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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  • Austen Diamond
  • Hog Wallow Pub

Hog Wallow Pub
The best feature of Hog Wallow Pub—located near the historic Old Mill in Cottonwood Heights—isn't even available for several months out of the year. With a number of secluded tables tucked among the trees, the large patio is the perfect space to get a post-hike or -bike beer and snack. Luckily, for those cold winter months, the interior is also a cozy space to hear live local bands, ranging from funk to folk. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-5567,

Huka Bar & Lounge
If you haven't made the Huka scene lately, you're missing out. The Huka Bar & Lounge features hookah-adorned tables, go-go dancers on Thursday, DJs Thursday through Saturday, and sexy barkeeps and servers to ensure you remain perfectly lit. An ample draft-beer and -cider selection, drink specials every night and a diverse menu featuring the ever-popular Huka pulled pork make it an inviting place for a relaxing date night. Thursday night specials include $5 AMFs and $4 fireball shots. 151 E. 6100 South, Murray, 801-281-4852,

Liquid Joe's
A popular draw in Salt Lake City's Brickyard neighborhood since the mid-'90s, Liquid Joe's hasn't changed much, and it hasn't had to. Live music—mostly cover bands like '80s dorks the Spazmatics and '90s act Sounds Like Teen Spirit (wherefore art thou, Money Shot?)—remains a priority. You can still get a huge, frosty mug of domestic beer as well as well-chosen microbrews—or a nice, numbing Long Island iced tea. Maybe, if you're, y'know, charming, you can make a friend. If not, the taco cart is a great last-call consolation prize. 1249 E. 3300 South, 801-467-5637,

Lumpys Highland
If you have ever wondered what the classic Cheers (the one from TV) would look like if it had been updated for the 21st century, Lumpys Highland would be a pretty good bet. A mix of vintage and new autographed jerseys, bats and memorabilia adorn the walls and are flanked by TVs at every turn. The basement is full of pool tables, a second bar, a DJ booth and the occasional live band. 3000 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-5597,

Paper Moon
Recently celebrating "twenty dyketastic years" in Salt Lake City, the Paper Moon is a whole lot of fun. Dancing is the main attraction (besides ladies), especially on Saturday nights, when the club's shejays are spinning. Fridays are reserved for drag or variety shows and fundraisers, and cover is only $5 after 8 p.m. on those nights. Thursdays are for poker, with The Wasatch Poker Tour dealing cards from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. There's also an art gallery and a sweet backyard patio. 3737 S. State, Salt Lake City,

Sandy Station
If you really want to get sandy in Sandy, why not spend a summer evening on the 4,000-square-foot outdoor patio at this nightclub, with a little strip of beach and fire pits for cozy socializing? Sandy Station has club nights to get your groove on and special events and live music on occasion throughout the year. 8925 S. 255 West, Sandy, 801-255-2289,

The Jolly Roger is for real. In fact, Scallywags is bedecked in all kinds of pirate memorabilia—and it has a full-on poopdeck (there are a lot of birds flapping around) with a view of scenic State Street. Inside, though, Scallywags is clean—almost too clean for a pirate joint. In fact, it looks more like a downtown dance club than a neighborhood bar. Actually, it's kind of both: a hipster joint minus the pretentiousness, plus hookahs and a bumpin' sound system. 3040 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-604-0869

The Huddle
The Huddle stands out as one of Utah's best sports bars, with unobstructed views of its 24 monitors equipped with big-ticket games: NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NFL, PGA, etc. And, as if that weren't enough, friendly servers keep the food & drinks coming, which is much better than hopping up and down all afternoon to grab a cold one from your fridge. Try the manager's favorite steak sandwich or chow down on a chile verde burrito. 2400 E. Fort Union Blvd. (7200 South), Cottonwood Heights, 801-438-8300,

The Leprechaun Inn
This nice little neighborhood bar is tucked away in Ivy Place, where 700 East turns into the Van Winkle Expressway. It's divided between a rumpus room with tall tables, pool and a great jukebox, and a darker area with booths where you can shoot the breeze with buddies or watch the game. The food, typical pub fare, is above par—or at least it seemed that way after quaffing a few hefty mugs. And shots. But that's all that matters, right? That you had a good time? 4700 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-268-3294,

The Royal
The Royal doesn't hedge its bets: It's all about the music here. Yes, there are TVs and food, but the clientele comes to rock out to all manner of bands that rotate in. Thanks to The Royal's suburban location, the patrons cover a wide age spectrum. Show up on a weekend and you'll be dancing alongside 25-, 45- and 65-year-olds all having a good time. 4760 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-590-9940,

The Spur
Dating back to the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Spur does everything in its own, feisty way. As the bartenders swap jokes, you can't help but admire what they say is one of the last all-live music venues in town. During the winter season, dinner, drinks and live music start at 5 every night of the week; in summer, the Spur is open Thursday through Sunday. Charming, rustic and always good fun, The Spur sums up the good-natured soul of Park City like no other bar. 352 Main, Park City, 435-615-1618,

The Westerner
I hate line dancing, but I love this place. A West Valley City fixture since 1962, the Westerner's dance floor will fit a fleet of big-ass trucks, or a handful of honky-tonk badonkadonks—either of which will crush you when "Boot Scootin' Boogie" plays. There's also a mechanical bull, and on Fridays, somehow otherwise innocent drunk girls are convinced to ride sans blouse. And maybe pants. There's also a mean bacon cheeseburger that goes well with a parade of rum & Cokes. 3360 S. Redwood Road, 801-972-5447, CONCERT VENUES

In the Venue/Club Sound
In the Venue might be well known as a popular all-ages venue, but its full bar, upstairs viewing area and outdoor rooftop patio make it easy for the 21-plus crowd to enjoy a drink while partaking in live music. But younger and older concert-goers alike can enjoy the eclectic music that comes to In the Venue—ranging from post-hardcore to pop to ska and more—and its central location (the Old GreekTown Trax station is across the street). Plus, the adjoining Club Sound hosts its popular LGBT-friendly Gossip night, an EDM-fueled party held every third Friday. 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City, 801-359-3219,

Maverik Center
The Maverik Center, which the cool kids call "The Mav," is like the Transformer of concert arenas. It can morph in size to suit ticket sales, resulting in a more theater-like setting. But with acts like Muse, Judas Priest and Barry Manilow (on 4/20, what?) coming through, it's not always necessary. Beyond that, it sounds great and there's not a bad seat in the house. 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, 801-988-8800,

The Complex
Addressing the serious lack of music venues around town, The Complex added four in the same building, with the ability to host an event in each simultaneously. The largest, Rockwell, has a 21-plus beer garden, and two others are only available to 21-plus patrons. Vertigo is a venue with VIP seating and a mezzanine, while The Vibe is outfitted with TVs and plays host to weekly events. 536 W. 100 South, 888-316-5387,

The Depot
Modeled on concert spaces popularized by Hard Rock Cafe, The Depot is one of the bigger, non-arena music venues in downtown Salt Lake City. One of the best features of this place is the multiple viewing levels, which allows for all-ages shows where 21-plus attendees can grab a drink upstairs. The other big benefit? There truly isn't a bad vantage point in the house for when you don't wish to be crammed in the front with the über-fans. 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-456-2800,

The Great Saltair
Have you ever wanted to watch a concert in a rebuilt 19th-century castle that has burned down three times but usually feels pretty chilly inside and has a briny aroma? Hey, it ain't Castle Donington, but it's ours—and it was good enough for Dio (miss you, shawty!). Besides, if you're gonna see a metal show, do it somewhere freaky. Bonus creeps: Saltair was the setting for the 1962 horror film Carnival of Souls. 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna, 801-250-6205,

The State Room
As is more and more often the case, being able to sit down at a concert is a rare luxury. And, even if you find an oasis among the crowd, it's almost never the case that you get to sit and actually see the onstage proceedings. That sought-after combination is one of the reasons discerning music fans know that The State Room—housed in a former theater—is a top-shelf spot to experience live music, one where you can catch every second of a singer-songwriter's intricate guitar solo without getting an elbow in the eye. Add in an excellent sound system, a bar, a diverse music lineup and a space in front of the stage for dancing, and you've got a venue that knows how to keep everyone happy. 638 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-596-3560,

Usana Amphitheater
"Utah's Concert Experience" brings arena shows outdoors. That means you can choose from reserved stadium seating or—for fans on a budget—first-come, first-served general-admission lawn space. Wherever you land, it's a blast to watch Motley Crüe or Toby Këith under the stars. You know, alternating gulps of fresh air with swigs from the $9 beers in each hand, giving backhanded fist-bumps to people who just left the Honey Bucket and not thinking twice about it. That's real freedom. 5125 S. 6400 West, 801-417-5343, Usana-Amp.Com

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