Coldest Beer & Bar Guide 2012 

Cool clubs, cooler brews

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Cocktails & Specialty Drinks


Open since 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed, Bar-X survived for decades as a beer-only man cave. The new Bar-X has an ethos encapsulated in the true cocktail, like Old Fashioneds and other pre-Prohibition drinks. The bar also specializes in local musicians, especially jazz musicians like the Joshua Payne Trio, which plays Sunday nights. Bar X’s seriously dark interior exudes a lavish Roaring ‘20s aesthetic—the exclusive “speakeasy back room” furthers the theme with a private bar, muted lighting and an iron-gated patio to keep out the prohibitionists. 155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287,


Salt Lake City’s first martini bar offers a cozy atmosphere that is especially attractive to stylish and hip patrons. Sit in one of the black-leather couches surrounded by Vettriano paintings and sip on one of the 80 specialty martinis served at Kristauf’s during a quiet weekday night. Or, come in on the weekends and dance to the live DJ. Kristauf’s has partnered with Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery so you can now order home-style Italian pizza and pasta dishes off the menu that will be delivered to the bar. 16 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-366-9490,

Kristauf’s Holladay

Just like its older sibling downtown, this East Bench Kristauf’s location offers an elegantly casual environment that’s part neighborhood bar and part nightcap spot, conveniently located next door to Trio restaurant. The specialty of the house is the martini, as evidenced by a menu featuring scores of specialty versions of the classic cocktail. Settle in to a comfy indoor booth, or enjoy the shaded patio, with a special summer menu. 6405 S. 3000 East, Holladay, 801-943-1696,

Market Street Oyster Bar

This social club provides a fine dinner, plus any drink of choice—and has done so brilliantly for a few decades now. The late-’50s-style oyster bar connects to the adjacent Market Street Grill, and their shared kitchen offers a variety of seafood and grill entrees. Enjoy old-fashioned classic cocktails and seasonal martinis, served by a “customer comes first” wait staff. The mirrored walls expand the small space so it always feels like you’re in the middle of an especially swanky full house. 54 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-531-6044,

Club 48

The “48” of Club 48 could be for its location on 4800 South. But then it could also be for one of its 48 (forty-eight!) signature cocktails. Every bartender who has slung a beverage in this Murray landmark has been honored with his or her own signature cocktail. Club 48 also hosts the Harley Mountain Ride on the second Sunday of the month, followed by a $4 barbecue burger cookout. If you don’t have a hog, they have free pool every Sunday. 16 W. 4800 South, Murray, 801-262-7555

click to enlarge club48_markmcphee.jpg

Club 48

The Red Door

You get a sense for the target clientele just by looking at the martini menu—a 46-drink list of wild, creative indulgences from mild to “high-octane,” and bearing scrumptious-sounding titles like Carrot Cake and Butterscotch Sundae. Summer specialty fruit cocktails kick things up another notch at this place with intimate tables, casual conversation and weekend music (Friday night DJ and Saturday night live jazz). 57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030,

The Tap Room

This is Sugar House’s basement bar with true cocktails and a full menu (burgers, dogs, paninis). It’s still tiny, but there’s a killer patio enclosed in six-foot wrought-iron fencing and, in the summer months, it makes for a perfect afternoon and evening lounging spot with the overhanging trees. The Tap Room likes to mix it up with obscure margaritas (like cucumber mango), and you can get a shot of King Louis XIII liqueur for $111. Or maybe you’d just like a can of good ol’ Hamm’s, which the Tap Room special-ordered just for you. 2275 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-466-0974

The Vault [Bambara Bar]

Adjacent to Hotel Monaco’s Bambara restaurant, this beautiful bar’s name refers to the building’s early days as a bank. With its marble bar, high ceilings, polished furniture and courteous, expert barkeepers, stepping into The Vault feels like stepping into one of the glamorous, sophisticated bars featured in Mad Men. But don’t let that give you the impression you can’t relax: The atmosphere is casual and intimate. So, order Hawaiian tombo tuna tartare, blue-cheese potato chips or a local cheese plate off the mouth-watering menu and kick back after a long day at the office. 202 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-5454,


Partnered with the equally stylish Vuz restaurant is a classy lounge with a quiet, laid-back feel. But where most nightspots swing hardest on the weekends, Vuda becomes the South Valley’s liveliest spot on Wednesdays, when the club hosts a weekly DJ and dancing benefit for Primary Children’s Hospital. Whether you’re there to hang with the Draper glitterati or spend a quiet evening tucked away in a comfy booth, you’re in the right spot. 12234 Draper Gate Drive, Draper, 801-617-8600,

Beer & Brew Pubs

The Bayou

With a massive beer menu that boasts 300 or so beers from across the globe, The Bayou is one of Utah’s greatest haunts for beer fanatics. And its reputation goes beyond beer: The full lunch and dinner menu of creative Cajun dishes is a hit seven days a week. On weekend nights, the tables and stools fill to capacity even faster when the club hosts local and regional jazz acts for intimate performances. 645 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-961-8400,

Beerhive Pub

If your find yourself in serious need of oodles of beer, Beerhive Pub is your place, with more than 200 beers available. Local breweries represented include Uinta, Epic, Squatters and more, and if you’re looking for an obscure beer, chances are you can find it at this beer-lovers’ haven. Take a seat at the bar, where the famous frosted rail will keep your drink icy cold, or step out onto the sidewalk patio with your friends and enjoy the hustle and bustle of downtown. And don’t miss out on pub-food favorites such as the Beer Hive burger, cheese fries and nachos. 128 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4268

Desert Edge Brewery

With enough space for big groups, including a gorgeous patio, Desert Edge Brewery is the place for hand-crafted brew and food to share with friends or family. As one of the Pub Group Restaurants (which includes Martine, Stella and Red Butte Cafe), you know the emphasis here is on local, innovative fare. Desert Edge is an all-ages establishment to round out a Trolley Square shopping excursion. 273 Trolley Square, 801-521-8917,

The Deerhunter Pub

Probably the best-kept secret in Utah County, the Deerhunter Pub has live music every Friday and Saturday (with bands playing on the back patio if weather permits), karaoke every Sunday and boasts a selection of over 45 beers. This cowboy bar is for the true beer connoisseur or for anyone looking for a casual, laid-back place to drink. 2000 North 300 West, Spanish Fork, 801-798-8582,

Hoppers Bar & Grill

It’s always great to discover a brewery that can make a great house black & tan. Hoppers has you covered with the Madame X Stout layered over the Pale Morning Ale. Or perhaps try one of the regular rotations of seasonal brews. You can also feel really good about Hoppers’ Orange Honey Wheat beer—it makes ordering a pitcher at brunch seem classy and helps you wash down the country-gravy-covered “surprise on a shingle.” 890 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-566-0424,

Red Rock Brewing Company

Award-winning locally made beers—from standards like the hefeweizen and oatmeal stout to high-point beers—are only part of the reason to drop by. Enjoy lunch or dinner from a menu ranging from sandwiches to seafood specials; on a perfect day, the front patio allows a wonderful downtown Salt Lake City street-front vibe. Or if downtown isn’t on your itinerary, there are always the locations in Murray at Fashion Place Mall, and Kimball Junction (approaching Park City). 254 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7446,

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