Friends With Benefits: Mauricio 'Cash' Castro
If you find yourself downtown on the Fremont Street Experience, make sure to stop into the Fremont Hotel and make your way to the Filament Bar. It’s where you’ll find bartender Mauricio “Cash” Castro. And it’s where you’ll make one of your best Vegas vacation memories, courtesy of Cash.
His flair bartending skills are impressive. His attitude is one of the most positive you’ll ever encounter. His personality, simply infectious. And his story is incredible and one you have to hear to believe.
“The people who are coming to my bar, they’re coming here for me,” Castro says. “People from all over the world come back to this bar just to see me when they’re in Vegas. That right there is just so humbling.”
Castro likes to say he was “raised by Vegas.” Orphaned at a young age, he was in and out of foster homes, and for years he was homeless, living in the mountains in a tent. Then about seven years ago, he turned his life around with one job interview. A friend recommended him for a barback position—he landed the job and from there sharpened his barbacking skills. He continued to work at various bars around the city and, in 2014, was hired by the Fremont. It gave him his first shot at bartending.
“I never knew you could be in such a workplace and just flourish so much if you try,” Castro says. “I just love this bar so much.” After about a year of barbacking at Fremont, Castro was promoted to a bartending position when the property opened Filament Bar—and he’s been the star attraction ever since.
“I was a Vegas ghetto kid that literally didn’t have anything, man … The Fremont managers, they saw something in me, believed in me,” Castro says. “I was just a kid trying to make it … and now I finally have.”
Castro can make you a classic cocktail, like the margarita—he blends tequila, sweet and sour mix and triple sec. But he can make you that cocktail with flair, too, showing off his impressive bottle-tossing skills—it’s pure entertainment. There’s really no cocktail menu at Filament Bar; instead, the bartenders can whip up recipes on the spot. Cash likes to say, “I can make you any drink you want, man. I take pride in my drinks. I understand that people are on vacation here and they just want to have a good time, a good drink. It’s about the experience, the connection you have and that’s what I make happen.”