Friends With Benefits: Silvano Vigil
Silvano Vigil isn’t just a bartender; he’s a bartender at the city’s longest-operating hotel-casino, the El Cortez. “We celebrated our 75th anniversary last year—that’s a lot of history,” says Vigil, who bartends at retro-vibe bar/lounge The Parlour Bar. “And I try and do the best I can to give the best service I can to pay homage to the guys that came before me.”
The property, once owned by famous names like Bugsy Siegel and Jackie Gaughan, is a must-visit for anyone looking to reminisce and experience Las Vegas back in the day. The downtown location is rich with history, and Vigil is making drinks to go with the nostalgia.
Originally from Colorado, after joining the army and moving to Fort Myer, Va., he began his bartending career while still in the service. Bartending around the Washington, D.C. area, he worked everywhere from fancy hotels and wine bars to neighborhoods spots.
In 2015 he decided to bring his skills to Vegas. However, when he first landed here he realized, even with 15 years experience, he needed to work his way up the ladder. “I started as an apprentice two times a week at a small casino, then after a few months I was able to get a job at El Cortez as an apprentice,” Vigil says. Three years later he’s heading up The Parlour Bar.
“As a bartender, I make cocktails and conversation,” Vigil says. “I also get to play tour guide; I’m our guests’ bartender for their stay.” On the cocktail side, at Parlour Bar, “We do everything the right way. We have all the ingredients to make a classic cocktail the way it’s supposed to be made. The Parlour Bar—it’s unpretentious. It’s vintage, it’s classic.”
Vigil and the bartenders at The Parlour Bar are creating craft cocktails and classic cocktails with a twist—like the Longhorn 36, one of Vigil’s creations and a variation on the French 75.
The well-balanced-with-just-a-touch-of-sweetness cocktail is made with Tito’s Handmade vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup, and is topped off with champagne. The name is inspired by the vodka, made in Austin, Texas, just a few miles from where the battle of the Alamo took place in 1836. “It’s a classic cocktail with a modern take on it, sort of like what we do here at the El Cortez,” says Vigil. Enjoy The Parlour Bar during happy hour, 4-6 p.m. daily, with 2-for-1 cocktails, half-price draft beers, $5 apps and live music.