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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2007 | Nightlife Page 4

Posted // June 11,2007 - BEST TOOELE WATERING HOLE
Tracks Brewing Co.
With beer mugs sporting the slogan: “Nerve gas, Germ Warfare, Nuclear Waste & Beer,” it’s hard not to love this Tooele sports bar and community gathering spot. A major draw is the selection of microbrews concocted by Louisiana-native Karl Menzer (real estate agent by day, brewmaster by night and on weekends). In addition, Tracks hosts national music and comedy acts and serves killer pub fare. A weekend breakfast menu highlights the in-house brewery with items like Hefeweizen wheat waffles. As T-Town emerges as ground zero for all loud engines on wheels, it should come as no surprise when the building starts to rumble and a train whizzes by outside, hence the name. 1641 N. Main, Tooele, 435-882-4040,

The Bar in Sugar House
The Bar may be the only extent example of something the city used to have and currently needs a lot more of: a neighborhood watering hole. Located inside a brown wooden building about as wide as aparking space, The Bar appears to literally be hanging on by its fingertips to the side of one of Sugar House older mall buildings. The inside is just large enough for the namesake bar, behind which are lined many tiny cups which you can have filled with beer on tap for a little more than $1. 2168 Highland Dr., 485-1232

The Filling Station
Nothing like a trip to Magna’s salt-of–the-earth Filling Station to get you out of your city-slicker rut. Their Web page says it all: “Magna is not known for much of anything but the bad water, but we locals have to admit that when Elliot and Darren bought The Filling Station in December 2002, we found ourselves to be regulars.” And “regulars” consist of any combination of bikers, rockers and hip-hoppers showing up for Texas Hold ’Em, pool matches and groovin’ to local bands on weekends, karaoke, DJ Viper or even the jukebox. Or, after work, you can just kick back and watch sports on plasma TVs and gaze at the oversize skanky photos on the wall. How real is that? 8987 W. 2700 South, Magna, 250-1970,

Stansbury Park Observatory Complex
Some folks lurk at Sundance hoping to see stars, but when you want to catch a glimpse of the Pleiades star cluster, or Mars’ polar caps or Saturn’s rings, you need the people with the really big equipment at SPOC. The Salt Lake Astronomical Society hosts frequent star parties at this facility just 26 miles west of Salt Lake City where members provide free telescopic tours of Utah’s night skies. Here, you’ll find the Harmons Observatory which houses two large reflecting telescopes and the Donna Pease Wiggins Refractor House with a roll-off roof and a large refracting telescope. Truly, one cool way to experience a starry, starry night. Stansbury Park, Tooele County, driving directions at

The Jackalope
The award was inspired by a blurb on The Jackalope’s MySpace page: “Because both owners [Lost Art Tattoo artists Nate Drew and Anthony Anderson] are originally from Virginia, you can catch every Redskins game during football season. Don’t let this fool, you, however … The Jackalope is not a sports bar, but an extreme sports bar.” True: Fuel TV is the norm at The Jackalope, not the diversion. As for ambience, the year-old club is virtually unrecognizable as the dump that previously occupied 372 S. State; the clean ‘n’ classy facelift could qualify as an Extreme Bar Makeover. And the drinks are so cheap, they haven’t even sprung for an outside sign yet. 372 S. State, 359-8054

Steve “Daddy-O” Williams’ (KUER 90.1)
Desperate and dateless tonight? Then tune into Daddy-O, Nighttime Jazz host on KUER 90.1. In his nearly 40 years at the station, Williams’ love of jazz and soothing voice have coaxed a few back in from the ledge. “One night, someone called and was going to commit suicide,” he recalls. “I talked him out of it, but I was going to cuts and had to come back to him.” So if you haven’t a place to go tonight where everybody knows your name, turn your radio on and let Daddy-O and his great taste in jazz be your best friend. KUER 90.1, weeknights, 8 p.m.-midnight

The Empress Theatre
In 1916, this 178-seat historic theater served as a burlesque hall for Kennecott miners and later as a silent movie theater. It remained open through the 1930s. Long after it closed, engineer and actor Leo W. Ware traded the theater for real estate in 1983 and proceeded to nearly single-handedly renovate the structure, despite attempts by the Salt Lake County Commission to raze the building in 1984. Due to an injury, Ware was unable to complete the job, but in 2006, the nonprofit Oquirrh Hills Performing Arts Alliance leased the building and is now renovating it. After more than 50 years, the theater re-opened in November 2006 with Forever Plaid. Leo Ware was able to attend one of the first few performances before he passed away on Jan. 3, 2007. 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna, 347-7373,

Ken Sanders Rare Books
Attending any event with a Ken Sanders stamp on it is always a life-enhancing experience. Most folks know he operates an antiquarian bookshop specializing in the West, Utah and Mormons. He is, in fact, the honored guest bookseller at this year’s Gold Rush Book Fair, awarded for ethical leadership and scholarship in American bookselling. Sanders’ in-house Dream Garden Press publishes local books that otherwise might not see the light of day. And many evenings—gallery strolls and the like—his bookshop is the place to meet an author, an activist, a musician, a photographer, a filmmaker or a visual artist. He forks out his own dough to host myriad literary events, seldom breaking even. It’s his way of nurturing the local arts community. So dig it, man. 268 S. 200 East, 521-3819,

The Bayou
They don’t call themselves “Beervana” for nothing. Whether your taste runs to a Guinness on tap or a bottle of Tsingtao, or pretty much anything else that has ever been touched by yeast and/or hops, you’ll probably find it at The Bayou. Think of it this way: You could sample a different one of the 230-plus beers on their roster every single day, and you wouldn’t repeat yourself for nearly eight months. At which point, there’s no reason why you couldn’t start all over again. 645 S. State, 961-8400,
2. Port O’ Call
3. Fiddler’s Elbow

IAMA Coffee Houses
The nonprofit Intermountain Acoustic Music Association is the area’s mainstay of acoustic music, including bluegrass, British isles, folk, old-time and related musical forms. To keep the dream alive, IAMA, under the tutelage of Guy Benson, hosts twice-monthly coffeehouses at the Unitarian Church on the second (open mic) and fourth (hosted) Fridays of each month. Here, you can bring your coolers packed with a picnic dinner and wine and beer (though the church asks that no hard liquor be served). In addition, coffee from the Coffee Garden is served. It’s a great place for pluckers and for those who love the sound of pluckin’. Unitarian Church Elliot Hall, 569 S. 1300 East, 582-5856 (Guy Benson)

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