Friends With Benefits: Carlos Nino
Carlos Nino’s dad has been a big influence on his career. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nino’s father worked on the Strip for more than three decades, working his way up from bell captain to director of operations. “I learned from watching him and his personality on how to work hard and how to talk to people,” Nino said.
Nino must have absorbed every bit because thus far, Nino himself has enjoyed a successful career on the Strip, currently as a bartender at Vista Cocktail Lounge at Caesars Palace. Before joining the popular lounge, Nino bartended for the past 14 years at some of the city’s hottest clubs, including the city’s first megaclub, Pure, and nightlife giant Hakkasan Group’s various nightclubs and lounges.
When Vista opened a few years ago, Nino was tapped to join the team, and so far, he said, it’s a decision he’s very happy with. “It’s a really comfortable, welcoming lounge,” he said. “We get to experiment with different cocktails here—you can get creative.”
Nino also works as a sales consultant for a local liquor company, helping to keep his knowledge fresh on the latest spirits and wines. He’s also studying for his sommelier certification. “I love going to wine country and learning about the whole process of winemaking,” he said.
Asked if he ever thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps by working on the famed Las Vegas Strip, Nino said, “Honestly, I never thought that’d I’d be bartending, but it makes sense ’cause I really enjoy talking to new people. I’m very fortunate to say that I bartend at Caesars Palace and I’ve worked at some of the best places in Vegas, too.”
Perfect to cool down from the summer heat, the refreshing Blueberry Collins is a mix of Absolut Elyx vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, mint, lemon juice and muddled blueberries.
Guests can also enjoy drink specials on every Thursday night for Vista’s Latin Nights. The crowd and music keeps the lounge pumping late into the evening. “It’s a good vibe,” Nino said. “We have talented DJs playing good Latin music. There’s a lot of people that come in here to dance. We’ve gotten professional dancers that come, too. It’s a packed, fun night.”
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