Weird Nevada
Weird Nevada
Weird Nevada - By Joe Parzanese

World's Largest Functioning Fire Hydrant

Map 820 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

A 15 foot tall working fire hydrant!
A 15 foot tall working fire hydrant!

Large, yellow, and fifteen feet tall, Fremont Street in Las Vegas is home to what some have dubbed the World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant. There's a lever you can pull, which causes water to come out, but when I visited, it apparently wasn't working, perhaps either due to the fact that it was January or perhaps due to the drought the state was experiencing. The giant fire hydrant is located outside the Hydrant Club, a doggy daycare and kennel.

But its claim on World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant is possibly incorrect. As there is supposedly a 24 foot tall fire hydrant in Beaumonth, Texas. Not only does it work as well, but it is painted up like a dalmatian, white with black dalmatian spots. And there are at least two non working fire hydrants in existence that are even larger than this one.

World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant
World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant
World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant
World's Largest Working Fire Hydrant
Tiffany and I in front of the giant fire hydrant.
Tiffany and I in front of the giant fire hydrant.

Located directly across the street from the giant fire hydrant, is a parking lot with a strange sign with a large letter "A" followed by "Motel" and the phrase "Llamas Stay for Free". This is the former sign for the Ambassador Motel. The Ambassador existed on Fremont Street from 1952 until 1996, and was torn down in 2012. The sign was preserved and the Downtown Project altered it adding the Llamas part in honor of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh whose favorite animal is the llama.

Across the street from the former Ambassador Motel sign is Atomic Liquors! Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas and serves up atomic themed signature cocktails. The building was built in 1945, and Joe and Stella Sobchik opened up Virginia's Cafe in the location. By 1952, they changed the business to a liquor store called Atomic Liquors. It was the first liquor store license in Las Vegas. They soon added a liquor pouring license and began serving drinks over the counter as well. The bar was best known for customers climbing up onto the roof in order to have a beverage while watching nearby nuclear flashes and mushroom clouds from the Nevada Test Site, a nuclear testing site back in the fifties that is about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Llamas Stay for Free!
Llamas Stay for Free!
The Ambassador Motel Sign
The Ambassador Motel Sign
Atomic Liquors
Atomic Liquors

The bar often had celebrities visit including the Rat Pack, Barbara Streisand, and Clint Eastwood. Joe and Stella Sobchick owned and operated the establishment until October 2010 when Joe sadly passed away at the age of 91. Stella passed away three months later, also at the age of 91. The bar was remodeled and reopened in 2012. Not only is there an area dedicated to the former couple, but the bathrooms are named after them being for "Joe's" and "Stella's" instead of "Men's" and "Women's". The bathrooms are supposedly done up in a 50's style with the women's restroom being Stella's favorite color, pink.

Lastly, to the left of the doggy daycare, the Hydrant Club, is a blue painted bus with scrap attached to one side in the shape of what appears to be five dogs. It's a rather unique piece of artwork. Also two containers that have what looks like gift wrap are sitting next to the blue bus.

Blue bus with dogs
Blue bus with dogs
Blue bus with dogs
Blue bus with dogs
Decorated containers
Decorated containers

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Last Edited: 2016-01-27


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