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Hits & Misses

Bootleggers, Bohemians & Bar X

By Josh Loftin
Posted // July 7,2010 -

SAD.jpgBootleg Madness
To prevent Utahns from bringing dangerous contraband like fireworks, microbrewed beer and low-tax cigarettes into the state, the Utah Highway Patrol is sending officers into Evanston, Wyo., to watch for potential lawbreakers from the Beehive State. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the undercover investigations involve officers sitting in the parking lots of liquor stores and fireworks warehouses in unmarked cars—with Nevada plates, no less—until they see a vehicle with Utah plates loading up. The, they radio officers on the Utah side, who proceed to pull the miscreants over, confiscate their goods and remind people that Utah is not always “life elevated.”

SMILEY.jpgBohemian Capital
A recent ranking by the Martin Prosperity Institute tabbed Salt Lake City as the seventh-most bohemian city in North America, beating out bohemian enclaves like New Orleans, San Francisco and Montreal. The ranking was based, in large part, on the city’s concentration of artists, musicians and other creative types who pursue their creative endeavors fulltime. Although outsiders may be surprised, anyone hitting the gallery stroll, attending one of many concerts or theatrical performances around the valley or cruising the farmers markets can attest to a burgeoning bohemia.

SAD.jpgX-ed Out Bar
Few local bars have the devoted clientele of Bar X, which has been serving beer—and only beer—since 1933. From the broken screen door at the entrance to the worn pool table crammed against a side wall, the bar lacked pretension, but made up for it with 3.2 percent beer and peanuts. People went there for two things: cold drinks and warm friends. On July 9, Bar X will serve its final beer. What happens with the space after that is unclear. The building’s owner, Gary Tedesco, was out-of-town and could not be reached for comment. Bar X owner Charmayne Clingman told the Tribune that Tedesco ended her lease, and she currently does not have plans to reopen in a new location. Even if she did, however, it would not be the same bar. The gritty character of Bar X was exactly that: character. And it will be sorely missed, especially in a downtown that is becoming a homogenized Pleasantville.

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Posted // July 7,2010 at 22:12

I remember living in EVanston during the late 90s when one of the liquor store owners called the Evanston Police Department to have the undercover UHP officer sitting in his parking lot leave or be arrested for tresspassing. This went on for a few years and resulted in the UHP searching the cars of any Evanston PD officers they pulled over for illegally concealed weapons. Too bad the liquor store owners aren't still going after the UHP for tresspassing.


Posted // July 7,2010 at 11:31

Maybe a citizen's watchdog group is in order, have one or two of us sit in front of the liquor store/fireworks stand and watch for suspicious activity in a nevada vehicle (i.e. a radio, loitering). A common area to post the liscence plates of these brave victimless crime stoppers might make a difference. Don't these cocksuckers have real crimes to fight?


Posted // July 7,2010 at 16:21 - This particular story may sound new, but I can attest that as a high scholl senior back in 1968-69, the Utah Highway Patrol used to wait for you to drive back from Evanston with your Utah plated-car and pull you over for a tailight bulb or because they had a question about your car's safety status, but we knew they were looking for fireworks and cases of Colt.45 malt liquor that could kick your ass like a mule. We got pretty good at hiding the stuff where they really didn't want to bother looking.