Unknown Bar at The Palms Casino Resort

— Staff Writer

This bar is a centerpiece at the Palms Casino

Many bars draw a crowd with their theme and décor, but few offer the sort of spectacle of Unknown, standing out in white marble like a monument. And there on display is a 13’ tiger shark in three pieces. This art installation by Damien Hirst is eye-catching, provocative and an attraction. It provides an energy to the moment while you have drinks, and an instant ice-breaker as you approach a stranger.


Quick Information

  • The Palms Casino Resort
  • On the casino floor right inside the valet doors
  • Monday - Thursday: Noon to 4 am
    Friday - Sunday: 10 am - 4 am
An art installation featuring a tiger shark divided into three pieces is placed over the bar of The Unknown
Nobody knows there's a special time each night when the shark reassembles and swims happily through the museum, er... casino. I give art installations 5/5. Image: Palms

Dare to enter the Unknown

We like the mini-reboot that has happened at the Palms Casino Resort. The $700 million spent on renovations, expansion, and upgrades has elevated this off-Strip property into a true destination, offering some establishments that go well beyond the role of restaurant or bar.

The Unknown is one of these places. This is a high energy bar right in the center of the action. It will be hard to visit the Palms without getting a glancing view. No doubt, you will see a glimpse of its main attraction. Artist Damien Hirst has divided and put on display a 13’ tiger shark. These three, glass cubes are right above the bar, creating a silent spectacle that needs discussion.

It almost feels that the bar and drinks are secondary, a mere excuse to let bystanders and gawkers hang around without feeling awkward. But that does a disservice to the drinks and bartenders, who, rather than playing second to a fish, are in equal standing.

I ordered a blood orange screwdriver, and read over the menu. They try to showcase seasonal fruits and vegetables in their cocktails, and go so far as to pair their fun libations with chocolate bon bons. To have the full effect, I sat back with a small sample, and let the sweetness elevate my drink.

There is underneath the overwhelming art a sense of fun and whimsy. Unknown does not take itself seriously, but is there to entertain and delight. It is not a place for any one group, or character, but the joking friend that knows your faults and doesn’t judge. It is a hang-out, a watering hole, a simple escape. And it works.

I could see inviting someone here for drinks. It would be possible to talk, to converse, without the pressure of intent. This is a friendly get-together, and if it lasts longer, and the night come, two people could leave somewhere more intimate. That is a rare quality when it comes to a bar, and something we can appreciate.

This article has 477 words.

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Staff Writer

Hi! I'm a staff writer for Way to Vegas.