Las Vegas so often lets its own history slip away, a process that became even more merciless come COVID. So, when Vickie’s, the city’s oldest diner, was faced with relocation after more than five decades on Las Vegas Boulevard, its legion of fans feared they’d never again coddle their hangovers with one of its superior patty melts or gaze up at the greatest piece of outsider art west of the Mississippi.
But, after a dark time of inadequately frosty chocolate milkshakes, Vickie’s Diner has reopened in the renewed Commercial Center complex. And this time, the city got it right: Instead of undergoing a disastrous “update,” Vickie’s retains its unique qualities.
The space is nearly three times the size of its former home, but everything is still the signature pink — a shade between bubblegum and Pepto — the signage, the vinyl on the chairs and booths, the T-shirts on the waitresses. There is a prominent place for “That Painting,” a crude portrait of Clint Eastwood that has been the subject of Facebook pages and Wall Street Journal articles. The omelets remain fluffy and cheesy, the BLTs are still an exploration of varieties of crispy, and the coffee keeps on coming in brown ’70s-style mugs that are topped off on the regular.
And presiding over it all is Vickie herself, niece of the original owner, making sure that her corner of Vegas history has a rosy future.