The Cabinet of Curiosities, a bar planned to debut this summer in Bally’s Las Vegas, wants curious customers. Curious about the curios on display. Curious about the cocktail program. Curious about what’s behind that locked door.
The bar comes courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions, the creator of two immersive experiences at Bally’s, “Real Bodies,” an exhibit of different states of human anatomy, and “Rarely Seen,” a new show of 50 striking photographs from the National Geographic Society.
“We wanted to create a complementary bar component to our exhibitions at Bally’s,” said Tom Zaller, President of Imagine Exhibitions. “We wanted people to have a place to get a drink and experience some eclectic oddities with stories behind them.”
To that end, compartments of various shapes and sizes will be arranged across the walls of The Cabinet of Curiosities. Some compartments will be open, offering easy access. Some will be shut, inviting people to open their doors.
The objects inside, Zaller said, “will be from everywhere. From trips I’ve personally taken overseas to flea markets across the country. I’ve always loved that antique shop at the end of the street that has all those unique things in it.
“Ideally, I want you to feel you’re entering an actual cabinet of curiosities,” Zaller continued, referring to the collections of rare objects (first in rooms, then in elaborate cabinets) initially assembled by the wealthy of Baroque Europe to demonstrate erudition, connoisseurship and social status.
“We want you to feel you’re discovering things.”
Solve a puzzle, open the lock, get a drink
That sense of exploration continues with The Lock, a small speakeasy that lies behind a locked door in The Cabinet of Curiosities. To get to The Lock, customers will have to solve a puzzle that opens the door.
So, fail the puzzle, forgo the buzz?
“I think most people will be able to solve it,” Zaller said.
The look of The Lock will be a 1920s-inspired “hodgepodge that doesn’t look perfectly designed,” he said. Servers in the speakeasy will be mixological veterans.
“They’re going to talk through with customers about how the cocktails are made,” Zaller said. “Particularly in The Lock, you’re not just popping in to get a cocktail. It’s a bespoke experience for you as a visitor.”
The Lock and The Cabinet will have separate bar programs, in keeping with their different spaces and ambiance. Light food will be served, though neither will have a kitchen.
The Cabinet of Curiosities and The Lock will be on Bally’s lower level near the exhibitions.