Carnaval Court’s flair bartender shows guests a flipping good time
Just consider Rene Garcia a pioneer. He’s one of three original flair bartenders still working at Carnaval Court since it opened for business in the spring of 2000. The Harrah’s outdoor bar was one of the first places in the city to feature flair bartenders, and today it’s considered one of the best flair bars in the world.
“I love what I do,” Garcia said. “If given another chance and someone said, ‘You want to be a lawyer, doctor?’ I’d say, ‘No chance.’ My motto: find a job that you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. And I’ve found that.”
When Garcia is behind the bar, expect a show. He flairs everything—cups, bottles, ice cubes, straws, whatever’s around him he incorporates. And, every bartender at Carnaval Court has his or her own style of flair. “My style—entertain people by being funny,” he said.
Garcia points out that at Carnaval Court all the bartenders want guests to feel a part of the action, too. “Guest interaction is our specialty.”
One act that wows is when Garcia flairs while lighting the alcohol on fire. It’s quite the scene, and one act he performs every shift. Playing with fire might seem dangerous, but don’t worry—he’s got it all under control. Although Garcia has experienced some bumps and bruises along the way, he never gets too hurt, he said—getting a little nicked up comes with the territory. It’s part of the thrill of flair bartending. “It’s Las Vegas. It’s wild and fun. We’re here to entertain. I feel like a rock star,” he said.
The Money Maker
You can find Garcia flairing behind the bar Tuesday through Saturday nights. Catch him flipping, tossing, and tumbling the ingredients for one of Carnaval Court’s most popular cocktails, The Money Maker. The sweet treat mixes together Skyy Raspberry vodka, Chambord, sweet and sour mix, cranberry juice and a splash of peach schnapps. Drink and a show? Most definitely!