Tuesday 7:45 p.m.
Free Pool With the Eclectic Crowd
A hockey game on TV, the Eagles on the jukebox and free pool? I can’t ask for more on a Tuesday night. I head there after work and leave my judgments at the door, because the crowd there is eclectic: bikers, U students, extras from SLC Punk—all are welcome. I top off my day with a tallboy and a shot of my choice of well liquor—all for $5. I play a couple of games of pool, enjoy plenty of attention from the bartender and have myself the best deal downtown.
342 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-2107
Tuesday 9 p.m.
Huka Bar & Grill
Half-Price Hookah & Reggae
Flavored smoke and reggae music—an impeccable pairing. Toss in some specialty cocktails, like the Caramel Apple, and you’re good to go. The crowd is pretty mellow on a Tuesday (as they be jammin’), and the half-price hookah in a plethora of flavors like watermelon and raspberry, plus the good eats, make it easy to linger. I’m told to come back for College Night on Thursday if I want a wilder night.
151 E. 6100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-281-9665, TheHukaBar.com
Tuesday 9:15 p.m.
The Bar in Sugarhouse ^
Possibly a Time Machine
The Bar, The A-Frame, The Shack—no matter what you call it, this beer-only drinking den, built in 1922, oozes history from its walls. It’s the kind of place where you lose track of time talking to complete strangers about river trips, conspiracy theories, skiing with legends and the lure of the wide-open West. It’s a throwback to the old days, where old-timers pay with quarters and nobody knows any better than to be friends, not just friendly. It could be that there’s no room in the place to be an outsider, or it could be the welcoming bartenders and $3 pints. Either way, it works.
2168 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-485-1232
Tuesday 9:25 p.m.
Cotton Bottom Inn
All You Need Is Garlic & Beer
The faded sign and worn exterior might encourage second thoughts, but the sweet smell of garlic wafting through my nose confirms that this is the place. The covered patio is filled with chatter, and a light breeze moves through the surrounding trees. As soon as I walk in, the bartender asks what I’m drinking and confirms that I want a garlic burger with cheese. No menus are needed here; the beer comes quickly, and the burger isn’t far behind. It’s a perfect greasy meal to chase with a few cold beers—everybody’s doing it.
1820 E. 6200 South, Holladay, 801-273-9830
Tuesday 10:04 p.m.
My Heroes Have Always Been (Gay) Cowboys
The Trapp is another in a long line of Salt Lake City bars that are deceptively larger than they appear. What initially looks like a cozy, narrow bar opens into a sprawling dance floor—complete with disco-ball cowboy boots flanking both sides of a karaoke stage. There’s a back room full of games, a second bar and a back patio that’s nearly as big as the inside. There seems to be a solid crowd of regulars, but they’re happy to see a newcomer looking for a spot to spend an evening.
102 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City, 801-531-8727, TheTrappSLC.com
Tuesday 11:30 p.m.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Soccer Bar
The drab white front is a red herring. Once the heavy wooden door opens, what looked to be a cramped, tiny dive bar gives way to a long, spacious area with TVs, games and seating everywhere. Soccer is the sport of choice at The Republican, and even late on a Tuesday, there are matches dominating the TVs. And any time there’s a Real Salt Lake game or a U.S. Men’s National Team game, you can count on The Republican being packed full of soccer fans cheering for the home team.
917 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-595-1916
Tuesday 11:45 p.m.
Playhouse Tuesdays: Ladies’ Night
Nestled at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Canyon Inn always makes for an interesting crowd. A young ski bum and a, um, more mature woman are hitting it off really well in the corner. And there’s a similar pair on the dance floor, feeling the sounds from the Top 40/house DJ. The décor is just as much of a mish-mash of cabin-in-the-woods, downtown club and dive bar. I didn’t come to mingle, but I found some top-shelf people-watching.
3700 Fort Union Blvd., Salt Lake City, 801-943-6969
Wednesday 3 p.m.
Retire for a Drink
Look past the lime-green color scheme and the not-subtle Budweiser advertising, and the place is clean, airy, bright and friendly—a charming neighborhood bar. My companions, the regulars, are a few retirees sipping on $2.75 16-ounce beers. Turns out, by early afternoon most days, Bart’s is already happening.
837 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9068
Wednesday 7 p.m.
Originally the Hotel Victor, this 100-year-old building has undergone only slight renovations, so it still has 1910s character in spades. Speaking of which, poker is going on in the basement, and Club Elevate, in the space next door to The Hotel, houses several dance clubs waiting to come alive. The joint is often jumpin’, but it’s also a great place to grab an early dinner before the crowds show up and fuel up before a night of dancing.
155 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-478-4310, TheHotelElevate.com
Wednesday 7:07 p.m.
Soaring on 33 Cent Wings
On a 33 Cent Wings Wednesday at Devil’s Daughter, I’m elbow-deep in a plate of a dozen house-smoked, perfectly charred wings. With juicy awesomeness and flavor layers of crispy skin, this small mountain of meat has transported me to a magical place where the most important decision I have to make is whether I should dunk this chunk of chicken in the Memphis or Devil’s Daughter barbecue sauce. As a song by The Reverend Horton Heat plays, this carnivore hydrates with a sweet and tangy whiskey sour, then dives back into the meaty fray.
533 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-1610, DevilsDaughterSLC.com
Wednesday 7:30 p.m.
He Was the Love of Her Life
“First time in Habits?” the bartender inquires as he prepares a gin & tonic for me. “It will be fun,” he promises. It’s cocktail hour, and while the dance floor awaits the pulsating grind of the gyrating masses, it’s time to unbutton at the bar, sip that G & T and listen to the genteel repartee. There are mournful tales of lost love: “He was the love of her life,” a young woman squired by two older men laments. There’s talk of bucket lists amid shrill laughter, and as the mix of sarcasm, ribaldry and sexual innuendo flows, the night achieves its own rhythm. Call it the poetry of Habits.
832 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-268-2228, ClubHabits.com