Profile: Sloman's Slo-Dance Bar
It's Still Push's Great Meeting Place
-By R. Bell Saks
For the rare Push local who has not been there, Sloman's Slo-Dance Bar is best described by paraphrasing the old song: "You can dance if you want to, and you can leave your friends behind."
One night with the ladies at Sloman's could make anyone forget old friends.
The lights in the bar are low, as low as the tone of voice favored by Sloman's hostesses. These "conversation specialists" perform double-duty as Sloman's Slo-Dance partners. A slow whirl with any of them on the dance floor can be bought for just a few dollars.
Sloman's hostesses are definitely crowd pleasers. "Where does [Sloman] find these ladies?" asks Fred DeBalgam, owner of Ballgame's Pawn Shop and a longtime Sloman's customer. "They're all fantastic dancers, and they can talk about anything - even Speed Hunting. And they sure do ask the right questions."
To complete the ambience, Sloman's house band, The Rusty Spurs, provides the sultry musical backdrop on most nights, and many of the best bands in the Southwest often stop by to play a few slow-dance tunes on their way to Vegas, Carson or Reno.
Visitors to the VIP Lounge get all of these benefits - just more of them.
Dances at Sloman's may be slow, but prior to opening his Slo-Dance Bar, owner D'Wight Sloman made two lightning-fast business moves. In just four months in 1984, Sloman sold his family's Versailles Casino and closed their Sloman's Chicken Ranch Brothel, effectively a two-step that immediately changed the face of Push.
Sloman sensed that Push wanted a meeting place to fit the town's changing image. So he renovated the brothel and re-opened it as Sloman's Slo-Dance Bar.
Indeed, opening a bar built around the dignified duo of dancing and talking turned out to be a shrewd move. Locals have continued to turn to Sloman's when their minds have turned to companionship.
"Success in business means giving people what they want, before they even know they want it," says Sloman.
With that in mind, D'Wight continues to tinker with the entertainment format. He recently added a monthly Cowboy Poets Night to the lineup. On these evenings, Push's Bareback Poets take the main stage and recite western-style sonnets that put everyone in an intimate mood.
Sloman's Slo-Dance Bar seems to have something -- and somebody -- for everyone. When I mention this to D'Wight, he simply quotes his famous guarantee: "If Sloman's can't find you someone, then you ain't fit for no one."