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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2007 | Nightlife Page 1

Posted // June 11,2007 -

Huka Bar & Grill
While most private clubs tighten up and prepare to go smoke-free, Huka Bar & Grill throws caution to the wind and packs another ornate pipe with Shisha fruit paste tobacco. Customers choose from one of 50 flavors, including coconut and grape, then sit back and indulge in a pastime that, by today’s standards, seems downright deviant. Don’t want a puff? Pass it to the left and grab a slice of pizza, pita or numerous other pub-fare options. Top it off with live music by local blues, folk, reggae and acoustic rock bands. Let the good times roll. 151 E. 6100 South, 281-4852,
2. The Red Door
3. Circle Lounge

BEST NEW CLUB Readers’ Choice
All dressed up and the only place to go is packed with college kids gone wild? Head to Habits, a classy private club for men and women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to pursue the finer things in life. With a spacious dance floor, Utah’s largest music video catalogue, full bar, upscale restaurant and outdoor patio, Habits is a great place to get down or chill out. Ladies, stop in on Tuesday night for the state’s only nonsmoking male revue. 832 E. 3900 South, 268-2228,
2. The Hotel/Elevate
3. The Huka Bar & Grill

BEST COCKTAILS Readers’ Choice
The Red Door
Someday soon, we’ll have enough cosmopolitan clubs and restaurants that make you feel like you’ve “stepped out of Utah” to retire the term—until then, however, The Red Door still most defines it. The cocktails are works of art, and priced as such; one our favorites is the “Antifreeze,” a blue-green vodka concoction with a hint of dark humor about it (Big Love reference there—we’re still in Utah). They also have beer and wine … if you’re into such pedestrian fare. 57 W. 200 South, 363-6030,
2. Port O’ Call
3. The Mynt

Bar Deluxe
Back in the day, there was The Annex. Then Club Six, The Green Guinea, Ichabob’s—none really left a mark on 666 S. State. Shaggy’s Livin’ Room (with the modified and less Satan-y 668 address) finally made a success of the place before moving downtown, and Ego’s enjoyed a storied run as an excellent live music venue before shutting down last year. Then came another Shaggy’s, which opened and closed before anyone could even dispute the name. As of last month, Bar Deluxe is the latest resident, and we’re happy to report that the owners (Big Deluxe Tattoo and Slippery Kittens Burlesque people—a good sign already) plan on restoring the joint to its rock & roll glory. Good luck to ’em—but will the address be evil again? 666 or 668 S. State, 521-5255

Bonwood Bowl
Ten frames after 10 p.m.? Throw in 10 beers (per team, of course) and it’s a date. Bonwood Bowl’s balance of retro cache (the place feels like stepping into ESPN Classic circa 1977) and modern convenience (digital scorekeepers that actually work, what a concept), not to mention cheap rates and in-house Chinese food (not exactly a bowling staple but still good stuff), make for a fun alternative to another night at the club. Bonus: Sunday mornings and afternoons are even more inexpensive, should you need to strike off that hangover. 2500 S. Main, 487-7758,

The Republican
Plenty of local clubs claim varying degrees of Irish cred, but only The Republican thinks Irish Republican Army (hence the club’s name, if you were wrongly thinking elephants and GOP) paraphernalia lining the walls makes for better décor than green Budweiser clovers. Other than the sprawling 70-foot bar and a shuffleboard table, that’s as fancy as The Republican gets—no distractions from the drinkin’ at hand, and it doesn’t get more Irish than that. 917 S. State, 595-1916

The Wine Cellar
While Ogden’s Wine Cellar is a below-street-level club with an extensive wine selection, the name doesn’t let on that some of the hottest local jazz and blues artists (as well as the occasional touring act) wail in the elegant room. From Ogden mainstays like Joe McQueen and the Legendary Porch Pounders to SLC heavy hitters like the Kenji Aihara Trio and Blues on First, the stained glass and stone walls swing several nights a week. Take a trip. 2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-399-3600,

BEST DIVE Readers’ Choice
Burt’s Tiki Lounge
It ain’t glamorous, but it’s home. Sure, you could act like a poser if you wanted to, but what would be the point? Just get down, get funky, get drunk and get out—the reason those friendly faces look so familiar is because you’re seeing double. Nettie, of course, is a Salt Lake City institution, but even on a slow night, you could entertain yourself by mounting an archeological dig through the accumulated layers of wall- and ceiling-mounted souvenirs—a jar of Buddy Holly brand hair grease? Cool! 726 S. State, 521-0572
2. X-Wife’s Place
3. Twilight Lounge

Lumpy’s Downtown
Is there such a thing as too many TVs? Lumpy’s Downtown doesn’t think so, since there’s pretty much a screen everywhere you turn—even the booths have their own flatscreens you can tune to whatever you want—which comes in handy if you consider America’s Next Top Model can’t-miss sports programming (don’t judge, curling fans). The club is large enough to still accommodate folks who just want to dance and karaoke-butcher the hits, but when it comes to catching every game everywhere at every angle, this place is tough to beat. 145 W. Pierpont, 938-3070,

Johnny’s on Second
Poolhall Junkies was fun, even if it did come with the smell of that Christopher Walken flick. Even better is the rechristened Johnny’s on Second. If you can manage to be bored here any night of the week with five pool tables, seven TVs, one shuffleboard, two poker nights, five music nights and over 30 beers, you might have to face the possibility that you’re just a boring person. Have a killer Johnny’s pizza; it’ll cheer you up. 165 E. 200 South, 746-3334,

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