Slippery Kittens Burlesque
You’d think simply having women dancing around in their underwear would be enough of a “show theme,” but the retro-tastic Slippery Kittens Burlesque troupe goes the extra mile at the Bar Deluxe with a new flavor every month: From the international “Around the World in 80 Minutes” to the musical “Taking It Off to Broadway,” they’re as historically accurate and educational as they are titillating. OK, not really—but the extra homework is appreciated. Also: Watch the Kittens going national on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
BEST LIVE MUSIC CLUB
Less a club than an immaculate concert hall that happens to have a couple of bars, The Depot keeps winning this category (this is its third Best of Utah award in as many years in operation) through quality, not quantity: There’s not a show every night, but when there is, it’s an event. Salt Lake City may not be ready for a House of Blues-style influx of nightly touring acts, but The Depot’s strategic lineup gets more impressive all the time, with classic artists like B.B. King and Dr. John in April, and modern scores like M.I.A. and The Breeders coming in May.
400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-456-2800, DepotSLC.com
2. Club Vegas
3. In the Venue
BEST NEW WEST-SIDE MUSIC VENUE
The Twilite Lounge, as one of the last champions of the people, is worthy of accolade for its truly democratic jukebox. Democratic because it’s completely free. And this hasn’t diminished the quality of free tunes provided either, with an eclectic mix from Tom Waits to AC/DC, the jukebox still provides great bar tunes with the only cost being you have to wait for your song to queue up … a small price to pay for jukebox tune equality wouldn’t you say?
347 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9400
BEST PARK CITY CLUB
Everybody who’s anybody goes to Harry O’s. So if, as you’re reading this, you find yourself at Park City’s big dance club/live music venue on Main, then QED: You’re somebody. The rest of us may be a little intimidated at first, but once we get used to the vibe, score a prime sofa position and check out the club’s top-drawer acts like 50 Cent, Maroon 5 and Berlin, it turns out we don’t feel like nobodies at all—and that’s a feeling everybody can enjoy.
427 Main, Park City, 435-655-7579, HarryOs-PC.com
3. The Spur
BEST UTAH COUNTY WATERING HOLE
ABG’s Libation Emporium
In a college town where the social scene revolves around ice cream parlors and disco-lighted bowling, it’s good to know there’s a quality bar holding down the fort for all the sinners in town. At ABG’s, patrons are treated to a quality spirits and beers, including high-point brews like San Francisco’s Anchor Steam, and Sierra Nevada pale ale, porter and stout. In the spirit of good Utah County frugality, no drink special at ABG’s runs over $3 and most specials go for $2 tops. With pool tables, jukebox, a nice long bar and friendly staff, ABG’s is just the oasis for anybody who ever spent a little time in Provo and thought, “God, I could use a drink.”
190 West Center, Provo, 801-373-1200, ABGsBar.com
BEST HOT SPRINGS MUSIC VENUE COMBO
Mystic Hot Springs
Just a coupla’ hours south is an odd little hippie joint that is both a natural hot pot and a concert venue housed in a small building on the property. In addition to a large main pool, old claw-foot bathtubs litter the hillside, providing a more private option for mineral-infused dipping. The best part is the hidden steamy cave—but you’ll have to find that on your own! Camping is available, and you might even catch a live show.
475 E. 100 North, Monroe, 435-527-3286, MysticHotSprings.com
So what if “Magic Man” is a horrible karaoke song? You have every right to sing it loud and proud, every night of the week. But let’s strike a compromise—hook up with Entourage Entertainment and follow the procurers of jukebox heroism on its rotating residencies at area bars (just to make sure the natives don’t get too restless). Owner Sam Spendlove understands your passion. He’s devoted his working life to ensuring the quality and longevity of your rock-star dreams—no matter how horrible you are at impersonating Heart.
2. Jackson the Karaoke Dude
3. Piper Down
BEST JACK MORMON NIGHT OUT
Southern Exposure, Beck Street
While the discerning gentleman might argue that with a Utah strip-club experience, nothing goes better than cocktails and pasties, but Salt Lake City’s all-nude Southern Exposure on Beck Street gives bar-shy Jack Mormons reason to disagree. The soda’s on the house, and the dinner buffet and breakfast are complimentary—which makes sitting back and enjoying beautiful, naked, gyrating women a family affair once again. Dropping by during the weekdays is a good way to beat the crowds, like two-for one Tuesday nights (which won’t conflict with family home evening).
1737 Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-355-1488
BEST SLICE & A SONG
Rim Rock Patio
For locals and frequent out-of-town adventurers, the Rim Rock Patio is more than just a pit stop between Salt Lake City and Capitol Reef. Located on a scenic, sprawling 120-acre ranch in Torrey, Utah, the modest-sized café offers a low-key version of its sister restaurant’s gourmet menu, with tasty pizza pies taking center stage—that is, when touring bands or local musicians aren’t stealing the spotlight. In warmer weather, performers play outside before a breathtaking red-rock back drop. Have a seat, and one of the employees will bring you a pitcher on her trademark roller skates. During the winter—when Torrey largely shuts down—featured acts set up inside for intimate gigs. Keep an eye out for future shows. If you’re lucky, singer/songwriters David Williams, Wendy Ohlwiler or one of their many contemporaries will make an appearance.
3523 E. Utah Highway 24, Torrey, 888-447-4676, TheRimRock.net