Jennifer Harrington has told us the story of how she came up with the name for her (and Las Vegas’s first) water bar, but we’re usually too awestruck by her commitment to downtown, talent, energy, good taste, good looks and general leggy-ness to listen.
We think it has sumpin’ to do with a white swan from Swan Lake, and sum foreign novel involving a dude named Henri — but ELV is much too masculine to take notice (or even pretend to be vaguely aware) of such things as ballets or the melodramatic machinations of poncey Eurotrash.
What we are aware of is the budding art and culture scene downtown (yes, it’s finally happening), spearheaded by pioneers like her and uber-bar owner Michael Cornthwaite. Between the two of them (and there’s not much between them as they’re a couple), they have created a two little slices of libational heaven — one block apart — just off of Fremont Street.
Henri & Odette is either a tiny water/coffee/dessert bar, or a lilliputian art gallery that hydrates you as you gaze upon its rotating exhibits. Depending upon what time of the evening you go, you should think about it as your first or last pit stop accompanying a night of downtown carousing.
If there’s such a thing as top shelf mineral water, H&O has it, with everything from the tiny bubbles of Hildon from England, to the natural carbonation of Gerolsteiner, to Voss from Norway and even the hard-to-come-by Wattwiller from Alsace, France.
Where that carousing should take place — or a least some good conversation with superb cocktails — is the Downtown Cocktail Room. If you’re too old for the multiple piercing, spiked hair crowd of the Beauty Bar, don’t want to wallow in brewskis with tourists at Hennesy’s, and find the smoke-filled Griffin a bit tedious (especially when trying to get a good drink, i.e, its bartenders don’t have a clue), then the DCR is for you.
ELV has pretty much worked his way through George Sproule’s entire cocktail menu at this juncture, and he has to give Sproule the ultimate cocktail compliment: He’s a bartender who makes us wish we drank more.
Regardless of your predilection for perfect potables, it’s always nice to know you can get a cupcake, some H2O and a smile from Jennifer to help you head off a hangover.
Henri & Odette
On Carson between Las Vegas Blvd. and 6th
Downtown Cocktail Room
111 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89101