A successful dance club doesn’t need to add live music to its weekly lineup, so it’s always a pleasant surprise when one does anyway: Sandy’s Station recently turned over its Crown Room (as in, Crown Royal whiskey) to live local rock and country acts, creating another opening in the southern valley where options for bands are slim. It may not turn out to be as big a draw with the clubbers as that lighted dance floor outside, but it’s the thought that counts.
8925 S. 255 West, Sandy, 801-255-2289, SandyStation.com
BEST TV TAKEDOWNS
Ultimate Combat Experience
Utah was ahead of the curve on something—savor it, doesn’t happen often. Mike Stidham’s Ultimate Combat Experience has been raging in the Wasatch cage for six years now, long before Mixed Martial Arts fighting entered the mainstream via Spike TV’s Ultimate Fighter. Television is the key here: A quality TV show is essential to promote a new sport, and you’d hardly recognize the slick Ultimate Combat Experience (currently airing weekends on CW 30, Park City TV and Comcast On Demand) as a local production. When the CW network parts ways with World Wrestling Entertainment this season, CW 30 may have a ready-made Friday-night replacement.
BEST REAL FUN
With a new stadium ready to fill with Utah soccer fans, it’s time to concede that Real Salt Lake is for now and likely forever ensconced in Sandy, not Salt Lake City. Now that the bad blood has boiled over—or seems to have—it’s time for the best soccer in North America to begin the rounds. And if any good of Real being based in Sandy is to come, we hope the very best of that happens at the spacious Club 90. Within spitting and walking distance of the new stadium, Club 90 is set to become home to real Real fans—well, the fun-loving Real fans. The first of only two private clubs in all of Sandy, it’s only fair that after nearly 30 years in business, Club 90 reap some benefits normally bestowed on a club and city of that size. It’s been lonely out there—well, except for the thousands who party at Club 90 week in and week out for fun, dancing, poker and now the Real deal, soccer. GOOOAAALLLL!
150 W. 9065 South, Sandy, 801-566-3254, Club90Utah.com
BEST COUNTRY STANDARD
The Westerner Club
For a Western burg in the Western United States, Salt Lake City has an odd dearth of clubs catering to both kinds of music: country & western. For 40 years, the first (and usually only) place that comes to mind when the question “Where’s a country bar around here?” comes up has been The Westerner Club on Redwood Road, a wood-paneled roadhouse that was “country before country was cool.” The bands are still live, and if you’re of the mind that “real cowboys don’t line dance,” best be prepared to back it up.
3360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-972-5447, WesternerClub.com
BEST INDIE THEATER
Broadway Centre Cinemas
In an age of Megaplex hellholes chock-full of multicolored carpet, cheap coming-attraction posters and brooding prepubescent ticket rippers, the Broadway is a beacon of hope for discerning moviegoers. You buy your tickets outside—the way it should be—and sometimes have the privilege of a little line music played by a masterful cello player. The Broadway is small enough that you feel right at home, and the theaters aren’t so large that you feel like an ancient Roman on the upper tier of the Coliseum. Besides, the popcorn tastes a little better and the Milk Duds are a bit more flavorful when you see how hardworking and dedicated the staff is.
111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmSociety.org
BEST DIVERSIFIED DIVE
Rock, punk, blues, rockabilly, country, hip-hop, karaoke, burlesque—you never know what kind of show you’re going to get at the Bar Deluxe, but at least the cheap PBR is a constant. The State Street club’s first year in operation has seen everything from The Supersuckers to Hell’s Belles to Copywrite to Jesse Dayton, as well as a whole mess of locals and those infamous-bordering-on-famous Slippery Kittens Burlesque revues. And yes, they’ll still let you in without a tattoo … for now.
666 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-521-5255, BarDeluxe666.com
BEST DANCE CLUB
Quick: Name the first three depressing things you normally think of when you hear the term “techno/goth club.” Cross them off the list, add awesome DJs and ample parking, and you’ve got Area 51. Feng Shui experts have cursed this vast industrial warehouse for defying every law of Euclidian geometry, but those of us who enjoy exploring the mysteries of hyperdimensional space like it just fine. Plus, the cover charge ain’t steep.
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-534-0819, MySpace.com/Area51Forever
2. The Hotel
3. W Lounge
BEST OGDEN CLUB
BEST FOR LATIN LOVERS
OK, time to spice up your nightlife. Sugar House’s premier Latin dance club, Karamba, is only open Friday and Saturday nights, but when it is, watch out. This gorgeous swanky place has two often packed dance floors, one for salsa and the other for reggae/hip hop. Every Saturday from 9-10 p.m., Eddie and Maria provide free salsa lessons to help you get your groove on. Caballeros are usually frisked before entering, but once through the door, a friendly wait staff will keep you well-fueled so you can “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.”
1051 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, MySpace.com/KlubKaramba
BEST NEW PIANO JOINT
Keys on Main
Is Salt Lake City big enough for two dueling piano bars? In square footage, the new Keys on Main itself probably has the room. The club, housed in the former Canada Store space from the 2002 Olympics (and just downstairs from City Weekly), boasts 8,000 square feet of nonsmoking atmosphere, six nights a week of live music and a liquor menu like Main Street hasn’t seen in years. Good, clean fun—and TRAX-adjacent, commuters.
242 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3638, KeysOnMain.com
BEST STRIP CLUB
Some glorious day, after we’ve straightened out all of our ridiculous liquor laws, a visionary political leader will take on that other blight upon our fair state: Stripper pasties. Set them free! We shall overcome! No pink, no peace! Until then, there’s Trails and Trails II, presenting dancers so beautiful and skilled that a pair of rayon morality shields mean naught. We could go on as usual—Trails has won this Best of Utah category for as long as it’s existed—about the great food and classy atmosphere, but all we really want is reform. Tit for tat, if you will.
921 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2871; 3055 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-484-4846, TrailsMensClubs.com
2. Southern Xposure
3. American Bush