The renaissance of downtown Las Vegas has been nothing short of remarkable, as the eastern side of the main drag, Fremont Street, continues to see new development replacing hooker-patronized no-tell motels and other long-shuttered businesses.
At the heart of the district’s comeback is a unique retail and restaurant conglomeration known as Container Park. All of the businesses are housed in large, old metal containers previously used for hauling cargo over long distances. Decks and other architectural features add to some of the businesses’ footprints, especially the restaurants.
For a wine lover, Bin 702 is the place to chow down with a good glass of vino. In case you were wondering, no, they haven’t somehow managed to squeeze 702 wine bins into such a compact space; 702 is the area code for Las Vegas.
While promoted as a wine bar, Bin 702 — which opened when Container Park debuted in November 2013 — has only a modest selection of wines by the glass. If you’re looking for something special, you’ll need to pop for something from the bottle list. That said, the by-the-glass options aren’t bad, and make for tasty companions to Bin 702’s food offerings.
Whites include a Riesling from Washington, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a Pinot Grigio from Italy and a Chardonnay from California.
Red selections are a Pinot Noir from Oregon, a Sangiovese from Italy, a blend from Washington and a Cabernet Sauvignon from California.
There also are a couple of sparkling wines available.
On the sunny, breezy day we visited, we saw one couple sitting on the deck, sharing a big board of cheese and charcuterie. We asked one of the lavishly tatted bartenders inside what it was, and she told it was called “The Bin.” It included artisan cheeses and curated meats, accompanied by fig jam, honeycomb, whole grain mustard, olives, almonds and dried cherries.
Many of those same ingredients were included on the lunch option we chose: montaditos. These mini toasted sandwiches ($2.50 each, six for $13.50 or 12 for $24) can be held in one hand and consumed in two to five bites, depending on the size of your mouth and the degree of your hunger.
Michelle and I ordered six, and that was plenty for the two of us. We especially liked the Cuban (porchetta, cheddar, mustard, pickle), the Brie (with apple, almonds and honey), and the Turkey (with fig jam and smoked gouda).
My sweet wife had a glass of semi-sweet Riesling, while I figured (correctly — yay!) that the Pinot Noir had a good shot at being a nice companion to the multiple flavors of the montaditos.
We had arrived shortly after noon, so we had the pick of the indoor seating in the 640-square-foot space, which comprises two containers. We wound up with seats that were ideal for watching the montaditos, grilled cheese sandwiches, small plates and boards being assembled, as well as for people watching.
The same wines served by the glass also are available by the carafe or half-carafe. There also is a good selection of beers, which makes sense in a place like Las Vegas, which can get very hot several months out of the year.
All in all, a visit to Bin 702 was a fun way to spend an hour-and-a-half in downtown Las Vegas, away from the hustle, bustle and various strange sights that one encounters under the gigantic metal canopy of the Fremont Street Experience a few blocks to the west. On your next visit to Sin City, set aside some time for a visit.