HARDHAT HISTORIC LOUNGE - Est. 1958 - 'The Bar That Built Las Vegas'

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The History of the Hardhat Historic Lounge

Originally built as a standalone Diner in 1958 at the crossroads of a busy intersection connecting four booming areas of what is now known as ‘Downtown Las Vegas', the building has two apartments upstairs designed for working barmaids who helped keep it open for 24 hours a day - 60 Continuous Years! Hardhat was historically the only place ‘Always Open’ outside of the casinos.


The unnamed, and possibly unlicensed restaurant, had a sign outside that simply read 'Diner Always Open' and specialized in affordable alcohol and meal pairings. It was also known for it's 24 hour coffee which could be ordered 'loaded' with choice of three (3) liquors - a big deal at the time.

Although patrons were asked to remove their hats at the door, construction workers were allowed to leave their hard hats on - so they would never accidentally leave it behind - and run the risk of being injured at work. As the business grew in popularity, regular customers began referring to it as 'the hat' and construction workers discussed meeting up at 'hardhat'.

In circa 1960 the Diner began selling carry out liquor, which was popular with workers who would cash their paychecks and also go home with a fifth of booze. In 1962 the Diner acquired legal licensing, and shifted it's focus to a full time liquor lounge, which unlike all other taverns at the time, continued to offer food pairings alongside the beer and liquor. Eventually the business officially adopted the Hardhat name and branding.

Hardhat is the oldest continuously open bar in Las Vegas and has been open 24 hours a day for the past 60 years. 

Under New Management

In June of 2018 Tavern Owner, Entrepreneur & Arts District Board President Derek Stonebarger took management/marketing control of the HARDHAT HISTORIC LOUNGE - SINCE 1958 in Las Vegas Nevada, with plans to return it to a Classic Gaming Bar - while he works on a deal to purchase the struggling tavern.


Derek hopes to bring the Hardhat back into the black through minor remodeling, creative marketing, and with the help of history lovers everywhere.  He will continue what has gotten the bar to it's Golden Years, Smoking, Drinking, Gambling and Amazing Kitchen in this famous Dive Bar in Las Vegas. 


"I think the people of Las Vegas will want to keep this piece of Downtown history alive, once they learn more about it's unique story and design layout. I'm so proud to be able to do my part, and save 'the hat'. If you consider all the construction workers drinking here and having countless conversations about jobs, bosses and projects over the years... you could literally say that Hardhat is... 'The Bar that Built Las Vegas." - Derek Stonebarger


For more info or press inquiries please contact Derek directly at (702) 349-2283 or rebarderek@gmail.com

Beer Gaming Smoking in Arts District


More About Prior Management Here