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A new start for one of Las Vegas’ oldest dive bars

At an old dive bar, new owners are taking the plunge.

Musician Frank Sidoris and pizza pasha Robby Cunningham, founder of Guerilla Pizza, have taken over the Hard Hat Lounge, one of the longest-operating bars in Las Vegas. The best friends pledged to balance tradition with renewal at the downtown mainstay.

“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.”

To that, Cunningham added: “I’m excited to explore my entrepreneurship with my best friend and make this bar even more successful than it’s ever been. The pizza and drinks are just going to get even better with Frank and I behind the wheel.”

Detroit-style pies

Guerilla Pizza, the signature Detroit-style pizza of the Hard Hat Lounge, began with Cunningham cooking out of his house. To test his Motor City pies — thick, deep-dish, crisp crust overflowing with cheese — Cunningham initially offered the pizza for free through @freepizzadtlv on Instagram.

Guerilla Pizza, now prepared in the Hard Hat kitchen, offers classic toppings on its Detroit pies. The menu also features $7 warm breads like wild bread, gorilla knots and hot churros; $7 potato tots in poutine, Parmigiana or garlic parm styles; and $10 wings in salted, Frank’s Red Hot, sriracha, garlic parm or Mike’s Hot Honey flavors.

A rock star; bar stars

Sidoris, a Vegas born and raised rocker, most recently toured the world as guitarist for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators and for Mammoth WVH, the Wolfgang Van Halen project. Live music inside the Hard Hat Lounge and shows outside on a larger stage are coming soon.

On the bar side, all beers, except specialty pours, are served in 22-ounce mugs. Daily happy hour runs 1 to 3 p.m. and midnight to close with $1 off beer and call drinks. Monday is Industry Night with 10 percent off the tab for folks in the food and drink business. All day, every day, construction workers receive $1 off drinks.

Other bar highlights: celebrated guest bartenders, tap takeovers, game nights on Tuesdays and karaoke on Wednesdays.

The Hard Hat Lounge is at 1675 S. Industrial Road. The bar is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ItsJLW on Twitter.

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