Sometimes the best ideas, especially when it comes to opening a business, are the most simple ones. Overthinking ideas can often lead people astray as they move further away from the core concept they had in mind. It is the simplicity that makes the soon-to-open bar Drink’d such an intriguing idea.
Everybody knows music, tattoos and booze go together perfectly, but for some reason Las Vegas had yet to have an establishment dedicated to this triumvirate. Until now.
Drink’d is a collaboration between some heavy hitters who straddle the line between the music and tattoo industries who understand that there is nothing better than a strong drink, some sick ink and killer tunes. The bar, which is located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, is the brainchild of Mario Barth (Starlight Tattoo), Enrique Abeyta (CEO of Project M, parent company of Revolver Magazine/Inked Magazine) and Sean & Thora Dowdell (Club Tattoo).
What could bring these business-minded entrepreneurs together to work on a venture together?
“You can’t forget the underlying issue is that we like to drink,” Barth laughs. “We like to have a good time and it was a natural fit given how we think about doing business and the personalities merged perfectly because everybody has a special thing they bring to the table.”
The four had been circling around the idea of getting into business together for quite some time, but none of the ideas really felt like the right one until now. Many years ago Barth had done a tattoo/club concept called King Ink years ago, so the idea of a tattoo-centric bar was already on their minds, and when a space became available in mid-2020 the pieces started to fall into place.
“With all of our involvement with the tattoo industry we had been having conversations with Enrique about opening up a small bar,” Sean explains. “Thora and I started a partnership with Enrique and the Inked Magazine guys, then we had been doing some other business with Mario for years and he and I have developed a really close friendship. I told him what we were about to do and how we loved his previous concept with King Ink. So Thora and I flew up to Vegas to meet with Mario…”
“We had to make sure we were compatible drinkers,” Thora interjects, “that’s the first thing.”
“We went out to dinner, Mario finally got to meet Thora and everything was cohesive very quickly,” Sean says. “Then Mario flew down to Arizona, we all got together and consummated the partnership at that moment and we all dove headfirst into an empty swimming pool.”
Given all of their shared history in the area, this group couldn’t be more primed for success. “Sean and Thora, as well as Mario, have a tremendous amount of experience in Las Vegas, and I think it’s really important to have partners that know that market,” Abeyta explains. “Inked is obviously the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to media brands and we thought it would be really great to bring people together and see more collaboration in the industry. Whether it be with shops, conventions or with this venture. The whole thing behind the Drink’d concept is that it speaks to the tattoo culture and what we want to represent.
“So we’re pretty fucking stoked,” he continues, “and you know, also it’s in Vegas. It’s going to be fucking awesome.”
“I just want to add that when the world was ending we started thinking to ourselves about the timeless qualities of alcohol, tattoos and music,” Thora says. “It was music that gets us through tough times. It’s music that brings on sadness and happiness and it’s alcohol that cures both ways. And, of course, being in the tattoo business for over 25 years, I feel that introducing a bar that is tattoo lifestyle themed is going to be something badass.”
Thora couldn’t be more correct—Drink’d is going to be badass. The bar is located at what Thora refers to as the “50 yard line” of the Las Vegas strip. In other words, no matter where you’re headed to along the strip, chances are you’re going to be walking right past Drink’d. And once you see it, you’ll definitely be drawn in.
“Mario Barth brought in a really, really unique item that adds to our wow factor,” Thora says. “It’s called Hypervision and it’s a 3D digital image that literally comes from the back of the bar to the front in the air. It’s digital technology that is very few-and-far-between in America right now.
“As far as design and feel, we’re going for that mid-century, modern, old world feel,” she continues. “Our bar top is 18 feet long and it’s going to feature a map pointing out the really cool information about the history of both alcohol and tattooing.”
Once you’re hooked by the Hypervision you’ll be welcomed by tattooed bartenders eager to mix you a delicious cocktail. It’s never difficult to get a drink in Las Vegas, but we’re not talking about a slushie filled with cut-rate booze served in a plastic flamingo hanging from a lanyard around your neck. Drink’d will be serving premium cocktails, many with tattoo-inspired monikers, that you actually want to drink.
Drink’d is scheduled to begin a soft opening this Friday, October 22, at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, with a larger grand opening party from 8pm-10pm on October 28. Stop on by and raise a glass with us. Cheers!