City Guide 2015: Nightlife & Eats | City Guide | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2015: Nightlife & Eats 

Salt Lake City's tastiest cocktails, friendliest bars and coolest clubs

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click to enlarge Lumpys Downtown
  • Lumpys Downtown

For those looking for the ideal downtown spot to watch sports of all kinds, it's hard to beat Lumpys. The upstairs is plastered with dozens of TVs along the main wall, and a number of booths have personal TVs as well. There are also games, nightly entertainment, food and a Sunday brunch. Keep an eye out for the spring 2015 opening of Sky SLC, a 12,300-foot concert venue/event center adjacent to Lumpys Downtown, complete with a retractable roof. 145 W. Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-883-8714,

Maxwell's East Coast Eatery
Maxwell's has figured out the weekend formula—it has the sports; the thin-crust, East Coast-style pizza; the frothy beer; and the dancing (for when the sports games are over and the pizza and beer calories need to be burned off). The crowd is friendly and the atmosphere is casual and fun, like a party at a friend's house. Right outside is a beautiful little courtyard, tucked away on Main Street if you need a break from the action. 357 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-328-0304,

Murphy's Bar & Grill
Between its enviable location (nestled on Main Street), Irish theme, inexpensive cocktails and dark, cozy atmosphere, Murphy's is the place to launch a pub crawl (or game-day gatherings, you crazy day-drinkers). The half-circle booths will remind you of Mad Men days, the bar stools are reminiscent of your mother's kitchen, and the carpet is greener than almost anything you've ever put your feet on—yes, including grass. 160 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-7271,

This windowless, hole-in-the-beautiful-brick-wall is everything an underground sushi bar should be: inexpensive, unassuming and chock-full of regulars. A self-proclaimed peanut bar, there are peanuts everywhere. Don't worry about making a mess with your shells, that's part of the charm! O'Shucks is conveniently located near City Creek and almost hidden if you miss the sign and stairwell. Specials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays keep the locals loyal and also bring in a college crowd. 22 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-8600

Poplar Street Pub
There's a really nice natural light that comes into this casual pub in the afternoon (yes, light in a pub!) and it makes for a good Sunday brunch spot. Friday and Saturday nights are good for live music (mostly acoustic singer-songwriter, but with some blues and reggae thrown in), and every night is good for a champion-size burger. To top it all off, there are lots of places to sit and socialize with your pals. 242 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2715,

Tavernacle Social Club
What more could you ask for from Salt Lake City's first dueling-piano bar? This weekend hotspot is usually jam-packed as patrons sing along with the pianists to ensure there is never a dull moment. Although it can get crazy sometimes as people take to the dance floor, you won't want to miss out on the antics. 201 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-519-8900,

The Hotel/ Club Elevate/ The Barrel Room
Hello, swanky Salt Lake City nightlife! Located in a restored Salt Lake City 1910 landmark—with 32,000 square feet—this complex is really five bars. The Hotel Lobby Bar pays homage to a bygone era, complete with period bartenders. The Barrel Room has a speak-easy vibe, hosting live bands and serving craft beer. Need to cool your heels? Head upstairs to the Opium Lounge, where low, comfortable booths await. The third floor features hookahs and an above-it-all view of the lounge. Take a second to appreciate the décor, especially in the Ballroom, which is elegant and sensually mood-setting. Club Elevate features a high- energy dance floor. The people-watching is primo, partly because of the eclectic crowd, but mostly because of the layout of the floors. 155 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-478-4310,

The Red Door
The only thing not relaxing about The Red Door is wringing your hands over which martini to try next. There are a whole bundle of them, with seasonal menus adding even more. But martinis are only as good as where you are drinking them, and The Red Door's shadowy recesses are the best in town for a serene sip. 57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030,

Wasted Space
Open seven days a week, Wasted Space is a tree-shrouded State Street watering hole, whose powerful air conditioners and lively crowd,make it a perfect after-work destination. Wasted Space regularly features DJs and live music of every genre on a small stage in the middle of the bar, as well as karaoke on Mondays. 342 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-2107

Whiskey Street
Back in the good ol' territorial days when Mark Twain aptly described Utah as the Union's only theocracy, Salt Lake City residents had a different idea of what finding the spirit was about—and for the Gentiles, the spirit was to be found in a nice brown bottle at one of the taverns along this very stretch of Main Street where Whiskey Street now proudly celebrates its rebel heritage. It's a bar-straddling history: Whiskey Street has speakeasy class and style and also a modern selection of drinks and food items. The stellar selection of spirits and liquors are the perfect match to a menu that defies the "bar food" classification. Appetizers include inspired snacks like braised pork-belly corn dogs, and entrees ranging from seared halibut to rosemary lamb chops with mint pesto sauce. 323 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-433-1371,

Zest Kitchen & Bar
Tucked into the corner of the building behind P.F. Chang's, Zest Kitchen & Bar is a high-end all-vegan eatery and specialty-cocktail space. The cool thing about Zest is that as the night wears on, the space smoothly mutates from a dining establishment into more of a bar/club environment. So, while sitting there enjoying your guilt-free healthy eats, a DJ might start spinning records, or a jazz trio might begin running through the standards. 275 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-433-0589,


  • Austen Diamond
  • Area 51

Area 51
Get weird, Salt Lake City. Themes are taken seriously at this dance club, and they keep club-goers on their toes: hip-hop, '80s, carnival, heavy metal, traveling vampire and much more. It's not for nothing, either: The club posts the photos of the festivities to Facebook, so patrons can show off their outrageous ensembles for weeks to come. The music is fast enough to dance to. Talk about aliens and your new friends will love you. 451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-534-0819,

Bar Deluxe
This old building, with one heck of an address, has been home to a number of different bars over the years. Bar Deluxe, though, came in and made the place home, making the small bar area in the front of the building comfortable enough for regulars while renovating the bigger concert space in back for rocking live shows. Though Bar Deluxe regularly books bands—think reggae and hard rock—this venue is also known for raucous alternative performances such as burlesque shows. 666 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2914,

Batters Up
Batters Up is a haven for sports fans, with everything they need to enjoy the game in style. TVs in every corner cast a warm glow, and an abundance of tavern games and classic American fare far surpass the expected necessities of a sports bar. Batters Up also hosts pool tournaments three nights a week, beer pong on Saturday, and live events and bands throughout the year. 1717 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-463-4996,

The best thing about Brewvies is right there in its name: movies combined with beer. Sure, there's a large bar space complete with eating area, billiards, several video games and a couple of televisions. But really, the reason to go to Brewvies is to be able to sit in a dark theater with a full meal in front of you and a nice frothy beer in hand as you watch the latest blockbuster. 677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-5500,

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