|BEST MULTIMEDIA NIGHTCLUB
At some nightspots, you’re happy enough to be entertained by music. Orange owner Lance Edwards kicks up the atmosphere another notch. A talented artist as well as an entrepreneur, Edwards adorns the walls with his own drawings, including renderings of Gandhi and Barack Obama. And if you hit Orange on Thursday nights in the fall, you also get a full theatrical stage show, including bebop jazz, poetry readings and a dramatic dance performance. We’ll drink to that.
533 S. 500 West, 801-433-3398
BEST LITTLE PICTURE SHOW
Main Street Theatre
In July 2008, Scott and Jennifer Fotheringham re-opened Beaver’s Main Street Cinema. It’s a beautifully restored theater which mixes the original 1930s fixtures with their own touches—like a sofa in the last row for those who want to cuddle. Their eldest son texts his friends on Fridays to see who wants to attend a midnight screening of whatever’s showing. While the community is almost completely LDS, Jennifer squeezes in the odd R-rated movie. Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino ran because her deceased father, a big Eastwood fan, “would have kicked my butt if I hadn’t.”
55 N. Main, Beaver, 435-438-1234
BEST OGDEN CLUB
The Wine Cellar
This little club has everything hip going for it: It’s a jazz club; it’s a wine bar; it’s located in the basement of a historical Ogden building. It’s an unexpected refuge of “cool.” Here, people can gather and listen to live jazz and blues regularly performed by the likes of Daniel Weldon, The Legendary Porch Pounders, Joe McQueen, Kenji Aihara, Angela Bingham, Blues on First and The Jake Dreier Trio. And, every other Sunday, there’s a jam session, where you can get down with your own bad self—just bring your own instrument. It’s a club Salt Lake City should envy. Time to board the FrontRunner for Ogden.
2550 Washington Blvd. Ogden, 801-399-3600, WineCellarOgden.com
BEST PARTY CLUB
From the day their doors opened 25 years ago, Club 90 has been throwing parties. Sometimes the parties are in raucous celebration of a holiday, like, uh, New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day. Sometimes they’re sedate like simple party buffets for Mother’s Day. On other occasions, parties become legendary (but not always annual), like its famous golf tournament parties and buffets, the Elvis parties, the Nuts and Bolts parties, Sumo Wrestling nights or live professional wrestling. Can’t beat that one, says our own Bill Frost, himself a former member of the WWE. There’s always something going on at Club 90. Join Bill at partytown.
150 W. 9065 South, Sandy, 801-566-3254, Club90SLC.com
BEST PARK CITY CLUB
Why save the glitz for the Sundance Film Festival? Harry O’s doesn’t let up when the celebrities leave Park City; the expansive Main Street venue rages year-round with a party intensity that few clubs in “metropolitan” Salt Lake City can match. From national hip-hop and live rock shows to a never-ending array of themed dance nights, Harry O’s feels more like an eastward extension of the Las Vegas Strip than anything that belongs in Utah—in the best possible way, of course.
427 Main, Park City, 435-655-7579, HarryOs-PC.com
2. The Star Bar
3. No Name Saloon
BEST FREE STUFF ON SUNDAYS
“Never on a Sunday” is ne’er spoken here where Vern and his staff ensure that good times roll seven days a week. On Sundays, there’s always free pool and a free-food special of the day served from 2-7 p.m. The rest of the week is similarly geared for fun, including killer karaoke (Wednesdays through Sundays), free steel darts and U of U football on eight TVs. Good Spirits is that neighborhood bar with Sunday freebies that you always yearned for—a truly spirit-lifting experience.
999 W. 3300 South, West Valley City, 801-263-0411
BEST FIREWORKS & COCKTAILS
While the views of the city skyscape are always great from the Skybar (located on the lucky 13th floor of the Red Lion Hotel), one of the most relaxing times to enjoy a libation or two along with the scenery is the Fourth of July. Celebrate America the lush-patriot way, by avoiding traffic jams and overcrowded parks in favor of comfortable booths and tables, with cocktail service. Whether you take in a nice steak dinner at the Skybar’s Charcoal Room restaurant or just sip a martini at the bar, you can watch the fireworks go off from Liberty Park to Franklin Covey field—all from the comfort of your bar stool.
161 W. 600 South, 801-530-1313, SkyBarSLC.com
| BEST GAY CLUB
It’s a first for Utah in many respects: A truly classy gay club, beautifully apportioned (honey, don’t get us started on those bamboo floors!). The Jam was nonsmoking before nonsmoking was cool/mandatory and, smack in the heart of the Marmalade District, it really is the first concrete evidence that Salt Lake City’s up-and-coming gayborhood is more than a developer’s pipedream—it’s really happening, right here and now. In a word, and if you’ll pardon the expression: fabulous!
751 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4055, JamSLC.com
2. The Trapp
3. The Paper Moon
BEST DRINKS AFTER WORK
Kristauf’s Martini Bar
This gem on Market Street just off Main has become a favorite spot for City Weekly’s after-work tipples—it’s nice and quiet around 5:30 p.m. until things start to rock later on, so we can hear ourselves talk; it’s right next door to Takashi, so we can order in delicious rolls and sashimi; and the service at Kristauf’s never falls short of excellent. So, at the risk of ruining our little after-work secret, we wanted to let you in on it. We’ll be the ones listening raptly to ourselves hold forth on the benefits of the classic gin martini vs. “all those newfangled fruity drinks”—even after we get started on Kristauf’s signature “crisp pear,” which is absolutely delicious.
16 W. Market St., 801-366-9490
BEST SPORTS BAR
The sports-bar experience takes many shapes. Sometimes, you want to be where everyone in town is watching the big game on the biggest possible screen; sometimes you and a couple of buddies have a particular event you want to watch. Lumpys Downtown offers ideal environs for either option, from the giant screens for communal viewing to the booth tables with their own private HDTV and remote. Order a beer and some stick-to-the-ribs pub food, and take control of your viewing, or let the roar of a crowd take you away.
145 W. Pierpont, Salt Lake City, 801-938-3070, LumpysDowntown.com
2. Iggy’s Sports Grill
3. Lumpys Highland
BEST PROOF MAIN
STREET AIN’T DEAD
Keys on Main
All of the doom-and-gloom news about Salt Lake City’s downtown Main Street has overlooked a very big, very bright (and very melodious) spot: Keys on Main. The year-old nightclub is bucking the downtrends, packing in patrons six nights a week with live jazz (Monday), karaoke (Tuesday) and, of course, dueling pianos (Wednesday-Saturday), the local phenomenon you have to experience to understand. Two singer-pianists banging the 88s completely at the behest of the audience and their tip money? It’s a beautiful convergence of capitalism and art. If you have no use for art, however, Keys on Main is just a classy place to grab a drink after work—especially if you still have a job on Main Street.
242 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3638, KeysOnMain.com
BEST DAMN-GOOD EVERYTHING
Hog Wallow Location
Yeah, their neighbors (who came into the area with big houses long after the bar was there) are known to look askance, but, hey, if it weren’t a good location, they wouldn’t live there. Patio: If there’s a cooler place to be on a hot summer night in Salt Lake City, we don’t know where it is. Music—always a great selection of great local bands. Food: Can’t go wrong. Price: Won’t bust you out of a night on the town. Warm: Perfect place to relax after a day on the nearby slopes. Just a damn good place, day in, day out. Period.
3200 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-733-5567
Most days and nights, this venerable Trolley Square club has a slightly different clientele than it does come Friday. By the weekend, the switch is on, and the white collars are traded for the hip and fashionable attire of a younger patron. With some of the most fair beer prices around on special nights (plus a range of $3 cocktails on Fridays), it’s easy to understand why college-age patrons flock to Green Street. But they stay for everything else, including hip DJs, fast games of pool and TV sports—focused on University of Utah, natch. Then again, why watch TV when there are others sights to behold, male and female?
Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4200
BEST WATERING HOLE IN THE WALL
Junior’s Tavern is kind of like the infamously-friendly bar Cheers—except far more hole-in-the-wall than basement dwelling. It’s dark, jazzy, bluesy and boozy. On first glance it would also seem like the place where one could go to drink one’s sorrows away, unnoticed. Not particularly the case. Junior’s attracts all sorts of different types of people from all walks of life, possibly even your mom. And according to the local library crowd, it’s not only the place to get the best and cheapest Long Island iced tea, it’s also the watering hole Mr. Barack Obama would likely wet his whistle at when in town.
30 E. 300 South, 801-322-0318, JuniorsTavern.com
BEST SINGING SPORTS FANS
Everything and everyone is bipolar these days, even bars. Oscar’s in Midvale is no exception, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At once a sports bar with heavy leanings to the University of Utah football and NBA basketball, Oscars becomes American Idol central on Tuesday and Thursday nights as yodelers of all stripes step up to the karaoke microphone. Winners advance to the finals at month’s end for cash prizes. No word if the losers have to sing their high school fight songs.
8136 So. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222