Color, movement and lights dominate the screens of the Nightclub & Bar Show

If you ever doubted we live in an Instagram world, a stint on this week’s Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center would put that aside. Color, movement and light were all put forward at the show, as were new and old flavors.

An example: At the RoxiSpice booth Tuesday afternoon, Rudy Vargas, owner of the Whiskey & Wine Saloon in Monticello, Indiana, looked at a row of transparent cylinders, each containing a neon-hued cocktail mix propelled in a cyclonic motion.

Jacob Radow of Reno prepares a drink sample using dry ice at the Roxi Spice Stand Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (KM Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

After a representative from RoxiSpice circled a glass in an attached device, filled it with dry ice, and topped it with a green apple cocktail mix for a drink reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the Swirling West among the mists, Vargas said he saw the potential.

“Just whatever catches your eye,” he said.

‘Color, smoke and bubbles’

Sal Vitalie was also studying his bar system in southern San Francisco.

“He can definitely use it at the Garden Club,” said Vitalie’s partner Laura Godby. “If I walked into a bar I’d like to try these.”

“It’s the total ‘wow’ factor,” Vitalie said. “Color, smoke and bubbles.”

Was he thinking of buying one for his bar?

“I’m thinking of putting one in my house,” Vitalie said with a laugh.

Cutting edge

At the locally based SupraCut booth, Hunter Renninger had already decided he needed a device for his Crickets Sports Bar in Melbourne, Florida.

“We’re definitely going to grab one,” Renninger said. “It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s efficient.

The SupraCut secret: Perfectly cut citrus wedges in seconds – with an optional “courtesy cut” feature to allow a wedge to perch on the edge of a glass or dish.

Kevin Szakacs from Las Vegas demonstrates his automatic slicer to Janine Andrews, right, and Kait ...
Kevin Szakacs of Las Vegas demonstrates his automatic slicer to Janine Andrews, right, and Kaitlyn McCord of Baghdad, Ariz. At the Supracut Systems booth at the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 . (KM Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

Renninger wasn’t deterred by the fact that the fruits had to be fed one at a time to accurately position the blades, as he said the process was still much faster than cutting them by hand. Another plus: it eliminates inconsistent shapes and sizes cut by hand by different bartenders.

A crowd gathered to watch company representatives demonstrate the Stundenglass Gravity Infuser, in which a fuel source (maple chips on Tuesday) is burned in one chamber, while another chamber (or two chambers) is turned to release the smoke.

Marni Unger from Las Vegas demonstrates gravity infusion for drinks in the Stundengl ...
Marni Unger of Las Vegas demonstrates Gravity Brewing for Beverages at the Stundenglass Booth at the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (KM Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

Chris Barry, owner of Token Game Tavern and the future Space Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee, thought the devices would be perfect for the space age theme of his new location.

In the show’s Food & Beverage Innovation Center, Joe Fisher spoke about his SoBar protein bar, “the snack made to drink.”

Fisher, a medical scientist who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, created the bars to slow the absorption of alcohol from the small intestine by keeping it longer in the stomach, where it is broken down. Clinical tests show that bars slow stomach emptying, and therefore the rate of absorption, twice as much as other foods. They come in three flavors: peanut honey, almond white chocolate and caramel macchiato.

Celebrity cocktails

And what’s a show in Las Vegas without celebrities? Sammy Hagar and Rick Springfield were on hand to discuss their Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum Co.

“I wanted to get into alcohol,” Springfield said. “Sammy knows the business inside and out. I had thought he would be a good person to start a business with, and he is.

Rick Springfield, left, and Sammy Hagar walk the red carpet as the living room opens for the Nig ...
Rick Springfield, left, and Sammy Hagar walk the red carpet as the lounge opens for the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (KM Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

As for Hagar, he said he has a line of canned sparkling rum cocktails coming out around the beginning of September. He said he was inspired by tasting what was already on the market.

“I knew I could do better,” Hagar said. He’s planning a pineapple-jalapeno version, one in a tangerine-vanilla custard that he says tastes like a Creamsicle and cherry-cola spices.

And shortly before a gourmet evening, the sponsors of Questex Hospitality announced that the name of the show would be changed to Bar & Restaurant Expo, to better reflect a new era for the industry.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com. To follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

Jerry C. Greiner