NOTE: I know O’Sheas does not close until April 30. However, since I will not make it back to Vegas until after that date, I will refer to O’Sheas in the past tense.
A couple weeks ago my brother informed me that one of my favorite places to go in Las Vegas was shutting down at the end of April and then getting bulldozed to the ground. Many of you know that I am a big Vegas guy. Since turning twenty-one a little over four years ago, I have made a couple trips each year to Sin City. After about my second time going to Las Vegas, I made a conscientious effort each time thereafter to stay at a hotel as close as possible to this very special place. To hear that it will be no more the next time I return to Vegas saddened me.
If you are around my age and you have visited Las Vegas, there is little doubt that you spent some of your time at O’Sheas Casino. Located smack in the middle of the Strip, it is hard to miss. Mix in a lot of green with a real life Leprechaun standing outside of the entrance talking into a microphone and there is no way you could simply walk past without checking it out. Well, come April 30 it will be very easy to do so as the current incarnation of O’Sheas will shut down.
I love O’Sheas for so many reasons. Many of my best Vegas memories occurred there. First and foremost, I loved it because of the people. O’Sheas drew a crowd of people who just wanted to have fun. It was a crowd that was relaxed, real, and cool. I met several friends there from all across the country who I still talk to today. It was just a place where you could approach someone and talk to them. In a city that thrives on high priced clubs and exclusivity, O’Sheas snubbed that notion and welcomed everyone. As I list all the great things about O’Sheas in this post, please keep in mind that it was the awesome people who kept coming to the joint that made everything they offered so wonderful.
My brother Glen at a table in O’Sheas.
Let’s start with the drinks. If you were walking the strip and needed a cold drink, O’Sheas was the place to stop. O’Sheas had a front bar that pretty much extended right onto the Strip. It pretty much begged for you to stop as you walked by. It was fully stocked and always had great specials such as $1 beers and Irish Car Bomb deals. In fact, just last summer my friend took her first car bomb with me at O’Sheas. (Click here for the video). If you didn’t want a car bomb or a $1 beer, everything else they served was more than affordable and downright cheap by Vegas standards. The front bar was fun too! Lucky the Leprechaun would routinely get up on the bar and pour shots in people’s mouths. Everyone would go nuts. There was also a bar in the back that served the pong tables and anyone else who maybe wanted to get away from the craziness of the front bar. It was at O’Sheas back bar that I had my first ever AMF, bought for me by a nice girl from New York. Since then, whenever I have had an AMF, I always think of her and O’Sheas.
Another great part of O’Sheas was their food court! Located in the back of the building, their food catered directly towards people who needed something a little greasy to help their stomach hold. Open 24/7 and diverse, you could not beat it. Although all the restaurants did not always look the most well-kept, you could get whatever high calorie food you wanted. I personally loved the teriyaki place they had in the left-sided area. I would get a bunch of chicken and rice on a plate and have them douse it with Sriracha. I also frequented the pizza place that had a wonderful meat lover’s slice. Of course, you could not go wrong with Subway as I had my fair share of $5 foot longs. The burrito shop was also a go-to place for me. Although I stayed away from it, the place that had the hot dogs, wings, nachos, and soft pretzels looked interesting as well. And let’s not forget about the Burger King, which O’Sheas proudly claimed was one of the only ones on the Strip. I would guess that about 30% of the food I ate in Vegas came from the O’Sheas food court.
Me eating some of my favorite teriyaki at O’Sheas
The poker game at O’Sheas was superb as well. The cash games were so much fun and with the poker tables also set pretty much right on the Strip next to the front bar, the atmosphere was awesome. However, my favorite part when it came to poker at O’Sheas was the tournament play. The first time my brother went to Vegas as a twenty-one year old, him and I played the morning tournament every single day. Laid back and affordable, we had a great time. On one occasion, they even gave each of us a t-shirt for buying in. The drink service was the fastest I had ever experienced at a poker table (especially for a tournament) and the game was well-ran and not too drawn out.
My brother Glen and our friend Fran in the food court.
Besides poker, the table games were the best on the Strip. You could always find a $10 table and about 90% of the time there were always $5 tables available as well. But the best part about the table games (besides fellow players)? The dealers!! They were the most relaxed, cool people I have ever encountered at any casino. One time my brother and I played roulette at a table full of girls from Arizona and we were doing things that would get us kicked out in a heartbeat at any other casino in Las Vegas. We were touching chips, yelling, texting on our phones, and taking pictures. Our new friends were also pretty much sliding back into the pit area with the dealer. It was one of the best gambling experiences I have ever had in my life. When the dealer got off his shift he asked me what we were all doing later that night because he wanted to hang out with us. When does that ever happen?! But stories like this were common at O’Sheas. My brother and I met a couple of awesome girls from Tennessee one night who we established an instant bond with. Shenanigans and adventures happened at the table that night. We still talk to one of them regularly to this day. In fact, that same night my brother and Ashleigh (girl who we met from Tennessee) reenacted the “Hangover” and climbed to the roof of Caesar’s Palace. If they had never met at O’Sheas, this epic adventure would have never of happened.
Was not kidding about players going back in the pit area. This is our Arizona friend.
Maybe the one thing that O’Sheas is most famous for are their pong tables. I have many fond memories played through my fair share of games. Cheap and fun, I have always loved how people meet and mesh their rules from different parts of the country together to form one awesome game. It seems like the tables at O’Sheas bring out the best in every player. My friend Cody and I made a trip to Vegas a couple years ago and I got the guts to ask two of the hottest looking girls ever to play with us and they accepted. I took one girl and Cody took the other and we had one heckuva time. The whole place pretty much shut down to watch us play. The first time my brother and I went to Vegas together we brought the girls I mentioned above from the roulette table to the pong table. Again, good times were had by all. The girl I mentioned earlier who bought me my first AMF? I met her and her friend at pong as well. We hung out for most of that day after our O’Sheas experience and we became such best buds that I rode the New York New York roller coaster with them…and I usually hate roller coasters. This past December my brother and I tried our luck at the $40 Thursday tournament. We played against the stiffest competition I have ever went up against in my life. We got our clocks cleaned our first game against some locals and then we beat a Chicago duo in our second game. We were later eliminated by another local team but it was so fun and got our competitive juices flowing.
Arizona friends with me.
Other things I am going to miss about O’Sheas? The oxygen bar for sure (Always rejuvenated me and was usually always tended by a hot girl). The O’Sheas signature smell (Don’t really know how to describe it or what it really was). Lucky the Leprechaun (Coolest guy ever – would always take a picture with you and would never accept a tip…so glad he will be back in the newly revamped O’Sheas). The atmosphere (Nothing ever beat it and nothing ever will).
Me with Lucky.
The Vegas Strip has lost an entity that gave it attitude and uniqueness. I can’t state enough how serious I am, I feel great disappointment that O’Sheas is getting demolished. Harrah’s, the owner of O’Sheas, is building an entertainment center called The Linq. Inside this new center they will build a new O’Sheas. Whenever The Linq is actually built and the new version of O’Sheas is open, all I can say is that I hope it is at least half as good as the original one. Don’t Blink.