I hadn't been close to a regular since I was a U student downing Coors Light tankards there, but I was as bummed as anyone when the landlord forced out the long-time owners of Bar-X last year.
I rallied with a bunch of friends to have a last tankard (or three) one of Bar-X's last nights open, expecting that I wouldn't set foot in the joint again any time soon. Then came word that a group of friends including Chalk Garden/JMR's Jeff Barnard, Modern Family actor Ty Burrell and his brother, among others, had struck a deal with the same landlord to open a "new" Bar-X in the spot that, no matter who the owner was, has housed the oldest bar in Salt Lake City for decades.
Last week Barnard and Co. let me in to check out the place, and I'm happy to report that the new owners kept a lot of Bar-X's interior intact, from the wagon wheel light fixtures to the long wooden bar. The woody walls have been de-posterized, and small tables and chairs will be replacing the pool tables. And while specialty cocktails might become the calling card of the new Bar-X, I was personally happy to see cases of 24-oz PBRs being rolled in while I was there, along with Olympia cans. As Barnard and his partners on hand emphasized to me, they don't want their version of the venerable joint known simply as a swanky hang; they want it to be as welcoming as any bar in town.
While there will be an "official" grand opening at the end of the month, you can check out the new Bar-X starting Saturday, when the bar's "soft opening" begins. I'll be curious to hear what people think.
As for things to do this weekend, consider the Far East Movement show at The Complex on Friday night, or the slate of female comedians taking over the Egyptian Theatre in Park City.
Saturday, Cowboy Mouth will bring its New Orleans rock to The Urban Lounge, while Canadian folkies Crash Test Dummies headline at the Eccles Center in Park City. Plan-B Theater's Student Slam is a fine option Saturday for the theatrically inclined. Z-Trip headlines a show Downstairs in Park City, while the SLUG Games get going at Park City Mountain Resort--a perfect preamble to that Z-Trip gig!
On Sunday, John Flanders and Double Helix celebrate the release of their new album at Park City's Egyptian Theatre, while up the road, half of the most successful duo in pop history, John Oates, headlines a show at Cisero's.