Desert Companion

Main Street 2.0

Or is it Main Street 3.0? Or 4.0? So many new additions to this Arts District arterial!

img_0796.jpg

Las Vegas Oddities

Las Vegas Oddities (1)

“Regarding the blood moon ritual,” the shopkeeper says, “it’ll involve yelling and howling at the moon and getting blood poured over your head … oh, I mean wine.” It’s not often you hear those words strung together, but then again, it’s not often you encounter a shop that sells mystical wares, like crystals and tarot posters, alongside morbid curiosities like CPR dummies and letters penned by serial killers. It’s part museum, part witch emporium, and it’s a whole lot of fun to browse. 1228 S. Main St.; 702-477-0430

img_0808.jpg

Modern Mantiques

Modern Mantiques (2)

A pinball machine. A vintage Coke fridge. A child-sized, tie-dye gummy bear holding a sign that says, “This ain’t a museum; this shit’s for sale.” These are among the kooky, large-format delights that await customers at Jeff Young’s uniquely curated shop. “I’m looking for the odd, unusual, and rare,” he says, pointing to a framed Houdini autograph and a giant, sticker-slapped Extraterrestrial Highway sign that was decommissioned in 2000. Young says he doesn’t specialize in one thing, but he doesn’t have to say it — his meticulously organized collection does it for him. 1300 S. Main St. #120; 702-455-7081

img_0846.jpg

Atomic Style Lounge (3)

Atomic Style Lounge (3)

“Retro” can have a bad rap; the preferred term is “mid-century.” This mid-century beauty salon makes patrons feel like they’re stepping back into the Atomic Age, when people still dressed up to come to Las Vegas, or anywhere, really. Though the lounge has a pastel-rich throwback theme, it caters to both modern and vintage styles, occasionally hosting bands, burlesque, and wedding parties. Plus it’s co-owned by Viva Las Vegas founder Tom Ingram, so you know it’s legit. 1237 S. Main St.; 702-329-0770

img_0853.jpg

Main Street Mercantile

Main Street Mercantile (4)

Owner Becky Miller is the “den mom” of Main Street, managing almost every building on its south side between Colorado and Charleston. For the past 20 years she’s working to bring an artsy streak to this historic street, and it seems her vision has finally unfurled. Like a traditional mercantile, she sells everything from fabrics or hardware to custom-made vintage-inspired clothing and pieces snagged from the late, great Williams Costume before it closed. 1235 S. Main St.; 702-592-0929

img_0900.jpg

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Burlesque Hall of Fame (5)

Burlesque is a vital part of Las Vegas history — the reason we have the adult entertainment we do today. It started with the famous Minsky’s Burlesque operation from the East Coast, and today it lives on at the BHOF, in a nice, new space for its permanent collections, rotating exhibitions, and dance studio. If you’re curious about the art of tease but have commitment issues, check out a “mini class” on First Friday. 1027 S. Main St. #110; 888-641-6465


 

Support comes from

Others not pictured above:

Daft Junk

Imagine a thrift store if your yard-sailin’ friend with an eye for what’s good picked over it first and only left the interesting stuff. That’s Daft Junk, a curated thrift store that weighs heavy in hipster fare — think Mickey Mouse shirts, World Fair cup collections, and a cookie jar adorned with ’shrooms — and thankfully lacking in weird stuffed animals with spider eggs in their ears (we’ve all seen it). Best part is the prices are still good. 1056 S. Main St.; 702-380-3299

 

Recycled Propaganda

Artist Izaac Zevalking aka Recycled Propaganda is the new kid on the block with his spacious, dual-purpose gallery. Up front is a clean, bright store and wall space to show his art, and in back is a darker showroom he hopes will offer a more interactive experience. His style is Banksy-esque, featuring well-known brand imagery, manipulated to convey a darker meaning. Unlike Banksy, he doesn’t require anonymity; he wants the space to be a place for people of the Arts District to gather. 1114 S. Main St. #120;
702-788-8434

 

Radial Symmetry

This 20-ton, architectural work of art by Luis Varela-Rico was dedicated late last year and is worth the walk north. Although it’s metallic and oozes industrial vibes, the artist has said its bowl-like segments are a nod to Las Vegas’ earliest people, the Paiutes, and their well-known talent for basketmaking. Main and Commerce streets, near the Gamblers General Store


Ninja Karaoke

Karaoke has bust out of Chinatown and into the Arts District. Started by a couple who met on America’s Best Dance Crew, the spot is a hip-hop hub, with private karaoke rooms, a bar, and a backyard area where shows are held. It’s home to the Human Experience open-mic night as well as dance battles on First Friday. And no, you don’t have to be a ninja. 1009 S. Main St.; 702-487-6213

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!