Hard Hat Lounge, one of Las Vegas’ oldest dive bars, has new owners and is getting a bit of an upgrade.
Las Vegas native Frank Sidoris, the guitarist for rock star Slash’s band “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators,” and Robby Cunningham, owner of local Detroit-style pizza concept Guerrilla Pizza, took over the 60-year-old bar in September, and Cunningham says it’s a dream come true.
“To have come into the kitchen two years ago on a stroke of luck and bring so much success to the bar with the pizza I was cooking out of my house is such an accomplishment,” he said.
Cunningham entered the food world with an Instagram account offering free pizza each day to the first person who asked for it. It has since grown to a brick-and-mortar concept. He and Sidoris have long been friends. They said they plan to maintain the bar’s heritage while “enhancing the space” with upgraded lighting and a deep clean.
Sidoris says he’s excited about his first go in the restaurant world.
“To own a bar in Vegas is something to be excited about, but to own a piece of Las Vegas history is something else entirely,” Sidoris said. “My partner Robby and I couldn’t be more motivated to maintain what makes the Hard Hat a staple in the Downtown Vegas community and accentuate its historical value.”
The Hard Hat is about 1,600 square feet with a patio outside. It can seat 97 people and host up to 150 for events.
All beers, except specialty pours, are served in 22-ounce mugs. Apart from the signature Detroit-style pizza, the menu includes $7 warm breads such as Wild Bread, Gorilla Knots and Hot Churros; $7 potato tots in three styles — poutine, Parmigiana and Garlic Parm — and $10 wings with your choice of Salted, Frank’s RedHot, Sriracha, Garlic Parm or Mike’s Hot Honey.
Sidoris also has plans to bring in A-list guest bartenders, tap takeovers from breweries, game nights on Tuesdays, and Karaoke on Wednesdays.
Cunningham said pizza sales are on the rise: He started making 15 pies a day and now is making 50 to 100.
“It’s scaled up quite a bit,” he said.