Culinary school graduate and co-owner, Jordan Camacho, helms the kitchen in the hockey-themed bar-restaurant
Water Street in old downtown Henderson was once a dreary and lackluster environment. With new development and several food and beverage venues opening in recent years, the Water Street District is thriving and inviting. One establishment located right smack dab in the middle of the lively renaissance is the fun and versatile Sticks Tavern.
Location, Location, Location
This sports bar, which opened in April 2021, has the good fortune of being situated across the street from two popular attractions in Henderson, The Pass and Lifeguard Arena. The Pass is the area’s largest casino and the Lifeguard Arena is where the Henderson Silver Knights hockey team’s practice. Although the minor league team’s games are not played there, it is the site of frequent hockey tournaments and league play. This makes Sticks Tavern a beacon for refreshment, sustenance and entertainment before or after the games, when you can expect a throng of patrons to party with.
The building has an art deco look, and a puck built into the logo above the sign alludes to a hockey theme. Inside you’ll find the space surrounded by large windows, which provide plenty of natural light and views of the area. Hardwood tables, benches and several TVs befit a sports bar hang. Lest you forget about how the name came about, you’ll also spy an actual hockey stick near the entrance and several framed pics of Vegas Golden Knights standouts.
Bar Food Created by a Classically Trained Chef
How many bar-restaurants can boast a menu designed and executed by a culinary school graduate with previous experience working in high-end restaurants? Co-owner Jordan Camacho, a 2005 graduate of the Las Vegas branch of the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school (since closed), helms the kitchen. The native Nevadan went on to work on the Vegas Strip at The Venetian’s Bouchon, as well as stints in Nova Scotia and Seattle.
Now heading his own eatery, he describes his cuisine saying, “At the end of the day, we’re a sports bar, but I like to describe what we are doing as technique-driven bar food. We spent six weeks working on the hamburger just to get the right bun, meat ratio and cheese.”
Elevated Pub Fare
Camacho likes keeping things fresh and changes the menu every 3 to 4 months. Menu keepers that do not change include the smashed burgers, chicken wings and hot dogs.
A tortilla press is used to keep the 6 oz. patties uniform, so they are thin enough to come out crispy after being cooked. Burgers, which are a big part of their menu, are served with fresh, hand-cut fries. Before heading down to Sticks Tavern, take a look at their burger choices:
- Vegetarian Burger – Maitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and American cheese
- Blue Cheese Burger – Danish blue cheese and caramelized onion jam
- Chili Cheese Burger – House made Texas-style chili and shredded cheese
- Mushroom with Swiss Burger – Swiss cheese, olives, parsley, feta, American cheese and tzatziki
- Jordan’s Burger of the Month – a rotating special curated by Jordan Camacho
- Sticks Burger – a best seller item, house ground beef, brioche bun and American cheese (Camacho proclaims it is the optimal cheese topping for a burger)
The brined, crispy-yet-moist hand-breaded Mary’s organic chicken wings are all flats (no drumettes). Several house-made accompanying sauces include Buffalo, BBQ, ranch, blue cheese, sticky Tabasco, lime crema and sweet ‘n’ mild.
A portion of the menu is devoted to the To Be Frank Hot Dogs. Camacho created this concept years prior as a ghost kitchen inside chef Sheridan Su’s Every Grain rice concept in the Downtown Las Vegas Huntridge neighborhood.
It now has permanent digs here and the franks are top of the line quality, including: applewood-smoked Nueske’s. Varieties include chili with charred onion crema and cheese; Sonoran with caramelized onion, black beans, bacon and pico de gallo; TBF with house sauerkraut blend and Goldenaise Sauce (Camacho’s creation of a cream cheese base with kewpie, several herbs and Japanese mustard powder); or for purists, the classic—plain with just the frank on a bun.
Not common to a sports bar is a kids’ menu, but as this one doubles as a family-friendly establishment, there is one here. The children’s menu offers chicken strips, grilled cheese and Sticks Burger.
Sweet finishes are either the light and fluffy cheesecake on graham cracker crust or thick, creamy milkshake with options of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or blueberry.
Several of the same can be found on the Sunday brunch menu served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., along with breakfast favorites like biscuits and gravy, frittata and stuffed French toast. Non-traditional choices include chicken katsu and pork belly sandos. And for alcoholic beverages, there are boozy salted caramel or chocolate peanut butter shakes and several $15 bottomless beverages.
Get Your Drink On
Every good sports bar needs worthy libations. As is fitting, there are some hockey-themed signature cocktails, like the WTP (What the Puck?): raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, sour and sweet syrup. An interesting creation is the Beermosa, a play on a mimosa substituting Montucky Cold Snack beer for Champagne and with a little amaretto added.
More than a dozen craft beers are poured, including two brewed in the Henderson Booze District, just a few miles away. Puck It is a Kolsch-style made exclusively for Sticks Tavern by Bad Beat Brewing, and the Silver State Blonde is an easy drinking ale by CraftHaus Brewery.
If whiskey is your drink of choice, you’re in luck. Choices here include: the Fallon, Nevada-based Frey’s Ranch, Las Vegas Distillery’s Nevada 150 Straight Bourbon, VGK Bourbon, Eagle Rare and four Jameson varieties. Another winner is the exclusive whiskey barrels Sticks Tavern acquires, which currently is the extremely potent 123-proof Backbone Uncut Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
Entertainment, Deals, Prices and Hours
There are deals or special happenings for every day of the week.
Live music happens during Sunday brunch, courtesy of the one-man-band: acoustic guitarist/singer Fizz.
TacoRita Tuesday offers a shrimp taco and a margarita for $10.
Wednesdays are trivia night, beginning at 7, which is free to play with prizes given to winning teams.
Friday Night Karaoke is 9:30 p.m.-midnight with $5 Tito’s and Green Tea Shots.
Industry Night on Sundays 7 p.m. until close has live music, $2 chili cheese fries and $2 Montucky Cold Snacks beer for those with a TAM Card, Health Card or employee ID.
A daily happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. in the bar and patio with house wine, well drinks, Skyy &soda, Jameson Green Tea Shots, Mimosas, Cranberry Sparklers and 12 oz. craft beers all priced at $5.
The rest of the time you likely won’t leave broke, as the majority of the regular food menu items are very moderately priced from $8-$15, beers are $5-$6, wines $7 to $9 and cocktails are $12.
Future plans are for a restaurant in downtown Las Vegas in a space between the Arts District and City Hall. It won’t be another Sticks, but will likely have gaming.
Sticks Tavern is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Henderson pub and restaurant is located at 203 S. Water Street.