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Rum Jungle RIP

Rum Jungle, the popular rum-centric bar and nightclub within Madalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, was shuttered late last year.  Here’s a look back.

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Popular Rum Bar Falls to Cirque Club

For years, rum enthusiasts who happened to find themselves in the glits and glam of Las Vegas could find refuge deep inside Mandalay Bay Casino.  Down a long hallway, beyond dozens of shops and near a giant parking garage was Rum Jungle, a hip bar and nightclub with more than 200 rums on offer and a pretty decent cocktail menu.

To many of us, Rum Jungle was an oasis in the middle of a wasteland of Appletinis and bad Margaritas.  It wasn’t perfect; the clientelle could be a bit annoying, the music too loud and cover charge steep, but they still could claim the largest rum selection in the entire state of Nevada and had a staff that knew how to mix a pretty nice drink.

My last trip to Rum Jungle was in 2009 and it was very clear that, after years of overwhelming success, it had lost its place at the top of the Vegas club hierarchy.  It was no longer the “IT” place to be and the vibe was becoming a bit pathetic.  This, of course, meant that they loaded up their menu with reduced priced cocktails, incorporated a happy hour and played music at an acceptable level.  For a brief moment it became a rum nerd’s fantasy world and we tried our best to help them unload some of their better offerings.  As I recall, not a whole lot of gambling happened on that trip, but plenty of really great rum was consumed.

Well, the inevitable happened last August and Rum Jungle shut its doors for good.  I’m not necessarily saddened that Rum Jungle closed – it was time.  The ever changing bar scene in Vegas is what keeps it fresh and exciting I guess.  But I noticed in the press this week that a Cirque du Soleil inspired bar is replacing it, and that’s just unacceptable.  Something tells me their rum selection won’t be quite as impressive.

Here are a few photos from our last “research trip” to Rum Jungle.  Enjoy.