SLC Bar Guide There's a night on the town with your name on it.
There's a night on the town with your name on it.
By City Weekly Staff
A "night out" in Salt Lake City doesn't have to involve crazy antics with a carrot-studded green Jell-O salad or playing board games with the family. Some imagine our vibrant nightlife is constrained by wacky liquor laws—but how wrong they are. Bars are catching on to the idea of spiked Jell-O salad, and Utah's liquor laws aren't as restrictive as they're made out to be. A night out in Salt Lake City and its surrounding environs can be as elegant or as sassy as any similar-size city, and there are plenty of options, to boot. And the proof's in the pudding (not the Jell-O), so dig in. Bar X
NEIGHBORHOOD & DIVE BARS
A city's bar scene can generally be divided into two camps: One is the set of bars that you only hit once in a while, for a show, a night out dancing or a karaoke excursion. And the other is this group of neighborhood watering holes that welcome regulars with a mix of gritty charm, libations and characters ranging from hipsters to suits, students to professors.
The oldest bar in Salt Lake City is open under new ownership, but the decades of history are easily recognizable in the classic woody decor and wagon-wheel light fixtures. The tankards of yore are still available, as are cans of whatever cheap brew you like, but one new aspect of the place is the specialty cocktails that will take you back to your grandaddy's drinkin' days.
155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287
This hangout has an astonishing selection of beers and tasty Southern grub, along with the frighteningly decadent deep-fried Twinkies on the menu for a closing-time bite.
645 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-961-8400, UtahBayou.com
Another place to find a long list of beers, from Utah's finest to Belgian delights. Its frosty ice bar will keep your beer mug cool all night.
128 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4268
This locale has a long-standing history as a downtown Salt Lake City watering hole. Now, aptly named, the spot offers a huge array of that particular liquor and more, in a comfy setting with lounging couches in one room and tall bar tables in another.
169 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-1005, BourbonHouseSLC.com
Cheers to You
A comfy sliver of a bar in the heart of downtown, with food from next door's small-plates fave, Eva.
315 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-575-6400, CheersToYouSLC.com
Dick N' Dixie's
This buzzing corner-lot bar is home to huge windows, an oak-y interior and the quintessential hipster vibe, which makes it a great spot to hang out in general or to drink and dash before a show at the nearby Urban Lounge.
479 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3556
Here you'll find surprisingly tasty pizza and Old Style signs in the window to let you know this is a Chicago Cubs-friendly joint.
932 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-6401
Fat's Grill & Pool
Come for the slew of pool tables and bevy of sandwiches; stay for the bright atmosphere, where you can actually hold a conversation.
2182 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9467, FatsGrillSLC.com
This bar was built with a craftman's touch and offers cheap brews and excellent grub. It's the place to be for chilling on an excellent patio or to see a live band in an intimate, warm-wood setting.
1199 N. Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-521-3904, GarageOnBeck.com
The Green Pig Pub
A brick bar with huge windows and a spacious rooftop patio, this is a prime location for a pre-game drink before all the festivals and parties that fill nearby Washington Square in the summer.
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
Here you'll always find screaming cheap drinks and a snowboarding vid at the ready.
372 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-359-8054, Facebook.com/JackalopeLounge
Johnny's on Second
Johnny's is a fine place to start in downtown proper, with pool tables, occasional live tunes and a boisterous patio during warm weather.
165 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-3334, JohnnysOnSecond.com
One of the friendliest bars in town, Junior's sets the mood with quality recorded jazz, cheap drinks and a fine beer-can collection.
30 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-322-0318, JuniorsTavern.com
Keys on Main
This expansive dueling-pianos bar is the place to see and be seen on a weekend night.
242 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3638, KeysOnMain.com
Salt Lakers come here for a taste of south-of-the-border nightlife. Karamba offers some spice, with touring bands and DJs from South and Central America, along with regular salsa classes.
1051 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-4604
This joint beckons bikers, pre-Salt Lake Bees game imbibers and burger aficionados daring to attempt to eat the joint's fiery Lucky 13 burger—two patties covered with jalapeños and habañeros, squeezed between two grilled-cheese sandwiches serving as the bun.
135 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-4418, Lucky13SLC.com
Another low-key spot, with some tasty grub and a slew of regulars hunkered down for cheap drinks and football on the telly.
1704 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-467-6289
Maxwell's East Coast Eatery
Look no further for some of the best pizza around. Once you try it, you'll never feel like getting anything else on the menu. But try a mixed drink, too; Maxwell's has a liquor license.
9 Exchange Place (350 South), Salt Lake City, 801-328-0304, MaxwellsECE.com
They purport to be "a step down in social clubs," but the colorful clientele and daily food specials make it a favorite after work and late at night.
160 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-7271, MurphysBarAndGrillUT.com
This bar shares basement space with Ahh Sushi , so you can couple your tankard with sweet deals, subterranean-style. How many sushi joints let you throw peanuts on the floor? And how many peanut joints serve sushi, for that matter?
22 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-8600
Piper purports to be "an olde world pub," but there's a lot that's new about the place, including a spacious new bar area in back, one of the most popular quiz nights in town and all the karaoke anyone can handle.
1492 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com
Poplar Street Pub
It looks quaint on the outside, but the inside is enormous, with two bar areas and one room dedicated completely to bar games, plus one of the best warm-weather patios in town.
242 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2715, PoplarStreetPub.com
This cement block of a joint has a massive bar, soccer (and only soccer) on the TV screens and a jukebox full of Irish tunes, both traditional and punk-ified.
917 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-595-1916
A great starting point for a Sugar House pub crawl. A recent expansion has made it more spacious, but the friendly bartenders and delicious beers remain.
1992 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-413-2857, Facebook.com/SugarHousePub
The Tap Room is a cozy basement bar that drawers a friendly neighborhood crowd. It somehow manages to have a worthy patio space for the summer months.
2275 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-466-0974, Facebook.com/SLCTapRoom
Twilite has the lounge vibe down, complete with a raging fireplace and free jukebox.
347 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9400, TwiliteLounge.com
This bar joined forces with the former Graffiti Lounge and now serves hard libations in addition to the cheap cans—of PBR and paint—which gave the original spot its name in recognition of its intricately decorated walls.
342 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2271
A laid-back dive with dirt-cheap beers, karaoke, foosball and the occasional live band.
1716 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 866-612-2920, WilliesLounge.net