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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2007 | Nightlife Page 2

Posted // June 11,2007 - BEST BAR RELOCATION
Junior’s Tavern
The old Junior’s on 500 South in Salt Lake City was something of a cultural landmark, a neighborhood bar everyone knows or at least knows of. So when the original closed and moved downtown last year, the obvious question was: Can a neighborhood bar retain its charm in a new (and decidedly more metro-sterile) neighborhood? After many, many, many an after-work drink in the new joint, City Weekly staffers will tell you “Oh, hell, yeah.” The old pinball machine’s back, as is the eclectic crowd, and the nonsmoking thing is a definite plus, too … well, for some of us. 30 E. 300 South, 322-0318

BEST FOR DANCING Readers’ Choice
Area 51
Once upon a time, Area 51 was known solely for its goth, black-eyeliner-wearing crowd. And while it still holds on to its dark roots, Area 51 has proven itself a magnet for all music and social types. The large, two-story club with two spacious dance floors gives ample room to dance to Tina Turner on ’80s nights (Tuesdays and Thursday), sing karaoke on Wednesdays and dance to techno and industrial music on the weekends. The club also has pool tables and dart boards in the 21-plus section, as well as an outdoor patio to cool off and mingle. 451 S. 400 West, 534-0819,
2. Port O’ Call
3. The Hotel/Elevate

Slippery Kittens
There ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little bump and grind—especially when it’s produced in an artful manner. Case in point: Slippery Kittens, a burlesque troupe tracing the stiletto steps of classic pin-up beauties Bettie Page and Veronica Lake, all curves and no nonsense. Founded by workaholic model/business owner/licensed permanent makeup technician Lorrie Ann Dohoney, the Kittens shake what their mamas gave them in retro garb which they promptly disrobe in choreographed fashion. They make the tease look easy. It’s not.

Jordan Pines Campground
Under the star-filled sky, surrounded by pines, distant pipe wailing can stir the blood like no other sound. Thoughts of Culloden, of Bonnie Prince Charlie and William Wallace rise with the melancholic-tinged tunes the lone piper gives breath to. In the case of a piper heard one weekend evening last September practicing his (or her) bagpipes, the chosen location may have had more to do with sparing neighbors or friends’ ears than anything else. But, for nearby campers, it was hard to shake the sense of kilted ghosts stirring in the darkness. Big Cottonwood Canyon, 877-444-6777

The Depot
It’s no surprise The Depot took the gold two years running. Its convenient downtown location (across the street from TRAX), massive quarters (1,200 capacity) and pristine sound system are appealing to both music lovers and big-name touring bands, including The Fall, Ray Davies, Queensryche and hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, who extended the illusion of performing in a big-city concert hall by lighting splifs and inviting ladies onstage for a little bump-and-grind. Check out Ice Cube on April 13, or the Prism dance party every other Friday night to see what all of the fuss is about. 400 W. South Temple, 456-8999,
2. Urban Lounge
3. In the Venue

Movies 9 & Olympus Burger
How can you go wrong with a $1.50 movie just around the corner from an Olympus Burger drive-in? OK, so the second-run cinema can lack a little in the presentation department, what with the sticky floors and the film that starts without sound. But, exiting the flick, you’ve got a few yards away one of the city’s best burger drive-ins at your disposal. Pop the suggestion of a moonlit walk in the canyon to digest and who knows what pleasures await—as long as you both ate onions. Movies 9: 9539 S. 700 East, 571-0968; Olympus Burger: 9400 S. 826 East, 572-7995

When Chicago’s The Autumn Defense first learned their tour included a stop in Provo, red flags shot up. Friends and colleagues relayed popular rumors about the conservative burg likely referencing Footloose and the evils of rock. These skeptics obviously never met Corey Fox, the man, myth and legend behind Utah County’s premiere all-ages music venue, Velour. It took about a year for the savvy entrepreneur to turn his business into not only a routine stomping ground for local alt-country/acoustic/folk acts but increasingly popular club for national bands including Starlight Mints and Rocky Votolato. Oh, and The Autumn Defense show went off like gangbusters. Here’s to faith in the unknown. 135 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-818-2263,

Tower Theatre Open-Mic Night
Why just go to the movies when you can write, direct, produce and maybe even star in your own epic short film? Salt Lake Film Society answered the call of aspiring Martin Scorseses (or even wannabe Brett Ratners) with its monthly open-mic night, projecting local filmmakers works-in-progress or completed masterpieces on the big screen. Besides ego-stroking, the event serves as cheap, satisfying entertainment for cinephiles—or anyone who’s just so over amateur poetry nights. 876 E. 900 South, 321-0310,

Black Market Babies
Salt Lake City’s newest burlesque troupe seems more inspired by Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Little Orphan Annie than the traditional Slippery Kittens. Salt Lake City’s downtown performance artists make no bones about their passion for Tom Waits, using the legendary musician’s gruff poetics as background sound for strutting, tapping, stripping and shimmying with gorgeous neo-bohemian grace. Don’t miss another chance to experience them live.

BEST POOL JOINT Readers’ Choice
Fats Grill & Pool
It’s the little things that make life worth living, like all-you-can shoot pool for the price of a juicy burger at Fat’s Grill & Pool. Bright, spacious and smoke-free, the Sugar House establishment is much more inviting than a noisy, crowded bar, cold basement or friend’s garage. Get back to basics and rack ‘em right. 2182 S. Highland Drive, 484-9467
2. Johnny’s on Second
3. Port O’ Call

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