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111 E. 300 South, Suite 190, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0543, CopperCommon.com
Booze Brag: Craft cocktails like the Valentino (Blanco tequila, Campari, jalapeño, lemon & lime) and the Bourbon Sidecar (bourbon, basil, mint, Luxardo, maraschino cherry). There's a great list of brunch cocktails aside from your typical Bloody Mary and mimosa options.
In Their Own Words: "Craft cocktail bar utilizing specialty liqueurs and fresh ingredients, complemented by our chef-inspired menu, open seven nights a week and Sunday brunch."
3943 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-272-1903, Facebook.com/CruzrsSaloon
Booze Brag: One of the very few bars in town that serves Strongbow dry cider on draft.
In Their Own Words: "A welcoming bar with a perfect tree-sheltered patio for summer, and a barn for rainy days."
Dick N' Dixies
479 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3556
Booze Brag: Hirsch Bourbon is available only at Dick N' Dixies.
In Their Own Words: "We're the best neighborhood bar in Salt Lake City."
6405 S. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-943-1696
Booze Brag:Well-known for Old Fashioneds.
In Their Own Words: "We're a laid-back, relaxed lounge with live music and live DJs; it's just simply quiet and comfortable."
Fats Grill & Pool
2182 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9467, FatsGrillSLC.com
Booze Brag: The signature drink is the Razzle Dazzle, a concoction of vodka, rum, pineapple, cranberry, orange juice and a little something special. The favorite beer by far is Uinta's Organic line on tap.
In Their Own Words: "Fats features local live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night; 12 flat screens; and seven awesome pool tables."
1063 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-463-9393, FiddlersElbowSLC.com
Booze Brag: Fiddler's serves a lot of beer, especially local microbrews, and has 32 beers on tap.
In Their Own Words: "A sports-themed pub that's laid-back with great food, and everything is made from scratch."
7 E. 4800 South, Murray, 801-266-1885, 5MonkeysClub.com
Booze Brag: The Monkey Punch. It's a fruitier spin on a Long Island iced tea for $6.
In Their Own Words: "We probably have the most diverse crowd in the state, good times, free pool all the time and live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday."
Green Pig Pub
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
Booze Brag: You can get a lot for $3: $3 tequila, $3 whiskeys and domestic tall cans for $3.
In Their Own Words: "We offer a great rooftop patio, great live music, great drink specials, great food."
832 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-268-2228
Booze Brag: Drink menu changes seasonally, offering a unique variety of crafted cocktails.
In Their Own Words: "We are a high-energy dance club, with additional offerings such as karaoke, Texas Hold 'Em and dining."
6194 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-277-8251, HighlanderUtah.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drink is the Fireball, and all the drink prices are very reasonable.
In Their Own Words: "Best karaoke in the state."
Hog Wallow Pub
3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-733-5567, TheHogWallow.com
Booze Brag: The Horny Hog (chilled Hornitos tequila, cinnamon, sugared orange).
In Their Own Words: "A laid-back neighborhood bar."
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
2400 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-438-8300, TheHuddleSportsBar.com
Booze Brag: The Bubblegum Mind Eraser.
In Their Own Words: "Best place in Utah to watch sports."
The Huka Bar & Grill
151 E. 6100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-281-4852, TheHukaBar.com
Booze Brag: Specialty cocktails include the Coronarita (a margarita with a bottle of Corona) the Bob Marley and the Caramel Apple.
In Their Own Words: "We have the hottest staff in town, a relaxed, chill environment, and in the evening, become a full-on nightclub."
Johnny's on Second
165 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-3334, JohnnysOnSecond.com
Booze Brag: The $4 shot and a beer, which is Canadian Host whiskey and a pint of Blue Moon, Third Shift or Coors Light.
In Their Own Words: "Seven days, seven reasons."
30 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-322-0318, JuniorsTavern.com
4700 S. 900 East, No. 6, Salt Lake City, 801-268-3294, TheLeprechaunInn.com
Booze Brag: Cold beer served in frosty mug.
In Their Own Words: "An icon in Murray; been here for 34 years. It's an unpretentious, niche neighborhood bar; anybody can walk in and feel welcome."
1249 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-5637, LiquidJoes.net
Booze Brag: $4 25-ounce steins of domestic draft beer at all times.
In Their Own Words: "Liquid Joe's is Salt Lake City's premier full-service live-music party bar."
3000 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-5597
Booze Brag: The Ruby Red (grapefruit vodka, sour mix, cranberry).
In Their Own Words: "Best for watching sports, with free pool, DJ Martin on weekends, and poker and karaoke downstairs."
Market Street Oyster Bar
2985 E. Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2020
1030 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-355-8055
22 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-8600
Booze Brag: The specialty is an ice-cold 32-ounce schooner of your favorite suds, backed by a shot (Patron, Jaeger or today's top bourbons).
In Their Own Words: "Tucked in the basement of the Historic Brownstone Building on 100 South, O'Shucks is a welcome retreat from the hustle and heat, and has been the go-to beverage option for the business community and young hipsters since 1997."
1492 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com
Booze Brag: 56 whiskeys (16 of them Irish), including some you can't get anywhere else in the state.
In Their Own Words: "The most diverse crowd for a neighborhood pub that you've ever experienced, live music, great kitchen, always something going on every night of the week."
The Point After
5445 S. 900 East, Murray, 801-266-9552, PointAfterSLC.com
Booze Brag: Extensive selection of spirits and some of the coldest beer in Utah.
In Their Own Words: "The Point After is Utah's best sports bar."
Dennis Chambers, The Tap room
The term “nice guy” doesn’t even begin to describe Dennis Chambers, bartender and owner of the Tap Room (2021 S. Windsor St., Salt Lake City, 801-484-6692, SLCTapRoom.com). He’s known for lending a hand any time he can, from finding rides for patrons who’ve had too much, to cycling in the Multiple Sclerosis 150 every year.
Chambers, a West Valley native, attended the University of Utah and studied geology, but his geomorphology career was short-lived.
“My area of specialty was hazard assessment,” Chambers says. “I was working for a consulting firm jumping into trenches, and they were paying me about $6 an hour, but I was making about $20 an hour bartending. It’s much more lucrative and much more fun.”
And so began Chambers’ 28-and-counting-year career tending bar in Salt Lake City.
“It’s dynamic and I get to shoot the bull with people,” Chambers says. “I get to meet a lot of different people from different walks of life.”
Different walks of life indeed, as one of Chambers’ craziest moments as a bartender was discovering a naked man in the bathroom washing his clothes in the sink.
“I just told him we were closing and asked him to finish his laundry and skedaddle,” Chambers says. Throwing the man out soaking wet had never even crossed his mind. “What had happened is he had thrown up on himself and thought it was a good idea to clean up before he left.”
Chambers makes a point of seeing the world through sympathetic eyes, so while he acknowledges that Utah’s liquor laws can be restrictive and confusing, he’s quick to support the DABC, which, he says, doesn’t make the laws, only abides by them.
“One ounce of primary. One aggregate. No more than two vessels. Only 2.5 ounces in front of a customer.” Bartenders, Chambers says, “are almost like paralegals right now because there are so many laws we need to know.
“Someone should come up with a guide—the Utah Drinker’s Guide—for understanding drinking laws in Utah.”
Hmm. Stay tuned.