It was loud. It was liquored up. It was a little bit sad. Kind of like O’Sheas casino itself, come to think of it.
At noon on April 30, 2012, O’Sheas casino on the Las Vegas Strip closed its doors, and boisterous fans showed up in droves to knock back one last shot, to place one last bet and to express their appreciation to Brian Thomas (below), the casino’s shot-dispensing mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun.
As the clock ticked down on O’Sheas closing, customers and staff said their farewells, and spontaneous chants along the lines of “O’Sheas! O’Sheas! O’Sheas!” broke out throughout the casino. Hey, O’Sheas has always been about fun, not about rhyming. And, technically, “O’Sheas” rhymes with “O’Sheas,” so let’s move on.
It was a bittersweet gathering for the most ardent fans of O’Sheas, as well as for its diminutive mascot. The closing of O’Sheas marks the end of a 23-year run for the beloved watering hole known for its low table minimums, cheap hooch, quirky entertainment, cheap hooch, beer pong and, oh yeah, the occasional hooch.
A new O’Sheas will open as part of The Linq in 2013, of course, but that didn’t seem to matter to those who turned up for the original’s last fling. O’Sheas T-shirts and shot glasses were distributed liberally, and die-hard players wagered until the bitter end.
Everywhere one turned, there was a last something. A last spin of the roulette wheel. A last hand of blackjack. A last hand of Strip Poker. (Because it’s played near The Strip. Why, what were you thinking?) A last game of beer pong. A last roll of the dice. (It was a seven. Isn’t it always?)
Fans also signed a memory wall. This blog feared it would be ruined because some nimrod scrawled his name across it during the casino’s final weekend, but there were so many more signatures that followed it, the new ones obscured the irksome one almost entirely. A photo of the wall will be installed in the new O’Sheas, a wink to the past and all the guests that has made O’Sheas so utterly unforgettable.
It was gratifying to see such a genuine outpouring of love for O’Sheas during its waning moments. At one point, we calculated Lucky was being hugged at a rate of eight times per minute.
Lucky got a little weepy right about the time this blog did, just before the doors closed and the “Caution” tape went up.
That’s because O’Sheas was more than a casino. It had heart and character and an energy you can’t manufacture. And did we mention the cheap hooch?
Sure, change is good. But we get to grieve a little for a lost friend, too, right?
Here’s to the good times, the crazy times, the times we’re sort of glad we can’t quite remember. Here’s to O’Sheas.
Last Call at OSheas