Thursday 8:45 p.m.
Campfire Lounge ^
A Shot Away From That Outdoor Feeling
Like any worthwhile camping trip, Sugar House’s newest bar runs on Jack Daniel’s. His statue overlooks the bar, ensuring $3 Jack all day, every day. Going with the bar’s camping theme, you order the PB&J—PBR and a shot of Jack, just $5. After a couple of rounds, you grab a menu, which features camp staples like hobo dinners, hot dogs, brats and s’mores. But you order the tots and bask in the glory of salty, crunchy, booze-absorbing perfection.
837 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-3325
Thursday 9:14 p.m.
’Bout Time Pub & Grub
That One Guy Cheering for the Miami Heat
As a tense NBA Finals Game 7 ticks toward its conclusion, at least one patron is happy about the result, letting out a Ric Flair-model “Whoooo!” every time something positive happens for the Miami Heat. But his posse of bros with brews in the corner is offset by plenty of couples enjoying dinner even as a critical sporting event is broadcast on the big screens. Throw in the couples hooking up at the bar, and you’ve got a place appealing to a far more diverse clientele than the simple “sports bar” designation might suggest.
Multiple locations, BoutTimePub.com
Thursday 9:26 p.m.
It’s always Game 7 somewhere
I already knew this place would be huge. It’s a sports bar, and sports bars require a lot of room, which Lumpy’s has plenty of. Big screens and comfy chairs fill the main area, and there’s a TV in every booth and alcove upstairs and down. Fans of both teams cheered and groan as the clock runs out and the Spurs fan, who only seconds before was raising his hands in victory, is now being bought a shot by a gloating Miami Heat fan savoring the moment.
145 W. Pierpont Ave., 801-883-8714, LumpysDowntownSLC.com
Thursday 9:30 p.m.
Poplar Street Pub
Everybody’s Prepping for the Weekend
It hit 99 degrees today, and it’s not quite the weekend yet, so while Poplar is packed, it’s in a laid-back way. Poplar’s pub-style front room is always chill, and while there are never not bodies at the bar or playing pool in the back game room, the Poplar patio is the place to be in the summer. Tonight, the crowd is split into gender factions like a fifth-grade party, as groups of guys and girls separately plan and plot their weekend dates and parties. The new, separate outside bar provides a place to cool down for those not quite ready for the full outdoor experience, and it has a bevy of beers on tap, so the next round is never far away.
242 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2715, PoplarStreetPub.com
Thursday 10 p.m.
Untilted Poker Party
I’m figuratively and literally in Good Spirits, a welcoming, come-as-you-are watering hole. I’m matching wits in a game of Untilted poker, where players celebrate (and mourn) their hands with $2 shots of tequila. Even when our luck runs dry, we’re soaked in liquid courage; a fellow player winds up on the karaoke stage singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with reckless abandon. Skunked at cards and drunk as a skunk, I take pleasure in some sumptuous—and sobering—bar food, including $6 for some of the best chicken wings in the state.
999 W. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-263-0411
Thursday 10:06 p.m.
Carol’s Cove II
Karaoke Kings & Queens
The walls are covered with pop-culture ephemera—from Scarface and Marilyn Monroe posters to an area dedicated to Betty Boop—while an old Speedway Café T-shirt hangs from the rafters as a memorial to a reunion for the ’80s-era SLC music venue held a while back. Thursday-night karaoke draws a crew of about 20 regulars who cheer one another on through some classic country and torchy standards, and the bar is large enough that another small group can gather to watch a basketball game without the amateur vocalists being too obtrusive. The bar has all the basics and then some—but only the daring would try a concoction called a Smurf’s Penis.
3424 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-466-2683
Thursday 10:15 p.m.
Sexy Vintage Cocktails
I park my bike outside the bar between a black Triumph motorcycle, a Prius and a mint-green, fixed-gear Bianchi. Inside, the bartender is just serving up a gimlet—a 1920s cocktail of gin and lime juice—as DJ Godina spins up the party with another obscure ’80s hit that every black-rimmed-glasses-wearer in the room seems to know by heart. Behind the bar and against the wall, dim lights cast silhouettes of the top-shelf booze, displayed like pinup girls and just sexy enough to make me order the 1930s Fair & Warmer cocktail: white rum, sweet vermouth, curaçao and orange twist.
155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287, BarXSaltLake.com
Thursday 11 p.m.
The Glam & the Goth
Dressed in brightly colored 1980s duds like leg warmers and sweatbands, the young crowd upstairs dances to the sounds of Cyndi Lauper while buying nonalcoholic drinks; this part of the club caters to the 18-plus crowd. Downstairs, in the part of the bar called Sanctuary—SLC’s only goth bar—corseted women and men glide over the dance floor to the sounds of Bauhaus and Ladytron.
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-534-0819, Area51SLC.com
Friday 12 p.m.
The Green Pig Pub
Let’s Take This Meeting to the Patio
The office A/C is in overdrive to compensate for the blisteringly hot weather, so it’s frigid inside; productivity has ground to a halt as people shiver and their minds wander to the weekend. Someone makes the smart suggestion of heading to the Green Pig patio in time to snag a table on the rooftop and discuss that upcoming project with the aid of some tasty margaritas, a few giant fans and just a hint of the sun peeking around the corners of the huge table umbrellas. And with a few plates of tasty pub food to go around, hanging out—er, working—on the patio all afternoon starts to feel like the best team-building activity we’ve ever tried.
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
Friday 6:07 p.m.
The Bongo Lounge
After-Work-ers Meet the Regulars
You never know who you’ll find at The Bongo Lounge before you walk in—primarily because the joint is windowless, and this proud neighborhood dive caters to anybody willing to step into its disarmingly charming ambiance. What you are sure to find is a well-stocked jukebox and a friendly staff proffering with a smile some of the cheapest drinks to be had in the valley. Sure, you may have to elbow your way past a grizzled regular or two planted at the bar, but they welcome groups of young workers, cash in hand, making an audible sigh of relief at the end of yet another work week.
2965 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-466-1577