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Food & Drink

Campfire Lounge

Bringing a few Bayleaf faves to a new neighborhood bar

By Austen Diamond
Photo by Austen Diamond 
Posted // September 24,2013 -

If I had a dime for every time a friend said, “The Big Bubba is back!,” I could buy one.

When Bayleaf Bar & Grub, the former Main Street watering hole/all-night eatery, closed its doors in January, it created a void in many an inebriated person’s stomach. Thankfully, the Bubba—a massive stack of biscuits, fried chicken, egg and gravy—is back, and the former Bayleaf owners have a few more smokin’ culinary tricks up their sleeves at Campfire Lounge in Sugar House.

Campfire Lounge also offers Bayleaf’s signature chicken & waffles, but the menu is more representative of owners Haylen LaTorre and Seth Radford’s love of the outdoors. Taking cues from quintessential backcountry recipes, Campfire’s menu includes hobo pies (aluminum-foil-wrapped pockets of meat and veggies) and s’mores.

I should be so lucky to ever actually catch a trout while camping, so I ordered the trout hobo pie. The veggies remained firm, yet well cooked, and the trout was flaky and savory, but the pies are cooked in an oven, so there’s no smoky edge or delightful almost-char that happens when cooking over a campfire. The s’mores with Nutella and banana were delicious—dare I say addictive—even though much of the fun of eating s’mores is making them; there’s a delicate science behind perfect marshmallow toasting, and every camper has his/her own way.

With its camping-inspired nosh, Campfire Lounge has found a wholly unique niche in town—although the owners say they consider it a neighborhood bar first and a restaurant second. To enhance the camp-meets-bar vibe, they envision acoustic musicians strumming singalongs by open pit fires on the patio in the future. Maybe they’d let me roast my own marshmallow then.

837 E. 2100 South

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Posted // September 29,2013 at 13:02

A while back, I happened to drive past and wanted to support a new place in Sugarhouse (fairly close to where I live) but when I went in to the Campfire Lounge (the bartender told me it was only a week or so after they opened, but this was several months ago) I was shocked at the beer prices that they were asking.

$4. 00 for a PINT of draught PBR?!?  $4. 50 for a PINT of Unita Cutthroat?!?   I don't consider myself a cheapskate, but there are litearally 100's of SLC-metro area bars where you can get an entire 32 oz STEIN of PBR for under $4. 00, at some places, under $3. 00, so unless/until the Campfire gets realistic about their pricing, I don't see myself spending any of my time or money there. . .


Posted // September 28,2013 at 12:36

I hope it has better service than the original Bayleaf. We stopped going long before it was closed because we'd get seated and three or other other tables who came in after us would get served because they were friends or regulars or simply out of inattentative staffing. Last time we watched three tables seated after us get orders taken AND get their drinks before we were ever helped AT ALL. . . and walked out without having even seen a menu! And it's not like it was a busy night, this was the afternoon.

If the owners are as lax in their hiring and staffing this time around, it'll be a short lived location.


Posted // September 28,2013 at 16:16 - I had similar experiences at Bayleaf, which isn't to say that was necessarily representative of how things usually went just that an extra few minutes seems like forever when you're hungry after a few drinks at 1am. Having gone to campfire more than a few times this fall, I can say that the staff if terrific and friendly, although the new location has more of a bar setup than a restaurant which means your best bet is to order at the bar. LaTorre and Radford got it right this time around, campfire is a welcome addition to the neighborhood!


Posted // September 28,2013 at 12:09

I don't know what the owner's obsession is with owning a bar in SLC, but Bayleaf was a cash cow put down too soon.