In Las Vegas, where
the electric bills are staggering.
When I was starting out as a reporter, I interviewed an advocate for loosening city and state regulations on casinos and strip clubs.
“There’s a reason the National Federation of Orthodontists holds its convention in Las Vegas every year.*”
I was in Las Vegas recently for a work-related convention (as was about half of the American population, if my estimates are correct**). I avoid anything beyond light social drinking at these types of things, but it doesn’t take more than one visit to a Las Vegas bar to notice two things:
Every drink is carefully measured at best. At worst, they’re poorly-measured and come up short. I’ve been told the free pour is not extinct in Las Vegas, but expert witness say that it’s been chased to the darkened corners of dive bars far, far from the glitzy casinos and regularly-mopped bars of the strip and convention areas.
When the goal is precision, I don’t mind if a bartender turns to a measuring device to ensure a properly-mixed cocktail. It can be a little frustrating, and, yes, it can seem like the bartender isn’t fully-practiced. But as someone who has seen too many baking disasters in his own home, I can appreciate the dedication to the recipe.
But when the drink is “______ on the rocks,” the appearance of a shot glass sends the wrong kind of message. It says “You won’t get a drop more for your $12.” It says “Someone is watching me pour this.” It gives the appearance that the bartenders don’t want to be there, and they certainly don’t want to share anything with you.
I can understand why management wants properly-sized drinks, but this is a town where everything costs money (I paid a daily surcharge to use a hotel-room safe) and where tipping is more common than handshakes (I always encourage you to tip and tip well). Measuring every shot is just a reminder that the house always wins.
*This isn’t a real organization or a true statement