BEST IRISH CAR BOMB
If you’re a red-headed, soccer-loving, green-wearing, Guinness-drinking S.O.B., then odds are you’re already well-versed in the intricate planning and deft skills that go into making the perfect Irish car bomb. For the rest of us, Piper Down can serve them up instead—one part stout, one part whiskey, one part Irish cream and at least five parts of the night will be forgotten. You’d better drink the whole thing in one gulp, though. Sissy.
1492 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com
BEST BEER SELECTION The Bayou
We were going to retire this category … but we forgot. Insert joke about having too many pints and spacing out here. With more than 240 beers—most of which are rescued from the warm prison of the State Liquor Store via several van trips per week—on the menu, there’s no beating The Bayou in quantity or quality. So instead of waxing on about the brews from Aventinus Doppelbock to Westmalle Triple Ale (and good ol’ PBR in the middle), we’ll recognize the chalkboard talents of Bayou server/artist in residence Tracy Wright; those are her colorful, impressively detailed renderings above the bar. 645 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-961-8400, UtahBayou.com
3. Red Rock Brewing Co.
BEST IN-THEATER MOVIE CRITIC
Scott Farley, Brewvies
Former poet and film projectionist Scott Farley joined Brewvies when it opened back in 1997. In the ensuing years he’s become the star attraction of that hallowed beer hall-cum-cinema-cum-greasy spoon. Farley’s honeyed tones—think Hal on 2001: A Space Odyssey with a more pronounced edge in sarcasm—bedazzle patrons as he opines on what pizza or beer to choose. Ring up Brewvies and listen to his reviews of the movies they are currently showing and his true genius emerges. His rambling monologues with their drier-than-dry wit take no prisoners when it comes to a dud flick. Much like Brewvies, Farley’s a true diamond in the rough. Why he doesn’t have his own radio show is beyond us.
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-5500, Brewvies.com
BEST BOWLING ALLEY Fat Cats Bowling
While lacking in the old-school flavor and hint of grime that “real” bowlers crave, Fat Cats Bowling is a neon-splashed fun zone for kiddies, teens and parents who haven’t memorized the 1970 King Louie Open on ESPN Classic. A plethora of arcade games and the presence of The Pizza Factory add to/detract from the 10-pin business, but this review from Grandparents.com sums it all up: “At Fat Cats, the experience includes flashing lights, disco music, fog machines and the magic of black light making everything glow.” See? Magic! Multiple locations, FatCatsFun.com
2. Bonwood Bowl
3. Ritz Classic Lanes
BEST HUKA HOTNESS
The Huka Bar & Grill
There’s no politically correct way to say it: The Huka Bar & Grill has the hottest collection of bartenders and servers along the Wasatch. Understandably, the club isn’t shy in the least about promoting this phenomenon, which could be part of the reason that pretty much every night is like a Friday night at this Murray nightclub. And it’s not just the female employees, but … OK, it’s mostly the female employees—sorry, dudes. You might also come for the food, the music and the hookahs—but the hotness is legendary; it’s not like we’re exposing a well-kept secret here.
151 E. 6100 South, Murray, 801-281-9665, TheHukaBar.com
BEST COCKTAILS The Red Door
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—and sometimes you want to hobnob with the pretty people. When the corner dive bar just isn’t cutting it, step it up with a night at the Red Door. Smoke-free, backlit and cool as ice, the stylish downtown private club is the alcohol-soaked equivalent to a tony day spa. Treat yourself to colorful, flavored concoctions like the classic Cosmopolitan, scary-blue Antifeeze and the deceptively harmless saketini. Or just stick to the potent, straight-up martini. Two olives. 57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030, BehindTheRedDoor.com
2. Area 51
3. Kristauf’s Martini Bar
BEST O-TOWN ROADHOUSE
All apologies to Patrick Swayze’s Double Deuce, but there’s nowhere to knock back a few and blow off some steam on a Friday night like Ogden’s Brewskis, a Bud-stoked melting pot of rockers, hipsters, sportos, bikers, college folk, military personnel, blue-collar Joes, himbos and hoochies young and old. Essentially two neighborhood sports pubs with a rock & roll joint right in the middle, Brewskis also serves up the self-proclaimed (and rightfully so) “best damn pizza in town,” among other killer kitchen items. Just remember Rule No. 3: Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.
244 25th St., Ogden, 801-394-1713, BrewskisOnline.net n
BEST CLASSY LADIES’ NIGHT
The term “ladies’ night” sometimes suggests a creepy vibe, especially when coupled with other club standards like “wet T-shirt contest!” and “$2 Brain Fuckers.” Habits, last year’s Best New Club victor, knows how to treat a woman: Martini specials, chocolate-dipped strawberries, free portrait photos and, of course, no cover. Sundays and Mondays at Habits belong to the football-and-steak-lovin’ dudes, but Tuesday (and, arguably, the rest of the week) is for the ladies.
832 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-268-2228, ClubHabits.com
BEST DIVE BAR
Burt’s Tiki Lounge
How long can Burt’s Tiki Lounge coast on that 2004 Stuff Magazine award as one of the Best Dive Bars in America? We’re predicting the response would go something like, “Shut the fuck up and drink your damned beer!” Besides, Stuff is long-defunct and Burt’s is still a State Street institution after 16 years—no coasting here. But, of all the punks and drunks who frequent the club to be blasted with some of the best (and, equally fun, worst) bands and karaoke criminals SLC has to offer, how many dare try bartender Scotty’s “Famous Pickled Eggs”? Take the challenge.
726 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0572, MySpace.com/BurtsTikiLounge
2. Twilite Lounge
3. Broken Record n