Floor safe at Atomic Liquors contains peek at history but no fortune
Photo: Image by PHOTO BY JOYCE E. LUPIANI/KTNV
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The new owners of the historic Atomic Liquors on Fremont Street were probably hoping for more than receipts when they recently opened a floor safe that was discovered during remodeling.
After all, Atomic Liquors is well known for having both famous and infamous patrons back in its heyday.
According to local lore, the bar and package store used to attract the likes of Roy Rogers, The Rat Pack and The Smothers Brothers.
Singer Barbara Streisand allegedly had her own chair and would stop in to shoot pool whenever she was in town.
And rumor has it that Bugsy Seigel may have once frequented the joint when he was the owner of the nearby El Cortez casino in 1945.
Union leader Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1975, may have also imbibed a cocktail or two at Atomic Liquors or so says a local man who claims that he used to be Hoffa's in-town driver.
So, when the new owners found a bump in the floor near the back of the left side of the bar during remodeling, they got pretty excited.
Derek Stonebarger, one of the new owners, says that their first impulse was to call the local media and open the safe live on television.
Instead, they drilled a hole in the safe and then inserted an automatic mechanic camera scope to get a peek inside.
Next, they busted the lock with a hammer to reach the possibly precious contents.
Unfortunately, there was no gold or silver or old casino winnings. Instead, all they found was paper.
The floor safe contained receipts for orders placed with DeLuca Importing, Pepsi-Cola, Anderson Dairy, 7up, Curt Wadsworth Distribution, McKesson Liquor and Ted Patterson Music.
Still, it was interesting to see an example of prices that the bar paid for supplies way back in 1954.
An order for 55 cases (24 packs of 12 ounce beers) and 12 bottles of 32 ounce quarts was only $219.
A Pepsi receipt shows that Atomic paid $1.35 for a case of 8-ounce sodas.
Atomic Liquors originally opened as a cafe named Virginia's. When customers began watching atomic blasts at the Nevada Test Site while sipping on cocktails on the rooftop, the name was changed to Atomic Liquors.
It was the first establishment to receive a package liquor license and off-sales permit in 1957.
The establishment was owned by Joe and Stella Sobchick, 65-year residents of Las Vegas. The couple died three months apart in 2010. It was then sold to the new owners by the couple's son in 2012.
The new owners are brothers Lance and Kent Johns and Derek Stonebarger.
The Atomic is expected to reopen in about another 8 to 10 weeks, according to a press release.