Tourists looking to sample a little Salt Lake City nightlife may come away with the sense that there are few music venues here, since the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance’s recently published “Do Downtown” guide neglects to list hotspots like Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, and Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State. (According to the alliance’s color-coded map, “downtown” ends at 300 East and 500 South; beyond, there lie dragons.)
The guide is exceptionally thorough at covering lounges within its stated bounds, however—going so far as to include Radio City Lounge, 147 S. State. The RC, once said to be the oldest continually operating gay bar west of the Mississippi, has since devolved into the kind of sketchy dive not normally recommended to tourists. The problem, actually, is that not enough homosexuals go there anymore.
For a real tourist attraction, management should cash in on the tavern’s historical interest, restoring the RC to its original red-velvet and gold-lamé glory. Floor-show re-enactments of the frequent 1960s anti-gay “vice raids” by leather-clad “cops” could be staged twice nightly; violators would be locked in a go-go cage.