prize at the end of your stroll is a spacious area for food, drink, comfortable seating, sports on a wall of TVs and a relocated, upgraded home for the Circa Sportsbook.
“We originally wanted to create a hockey bar,” said Mike Palm, hotel vice president of operations. “Canadian visitors to Las Vegas are one of the highest populations of tourist travel we see. A hockey concept became food, Canadian beers, a remote VSiN studio, a new space for Circa Sports, seating, video poker — and we just went with Bar Canada.”
The plush gray leather chairs at the bar stretch from one side of the room to the other, each accessorized with an embroidered red maple leaf on the backrest. The cocktail seating area, with tables and high-tops, and the bar are extremely clean, the service is super friendly and the TVs are perfect.
“There are three 85-inch TVs and 12 70-inch TVs,” Palm said. “So we can put a main game on the three larger sets and then fill in around them with other games on the other 12 sets.”
Like most sports fans, Palm is very picky about making sure his TVs are always airing the appropriate and most timely sports content.
“The surround-sound construction and ability to manipulate the audio zones is outstanding,” Palm said. “You can turn the volume up at the bar and down across the rest of the floor. You can separate the sound of the slot machines from the table and bar area.”
Palm said one attribute that separates Bar Canada from other sports bars is that it is a “great visual.” That’s driven by the Canadian theme and colors, the incredible wall of TVs and a huge replica Stanley Cup that sits on a pedestal in the middle of the room, right by the Circa Sportsbook. It really is a good look — clean, streamlined, modern, comfortable and on the cutting edge technologically, with the ability to host a VSiN remote, the video poker machines and the options the sound system offers.
Speaking of options, six beers are on tap at Bar Canada. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde, a Belgian-style ale from Quebec with a 9% alcohol content, has won awards around the world for its mildly hoppy, spicy flavor. Unibroue A Tout Le Monde, a saison ale with a 4.5% alcohol content, was brewed at the request of Dave Mustaine, front man for Megadeath and former lead guitarist for Metallica. Two beers, BookMaker Blonde Ale and Puck Line Pale Ale, come from Lewis and Clark Brewing in Montana, which has partnered with VSiN. Finally, two Canadian staples round out the six-pack of choices: Molson Canadian, a Northern-style lager, and LaBatt Blue, a Canadian Pilsner. Also, a wide range of specialty cocktails are offered with Canadian spirits, including the Ontario Peach Mule.
Overall, Bar Canada looks like a very fun place to hang out.
“It’s a one-stop shop,” Palm said. “Everything is within a few steps.”
PGA Tour golf returns Thursday, and the NHL and NBA are looking to be back by late July or early August. When the first putt is holed, the puck dropped or the basketball tipped, Bar Canada will be yet another hot spot on the downtown Las Vegas map. You can bet on that.