City Guide 2009 | Salt Lake After Dark 

Where to dance, where to rawk, where to tawk.

Two-thousand nine ushers in big changes—not only for our country but also for our state, where a long-debated smoking ban finally takes effect. Starting Jan. 1, local private club and tavern patrons will have to take their cigarettes outside if they want to light up. For many—especially those traveling from one of the 24 states with similar laws—the legislation is a breath of fresh air. But even those opposed to the ban can take comfort in the eclectic range of clubs that Utah has to offer, from piano bars to charming dives and stylish dance clubs. So kick up your heels and embrace the change with our handy guide to nightlife in Salt Lake City and beyond. 

5 Monkeys
A sleek, young-skewed club in the heart of older Murray, 5 Monkeys is a slice of urban class retrofitted for the ’burbs. The cozy, deceptively small entrance section of the club expands into a larger live-music/dance floor room with two levels of people-watching vantage points. The under-30 set of Murray and surrounding ’hoods tends to frequent 5 Monkeys, either to catch football or shoot pool at the front bar, rock out to live bands or take a shot at karaoke stardom around the “L” turn. Bands at 5 Monkeys range from the rock, metal, reggae, blues and roots variety on weekends, with karaoke holding down Sundays and Wednesdays, and DJ XXXMan’s hip-hop Ladies’ Night Thursdays. 7 E. 4800 South, Murray, 801-266-1885, MySpace.com/5MonkeysUtah

A Bar Named Sue
If whiskey is your drink of choice, saddle up to A Bar Named Sue which bills itself as a Southern Americana whiskey bar. Oh sure, the joint features a full bar with plenty of other libations including 42 domestic and imported beers on tap, but with more than 50 different types of whiskey available for the taking, you might as well make it your spirit of choice for at least one night. Sue is also friendly on the wallet, with free pool, darts and Golden Tee, a free jukebox and daily food specials. Brownie points for customers who root for the Dallas Cowboys. 3928 S. Highland Dr., 801-274-5578, MySpace.com/BarNamedSue

Area 51
Since Halloween 1998, Area 51 has stuck to its guns and thrived as Salt Lake City’s premier dance club specializing in alternative, industrial, ’80s and gothic music. Warehouse-type digs include two floors with plenty of seating and an all-ages area serving non-alcoholic drinks. Rooms for 18 and 21 attract diverse, eclectic crowds—from hip young things to more mature patrons who actually saw Depeche Mode’s 101 tour. Tuesday through Saturday, Area 51 prides itself in playing five nights of music that you might not hear elsewhere. That means more new-wave, less Top 40. 451 S. 400 West, 801-534-0819, Area51SLC.com


WHAT ARE YOU IN THE MOOD FOR?
Dancing
W Lounge, Area 51, Harry O’s, Trapp Door, Hotel/Elevate, Studio 600

Hooking-Up
Hotel/Elevate, Green Street, Habits, Sky Bar, Port O’ Call

Live Music
Urban Lounge, Bar Deluxe, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Depot, Brewskis, Club Vegas, Liquid Joe’s

Specialty/Something Different
Westerner, Karamba, Huka, Tavernacle, Keys On Main, Zanzibar, Bayou

Hang Out/Chill
Juniors, Cheers to You, Jackalope, Republican, Twilite Lounge, Woodshed, Piper Down

Sports
Lumpys, The Point After, Club 90, Sky Box, Port O’ Call

Bar Deluxe
They’ll let you in even if you don’t have any ink—but in case you change your mind, there’s a Big Deluxe Tattoo right next door. Rockers, bikers, ink jockeys, hippies, rockabilly cats, karaoke kings, metalheads and various combos therein frequent Bar Deluxe—usually all at the same time when home-stage honeys Slippery Kittens Burlesque (as seen on America’s Got Talent) put on one of their monthly theme extravaganzas. Live gigs range from straight-up rock (The Supersuckers are frequent guests) to punk to roots-country to the occasional hip-hop show, with Sundays and Tuesdays dedicated to karaoke and Wednesdays to the hair-metal hits of the ’80s. 666 S. State, 801-521-5255, BarDeluxe666.com, MySpace.com/Egos

Burt’s Tiki Lounge
Recognized by national publications and even Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. as a classic American dive bar, Burt’s Tiki Lounge is a State Street landmark synonymous with SLC punk and Zion-underbelly sleaze (in the best way). With the hundreds of band stickers plastered up front and the adjacent tattoo shop, it’s fairly obvious that this isn’t a “tiki lounge” of the bamboo-and-fruity-drinks stripe. And don’t bother asking for “Burt,” either. You never know which vintage cartoon oddity or cult-flick obscurity will be playing on the TV screens, and only hearty few will brave Scotty’s Pickled Eggs. Musicwise, if it’s loud, you’ll hear it at Burt’s (and throughout the Sears parking lot). Punk bands from across the land make tour stops at the club, and locals are nobody until they’ve been heckled there at least once. 726 S. State, 801-521-0572, MySpace.com/BurtsTikiLounge

Cheers To You
Tucked discreetly between a sushi joint and colorful used bookstore, Cheers is as unpretentious as they come—and ideal watering hole for a post-work drink. Or two. Or five. The Gallivan Center TRAX stop is just one block away. Cheers regulars are a diverse, welcoming bunch—but for prime seating, arrive early. This is the place to commiserate with friends—and to make new ones. There’s not really room for live bands, but stop in on Friday karaoke—nothing quite like singing Heart’s “Magic Man” while dancing around stray cues from the pool tables. 315 S. Main, 801-575-6400

Club 90
Two separate bars, a banquet room and waitresses who call you “hon” are just part of this massive club’s appeal. Spacious and classy, laidback and professional, it’s no wonder Club 90 has become a bona fide institution with members returning again and again for quality food, service and friends. Arrive early for dinner (maybe lobster), stay for live music, dancing, pool and Monday Night Football. 9065 Monroe St., Sandy, 801-566-3254, Club90Utah.com

Club Vegas
Despite the name, Club Vegas is anything but flashy and glam: The color palette is black, black and more black, highlighted with a little chrome and steel. The large, unobstructed club is serious about live metal, down to the arena-esque stage and sound, and cushy (black, of course) sideline couches from which to bang your head and shout at the devil in comfort. Hard, grinding metal is Club Vegas’ forte; if your favorite label or local band has an aggressive, multisyllabic name and a pointy logo, they’ve either played here or they’re on next month’s lineup. The bar also features a long-running industrial DJ night (Der Machine Wednesdays, with Reverend 23) and, just to mix it up, comedy and swing-dance nights. 445 S. 400 West, 84101, 801-364-8347, MySpace.com/ClubVegasRocks

The Depot
Not so much a club as a first-class concert venue that happens to have a couple of bars, The Depot is Utah’s singular answer to the House of Blues chain. The four-story wonder has hosted everyone from Chris Isaak and Clutch to M.I.A. and the Wu-Tang Clan, and never had an off-night for sound and presentation. Taking it all in, some touring rock bands have been known to mutter, “This place seems a little too nice for us.” 400 W. South Temple, 801-456-2800, DepotSLC.com

Green Street
A decades-old institution, Green is located in historic Trolley Square just doors down from its original location (now home to the Hard Rock Café). It features a sprawling layout with both upstairs and downstairs bars that helps ward off claustrophobia when the popular private club fills up on the weekends. Acoustic acts perform in the dining room—and occasionally take requests—on the weekends, while resident DJs pump up the volume upstairs with a mix of Top 40, hip-hop and dance music. Green also features a full kitchen. 602 E. 500 South, 801-532-4200, GreenStreetSLC.com

Habits
If you’re of an age/mindset where “amateur nights” and “bootie-shakin’ contests” hold as much interest as the latest Britney single, South Salt Lake’s Habits is the alternative for you. The large, upscale dance-and-dinner club doesn’t equate “class” and “style” with “senior” and “citizen,” however; the crowds at Habits are young, hot and discerning. The average Habits-goer could be there any night of the week (except Sundays) either for dancing, drinks, TV sports or the surprisingly excellent lunch/dinner menus. The music is a Top-40 audio/video mix with special ’80s and karaoke nights, but Habits’ claim to local fame is their Tuesday Ladies Night, which is all about $5 martini specials and, yes, pole-dancing tutorials. 832 E. 3900 South, 801-268-2228, ClubHabits.com

Harry O’s
In its three years operating as the “world famous” Harry O’s, this downtown Park City institution has gained a reputation as the place to see and be seen, especially during Sundance when high-profile celebrities show up to party. Dress to the nines to hold your own against the usual eye candy spicing up the already impressive, upscale digs. Keep an eye on the calendar for a list of upcoming shows. Previous headliners include 50 Cent, Matisyahu, Nas and other top touring acts. 427 Main, Park City, 435-655-7579, Harryos-PC.com

The Hog Wallow Pub
The Hog Wallow Pub has evolved a great deal from its origins as a funky, rough-&-tumble biker bar—these days you’re more likely to find middle-managers unwinding after a day at a nearby office park. Its woody, log-cabin décor is warm and welcoming but, despite its yuppie expansion—including a spacious, multilevel patio—it’s sometimes possible to catch a nostalgic whiff of the diehard bikers. Live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday features mostly local bands, tending toward bluegrass, funk, acoustic rock, ska and reggae. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, 733-5567, TheHogWallow.com

Hotel/Club Elevate
This upscale, two-story dance club offers exclusive VIP services, plush rooms and a booming sound system with weekly parties hosted by DJs Sayo and Juggy on the ones and twos. Dress to impress and consider taking a limo to one of the best hook-up scenes in town. Expect to find hot young urban professionals and college students bumping and grinding to Top 40, hip-hop and electronic music. Hotel/Elevate also host live touring acts including 2008 headliners Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Richard Vission and DJ Scotty Boy. 155 W. 200 South, 801-478-4310, MySpace.com/HotelElevate.com

The Huka Bar
There’s no employee gallery at the front door emblazoned with “Must be this hot to enter,” and there’s no need: If you’re looking for the pretty people, they’re wearing the nametags and the hand stamps at Murray’s wildly popular Huka Bar. Utah’s new no-smoking-in-clubs law may or may not make sucking on natural-tobacco hookahs a crime, but that’s only part of the club’s appeal—even if it is the country’s largest hookah bar, and easily the best-smelling venue in the state. The music at The Huka Bar is also part of the ambience, not the main attraction: Local alt-rock and reggae bands and DJs keep it to conversational levels, and specialty theme nights almost outnumber “regular” nights. 151 E. 6100 South, Murray, 801-281-4852, MySpace.com/TheHukaBar

In the Venue/Club Sound
In the Venue and Club Sound share an address, some wall space and one well-stocked bar, but they routinely host completely separate shows so if you think one ticket guarantees all access, think again. Demographics vary depending on the lineup. Friday nights the club opens at 10 for 18 dancing. Promoters bring in a wide range of impressive touring and local bands, including TV on the Radio, Wolf Parade, Liars, Interpol, P.O.S., Fleet Foxes, Calexico and Rancid. Come down before the main event and grab dinner at Hong Kong Tea House serving the best dim sum in town. 219 S. 600 West, MySpace.com/InTheVenue

Jackalope Lounge
Grab your skateboard and cruise down to Jackalope for a night of drinking, dancing and action sports TV. The State Street gem is popular among the young and the restless with regulars sporting tattoos and war wounds from various outdoor adventures. Jackalope is roomy, clean and inviting, with unpretentious bartenders who keep it real whether you order PBR or some fancy-schmancy cocktail. Pair your beverage with a bomb quesadilla off the kickass kitchen’s menu. 372 S. State, 801-359-8054, MySpace.com/TheJerkalope

The Jam
A welcome addition to Salt Lake City’s Marmalade District, The Jam is gay bar offering residents of the neighborhood as well as nonlocals a place to dance, drink or just kick back seven nights a week. While still relatively new on the block, the club’s ambience —a unique blend of casual and classy with a layout that’s more Manhattan loft than generic nightclub— has quickly attracted a loyal, diverse clientele. The Jam hosts a rotating cast of weekly DJs Tuesdays through Saturdays with occasional live performances tossed in for good measure. Stop in for a drink and a bite to eat—edamame is the new peanut. 751 N. 300 West, 801-891-1162, JamSLC.com

Johnny’s on Second
Five pool tables, seven TVs, more than two dozen beers and some of the best pizzas available in the downtown area—Johnny’s on Second is far more entertaining than its straight name implies, and it’s open every day and night of the week. The Johnny’s crowd isn’t easily pegged: Pool sharks, urban execs, poker players, college kids, Internet surfers, dancers looking to rock and rockers out to dance. Local alt- and roots-rock bands hold down the front-window stage on Saturdays and Wednesdays; DJs on Fridays and Tuesdays. 165 E. 200 South, 801-746-3334, JohnnysOnSecond.com

Junior’s Tavern
Junior’s started out as a gathering place for jazz and blues musicians. Now ad execs, journalists, crusty historians and college students are among the regulars. This is not a place to see and be seen, but to get away from it all. Be sure to get to know your bartenders, especially owner Greg Arratta. Check out the board—or Website—for daily specials. And, if you get hungry, order from the neighboring Esther’s for burgers and fries that’ll be brought straight to your Junior’s table. 30 E. 300 South, 801-322-0318, JuniorsTavern.com

Keys On Main
Conveniently located right off the Main Street TRAX stop, Keys on Main is a spacious, classy piano bar that’s perfect for an after-work cocktail followed by an evening of lively music and dancing. Weekend evenings tend to attract a younger crowd dressed for a night on the town. Dueling pianos provide the soundtrack and main attraction. 242 S. Main, 801-363-3638, MySpace.com/KeysOnMain

Kristauf’s
Appreciate a proper gin or vodka martini? You’ll fit right in at Kristauf’s. Besides the classics, Kristauf’s offers a wide range of specialty drinks—more than 80 varieties—including the dangerously smooth coffee martini. This is one classy place to unwind after work/before dinner, or to let loose at night when resident DJs heat things up Fridays, Saturdays and Wednesdays. 16 W. Market St., 801- 366-9490, MartiniBarSLC.com

Liquid Joe’s
Aside from some remodeling and expanding over the years, Liquid Joe’s is a rock club that’s changed little since its inception in the ’90s—if it ain’t broke, you know the rest. Wednesdays and Fridays belong to local-music fans, who’ve been cheering on waves of alternative-rock bands (including recent major-label signees Royal Bliss, who cut their teeth here) since the club’s beginnings; Thursdays and Saturdays are for the party animals who can’t get enough of out-of-town novelty acts The Metal Gods and The Spazmatics, both of whom have been packing the joint for years. 1249 E. 3300 South, 801-467-5637, LiquidJoes.net

Lumpy’s Downtown
When major sports events turn your loved ones into hermits, get them out of the house and into Lumpy’s where big-screen TVs capture every touchdown, home run and three-pointer of the season. Sports junkies, college students, and dancing queens head upstairs to groove to weekend DJs. Hungry? Voted “Best Bar Grub” by City Weekly, Lumpy’s kitchen delivers gourmet entrees, heart-healthy salads and, of course, deep-fried guilty-pleasure appetizers. 145 W. Pierpont Ave., 801-938-3070, LumpysDowntown.com

Monk’s
It was once a House of Jazz, but the basement bar of Monk’s evolved into a haven for underground (literally) music of other, edgier flavors. The club’s vibe hovers between classic old-school lounge and straight-up dive with several separate rooms in which to be seen or never spotted at all. Monday is the local reggae night to beat, hosted by Babylon Down and sometimes busier than the weekends, and Saturday’s karaoke has been a Monk’s staple for even longer. The rest of the week is all about live indie hip-hop and rock, and the club’s fabled vegan pizzas. 19 E. 200 South, 801-350-0950, MySpace.com/MonksHouseOfJazz

Oscar’s
If it’s game day at Oscar’s, you better believe the club is filled with a sea of red-clad fans supporting the University of Utah’s athletic teams. A great bar to watch sports, this laidback establishment also prides itself on offering a bit of everything for everyone, from dancing to playing Texas Hold ‘Em. So go ahead—loosen your tie, grab a drink, kick back or kick up your heels. 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222, MySpace.com/OscarsSocialClub

Orange
While a bar, Orange doubles as an art space/musical venue showcasing an eclectic range of musical genres, from experimental electronic grooves to reggae, jazz, rock and hip-hop. Look for the citrus-colored building with a funky sign. Inside, look for owner Lance Edwards, who often dresses in an orange jumpsuit. Don’t be scared by the eccentric wardrobe. Edwards takes good care of his customers. Orange is, after all, a labor of love. 533 W. 500 South, 801-433-3399

Pat’s Barbecue
Located just a few blocks from a strictly vegan café, Pat’s Barbecue is primarily a Southern-comfort food joint serving finger-licking good eats, but the club also caters to music lovers who prefer meals with some good old fashioned blues. Pat’s recently expanded to include Howie’s Hall, a backroom with a permanent stage and seating for up to 80 people. The Legendary Porch Pounders, Roby Kap, Jaded and Paul Thorn have appeared onstage, along with other blues, bluegrass, folk and acoustic rock acts. Shows typically start around 7:30, so arrive early for prime seating. Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stopped by in 2008 to include Pat’s in its Utah coverage. Now the popular local joint is Guy Fieri-approved! 155 W. Commonwealth Ave (2125 South), PatsBBQ.com

Piper Down
It’s not the only Irish-themed club in Salt Lake City, but Piper Down (subtitled “An Olde World Pub”) is easily the best-known and busiest. Beyond Guinness, whiskeys, warm décor and the occasional dude in a kilt, Piper Down also serves above-average pub food and features live Celtic and not-so-Celtic music Thursdays with live bands that aren’t strictly about Irish jigs; roots-rock and alt-country groups also take the stage. Wednesdays and Sundays, karaoke (or Kerry O’Kee) reverberates off the pub’s brick walls. 1492 S. State, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com

Point After
Armchair quarterbacks get your forearms ready—you’ll curl plenty of pints at this suburban sports bar. The spacious club really fills up on game nights, with patrons following major- and minor-league action on wide-screen TVs complemented by the sweet taste of lager and grease. Work off the fried fare with a bracing round of billiards. 5445 S. 900 East, Murray, 801-266-9552

Port O’ Call NOW CLOSED
Port O’ Call is a huge draw for a people who like to dance, watch sports, eat and socialize. Sadly, the federal government wants to expand a courthouse onto the space currently occupied by the bar. A challenge is ensuing and the future of the bar is uncertain. As long as there is a Port O’ Call, though, you’ve got three floors upon which to dance, cheer on your favorite athletes, listen to live music or grab some brews and burgers. Nights fill up with younger party people on the prowl for a hook-up. DJs throw down on Friday nights and local bands play live on Saturdays. So party like it’s 2009, already. 78 W. 400 South, 801-521-0589 PortOCall.com

Poplar Street Pub
Poplar Street Pub is a relatively new fixture on a block of popular downtown restaurants and is the perfect place for servers, chefs, bussers and other wait staff to head after work. Poplar’s kitchen stays open late and its menu features gourmet, mostly organic and local fare. Expect a laid-back sandals-and-jeans crowd out for a good time, all the time. The pub is surprisingly spacious, with a large patio that’s especially inviting on summer nights. 242 S. 200 West, 801-532-2715

Red Door
Red Door’s extensive menu reads like a novella with a cocktail plot. Chapters include drinks shaken, stirred, sweet, salty, traditional and highly adventurous (hello electric blue liquid!). Pick and choose a few potent drinks to your liking, then slip into obscurity into one of the cozy nooks—table or couch—and ponder Che Guevera’s legacy. It’s hard not to with the former dictator’s mug staring down from a mural on the wall. 57 W. 200 South, 801-363-6030

Republican
Get your soccer, or futbol, fix at one of SLC’s only Irish pubs. Saddle up to the long, narrow bar & make friends over a pint of Guinness. Challenge them to a game of shuffleboard or pool. To better blend in, try wearing a black hoodie and wool cap. 917 S. State, 801-595-1916

Saints & Sinners
Hookahs, DJs and dancing downstairs; a sports bar and a patio overlooking State Street upstairs—Saints & Sinners packs a lot of club into a modest space. The cozy red-velvet hookah lounge works for smaller gatherings and parties, while DJ Celly Cel and others spin slammin’ hip-hop on the south end. On the S&S second floor, it’s all about big screens, foosball, pool tables and videogames. 3040 S. State, 801-604-0869, MySpace.com/SaintsAndSinnersPub

Star Bar
Located in the heart of Park City’s Main Street, the Star Bar is a central meeting ground for locals who love live music. The club recently shifted its emphasis to spotlight homegrown talent, with bands from Park City to Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City making appearances on the below-ground venue’s intimate stage. Touring acts also stop here, and audience members can expect to experience them through a pristine sound system. Star Bar is home to Park City’s only reggae night. Check the Website for a complete schedule of events. 268 Main, Park City, 435-658-5709, MySpace.com/StarBarPC

Studio 600
Remember Studio 54? Studio 600 is pretty much the opposite of the famed, ill-fated New York City nightclub whose ’70s heyday and subsequent closure helped sum up the disco era. Studio 600 is more clean-cut and offers clientele a broader soundtrack for the weekends. The all-ages club does not serve alcohol but hosts live music performances, mid-singles dances, comedy nights and other diversions for a crowd that will probably never spend time in prison for tax evasion or cocaine possession. 600 S. 26 East, 801-355-9860, MyStudio600.com

Sky Bar
This classy club is located in a downtown Red Lion Hotel, 13 lucky floors up. With its breathtaking views of Salt Lake City and elegant interior, Sky Bar is a smart selection for your next date. Wine and dine him or her with a gourmet menu and candlelit serenades. Later, take a spin on the dance floor, getting down to Top 40 and hip-hop on the weekends, Latin music on Thursdays and all-request hits on Mondays. Sing it loud and proud to Entourage karaoke on Tuesdays. With highs like these, you won’t want to come down. 161 W. 600 South, 801-530-1313, SkyBarSLC.com

The Tavernacle
Located within walking distance of TRAX, this classy neighborhood piano bar offers a nice change of pace from your typical night on the town. In its brief six years, Tavernacle has established a strong following among a diverse crowd (college students, baby boomers, jazz aficionados) and tends to fill up quickly. Call ahead or jump online and make a reservation—and don’t flake: seats will be given away if guests haven’t arrived by 9 p.m. One you’re in, sit back and enjoy a lively dueling-piano performance five nights a week. Demonstrate your own skills with karaoke on Sundays and Tuesdays. 201 E. 300 South, 801-519-8900, Tavernacle.com

The Trapp
The Trapp’s opening coincided with the gay line-dancing fad of the early 1990s, and to this day, it has maintained the air of a country-western bar. It’s got two bars, front and back, and a patio that’s pleasant in nice weather. Just about everybody ends up here sooner or later—even straight folks. Here, you might encounter a bi-curious construction worker playing pool with a Latina drag queen. On weekends, the music stays heavy on the country-rock, although the DJ is likely to spin anything from ’60s do-wop to ’80s dance music. Other nights, a jukebox provides standard gay-bar disco, rock and pop standards. Monday-night karaoke gives the jukebox a break and attracts its own separate clique, some of whom take it seriously. The music is turned off at the front bar during televised U football games, Jazz basketball games and American Idol—all of which can get equally rowdy. 102 S. 600 West, 801-531-8727

Trapp Door
Located directly adjacent to The Trapp, the Trapp Door caters to a younger crowd, particularly kids who like to get down to Peaches, MSTKRFT and other hot electro-clash/punk and other indie artists. The hip club also hosts live local and, occasionally, touring acts though the emphasis always remains on the shaking of booties. It’s so hot, in both senses of the word. 615 W. 100 South, 801-533-0173, MySpace.com/Trapp_Door

Twilite Lounge
There’s something very reassuring about this quaint dive nestled between a police station and a Crown Burger. Perhaps it’s the soft dim lighting that gives you that welcoming, warm-fuzzy feel, like celebrating a wino’s Christmas. Expect to find college kids, working class folks, the after-the-concert crowd of young hipsters rubbing shoulders with veteran bar flies like Grizzly Dan and others, make for a bar that any could call home. The soundtrack to the lounge is a jukebox stocked with an eclectic mix that runs the gamut from Hank Williams I to Tool, AC/DC to John Lee Hooker—and it’s free! The Twilite doesn’t do credit—so bring some bills and you’ll be well taken care of. 347 E. 200 South, 801-532-9400

The Urban Lounge
What this Salt Lake City live-music venue lacks in curb appeal, it more than makes up for in ear candy, with big-name talent popping up on the marquee. The club’s promoters consistently book impressive musical acts, from national bands—Peaches, Girl Talk, Liars, Stephen Malkmus, Silver Jews, GZA, Shearwater, etc.—to local artists, some of whom take over the joint to host weekly reggae or chill-out rock nights. The crowd varies from hip young urbanites sporting the latest in ’80s clothing to audiophile grad students, heavily tattooed rockers and Gram Parsons-obsessed types. The Urban Lounge is located next door to an Italian restaurant and never opens before 10 p.m. The early bird will wait outside. 241 S. 500 East, 801-746-0557, MySpace.com/TheUrbanLounge

W Lounge
This downtown private club proudly proclaims itself to be the indie hot spot, and it’s true. Party people dance to DJs throwing down the type of tracks you won’t hear at just any nightclub: plenty of electro, new-wave, Britpop, garage, house, break beats and other fresh tracks. Check the Website for updated theme nights. Did we mention W was one of the first private clubs to pioneer a smoke-free environment complete with smoke-friendly patio? Yeah, your visiting New York City friends should feel right at home. 358 S. West Temple, 801-359-0637, MySpace.com/WLounge

Westerner Club
Salt Lake City’s premier country-western bar is a place where Wrangler jeans are more a statement of function than fashion. Urban cowboys and cowgirls pack the joint on weekends for music and line-dancing, but it’s just as fun for city folk that need a break from the norm—or a moment in the spotlight singing karaoke. 3360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-972-5447, MySpace.com/The_Westerner

The Woodshed
With the largest bar patio in downtown Salt Lake City, The Woodshed also has an intimate interior and cheap drinks, and hosts live music and karaoke several night of the week. The live music schedule takes in rock, blues, punk, country, jam bands and more four nights a week, with Wednesdays dedicated to the timeless art of karaoke. New in 2009 is The Woodshed Sandwich Shop—no more relying on State Street taco carts for munchies to go with that beer. 60 E. 800 South, 801-364-0805, MySpace.com/TheWoodshedSLC

Zanzibar
Salt Lake City’s last jazz club standing also features blues and other classic American forms of music, but the décor and vibe of Zanzibar screams (whispers, actually) pure bebop cool. The intimate club—holds no more than 100—serves appropriately swanky cocktails and appetizers to go with the six-nights-a-week live music, played by some of the state’s best-known jazz and blues vets as well as up-and-comers. 677 S. 200 West, 801-746-0590, ZanzibarSLC.com

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