Las Vegas Bar Takes on Downtown Grand in David Vs. Goliath Court Battle

By | May 10, 2021

Hogs & Heifers Saloon on Third Street in downtown Las Vegas will take on the might of its neighbor and landlord, Downtown Grand, in a David vs. Goliath court battle Monday, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

Hogs & Heifers
A bartender at Hogs & Heifers in downtown Las Vegas. Landlord Downtown Grand wants to evict the business, despite claiming it throws the “best damn party in Vegas.” (Image: Hogs & Heifers)

At issue is the section of Third between the saloon and the Downtown Grand directly across the street. Hogs & Heifers sued its landlord in 2019, accusing it of violating its lease agreement by using the area exclusively for valet parking. The saloon had previously used the street outside its premises to stage charity events and festivals.

According to the Hogs & Heifers complaint, the space is identified as a common area in the lease. It also claims Downtown Grand is attempting to illegally evict Hogs & Heifers from the premises.

Downtown Grand Countersues

Downtown Grand has countersued. It claims the lease stipulates the tenant must get permission from the landlord to use the area, which the saloon failed to do when it held a St. Patrick’s Day event in 2019.

It also blames Hogs & Heifers for drunken fights and other antisocial goings-on in the area. The casino’s lawyers describe it as “truly the aggrieved party.”

Instead of cooperating with Landlord and abiding by its Lease, H&H chooses to create a consistently unsafe environment that Landlord can no longer allow to continue,” claims Downtown Grand in court documents seen by LVRJ.

The casino wants District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to terminate the 20-year lease.

‘Obnoxious and Raunchy’

Hogs &Heifers is described as “an All-American, Classic/Outlaw Country and Southern Rock Dive Bar where the Bartenders interact with the crowd, sometimes via bullhorns, as they sling drinks [and] share laughs.”

That’s on the Downtown Grand’s website, which also says the saloon “throws the best damn party in Vegas.”

A reviewer on the TripAdvisor website called it “loud, friendly, and with some of the best bartenders around. They insult, scream at you and dance on the bar.”

Another described it as “obnoxious and raunchy,” giving it five out of five stars.

Obnoxious and raunchy may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But Hogs & Heifers has become part of the fabric of downtown, and was an important player in the revitalization of the area in the mid-2000s, observers claim.

Cult Success

Owner Michelle Dell told LVRJ she was personally invited by then-Mayor Oscar Goodman and other city officials to launch a downtown venue following the cult success of the original Hogs & Heifers in New York.

She opened the saloon in 2005, just as the adjacent Lady Luck casino closed for renovation. Two years later, the Lady Luck was acquired by investment group CIM. It opened in 2013 as the Downtown Grand.

“To me, ultimately, this is about starving me out,” Dell said. “At the end of the day, it’s really about the value of real estate. And I’m in their way.”

“They [Downtown Grand] took eight years to open, and as soon they opened the very first thing they wanted was me out. But I don’t want to leave. I like Third Street. We built this street.”

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