Despite a few steps forward in our liquor laws in recent years, it can still be easy for Utah tourists to think that the state lacks a bar scene. And it's also easy for locals to forget how many welcoming watering holes and classy cocktail lounges surround them—those that've held down corners of the city for years, and those that've been springing up recently, despite the best efforts of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
This is the fifth year of our Bar Guide, designed to celebrate these establishments and educate our readers about the nightlife our state has to offer. In the past, we've taken the (literal) temperatures of their beers, and the (figurative) temperature of their rooms. But for this year's Bar Guide, we decided to cut out the middleman and let local bar owners and managers directly tell our readers what sets their bars apart. We've printed their "booze brags," which focus on the unique aspects of their drink selections, plus their verbatim descriptions of the bars themselves.
Armed with telephones and notepads, our staff worked their way through a list of Utah's nightlife hotspots—bars, of course, as well as music venues, strip clubs and family-friendly pubs and breweries—to record the information that follows in these pages. As a bonus, we profiled a few of Utah's longtime bartenders—the people who've got more of a sense of our community than the suits on the Hill ever will.
Bar owners are busy folks, though, and though we phoned and/or emailed every eligible venue, we couldn't connect with everyone. So if we missed your favorite bar or club, write us at email@example.com and tell us what makes it special to you. We'll print the responses in our Letters section in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, we find that this guide pairs best with a cold one, so settle in at your favorite booth in your favorite dive, lounge or dance hall, and start planning your next pub crawl. —Rachel Piper, City Weekly Editor
BARS & CLUBS
Watering holes, cocktail lounges, neighborhood taverns and dance clubs—Utah is full of 'em, so we've divided the following list by area.
Salt Lake Valley East of Main
100 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-322-1081, AltaClub.org
Booze Brag: 27 whiskeys, traditional drinks.
In Their Own Words: "Alta Club is a little different than other private clubs because we were founded as a private club."
Avenues Proper Restaurant & Publick House
376 8th Ave., Salt Lake City, 385-227-8628
A Bar Named Sue
3928 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222, ABarNamedSue.net
Booze Brag: The Johnny Cash Whiskey Smash: Gentleman Jack, sugar, lemon, mint, basil, soda, a dash of bitters and love.
In Their Own Words: "A Johnny Cash-themed whiskey bar, with live music, award-winning food and an always-free game room."
155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287, BarXSaltLake.com
Booze Brag: Bartender Roulette: Take your chances with what the bartender will make you. They'll ask you a few basic questions about your drink tastes and make you a handcrafted cocktail based on that.
In Their Own Words: "Classic, sexy, dark, cocktails."
Barbary Coast Saloon
4242 S. State, Murray, 801-265-9889
Booze Brag: Probably the beer and a shot for $5.50.
In Their Own Words: "We're the most versatile bar; it's for anyone and everyone, from bikers to businessmen and music fans to sports enthusiasts."
1717 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-463-4996, BattersUpSportsBar.com
645 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-961-8400, UtahBayou.com
Booze Brag: The Bayou sells more pints from the Firkin and from the Randall than any other draft, though they're offered only one day a week. They sell more Belgian beer than any other single style. Otherwise, with 300-plus beers, Guinness is still No. 1.
In Their Own Words:"An excellent place to explore the world of beer, with great food and full table service."
161 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287, Facebook.com/BeerBarSLC
Booze Brag: 30 beers on tap and 150-ish in bottles.
In Their Own Words: "We take care of our beer, from storing, maintaining, pouring, to presenting. But really, we're just a beer, man. We don't want to be too complicated."
- Austen Diamond
2965 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-466-1577
Booze Brag: The delicious grape Mind Eraser, known as The Radar—named after Radar O'Reilly.
In Their Own Words: "A great neighborhood bar with friendly staff and regulars, a fun jukebox, darts, video bowling, many TVs to watch your sports and the cheapest prices in town!"
19 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-1005, BourbonHouseSLC.com
Booze Brag: Canned Hamm's, and the Pickle Back—a shot of Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice.
In Their Own Words: "A speakeasy-type place in the heart of Salt Lake; a great college scene with great prices."
Burt's Tiki Lounge
726 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0572, Facebook.com/Burts.TikiLounge
Booze Brag: The Cerebral Assassin (main ingredients are Jagermeister and energy drink).
In Their Own Words: "A true dive bar featuring punk, metal, rockabilly, alternative and even some hip-hop."
837 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-3325, CampfireLounge.com
Booze Brag: The S'mores-tini, the PB&J (a pint of PBR and a shot of Jack Daniels), $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas during brunch, and other refreshing offerings like the Moscow Mule and huckleberry lemonade.
In Their Own Words: "A cozy neighborhood bar where people can enjoy good food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere, with a slight semblance of sharing a camping experience with friends."
The Canyon Inn
3700 Fort Union Blvd., Salt Lake City, 801-943-6969
Carol's Cove II
3424 S. State, South Salt Lake City, 801-466-2683
Booze Brag: Carollee's Special: triple sec, vodka, peach, apple, pineapple, orange and cranberry juice with a slice of orange.
In Their Own Words: "Laid-back. More of an older crowd than a younger crowd, but it's fun."
Cheers to You
315 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-575-6400, CheersToYouSLC.com
Booze Brag: Cheers is the house of Mind Erasers.
In Their Own Words: "Your neighborhood bar right downtown with a very comfy. inviting atmosphere."
Cheers to You Midvale
7642 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-0871, CheersToYouSLC.com
Booze Brag: The Ricky Special (Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Bacardi 151, orange juice, cranberry juice).
In Their Own Words: "A neighborhood bar that's comforting and welcoming."
328 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-5400, Facebook.com/CircleLoungeSLC
16 E. 4800 South, Murray, 801-262-7555
Booze Brag: Special list of 48 customized shots created by all the bartenders.
In Their Own Words: "We are your friendly neighborhood bar, kind of like Cheers, even with the mailman."
Debbie Gundersen, Highlander Club
Debbie Gundersen has worked at the Highlander for 30 years, but spending so much time in one place hasn’t slowed her down. Indeed, the main complaint about her, she says, is that she never stays in one place, spotting an empty glass across the bar and immediately checking on the drinker’s needs. “I take it as a personal defeat if anybody is waiting for anything,” she says.
Gundersen worked at a 24-hour cafe as a young married mother, but in 1982, when she turned 21, her customers who went there for breakfast suggested she work at the bar across the road, then called Centerfold. Decorated with red velvet, gold and black wrought iron, she recalls, the club featured dancers in the afternoon “with very little on.”
The dancers and that décor are long gone, replaced by a watering hole (6194 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-277-8251, HighlanderUtah.com) that lives up to its claim of being a Cheers-style bar. Those crowded at the Highlander bar are longtime regulars, genially cracking wise at one another’s expense. They’ll wave over newly arrived fresh faces and start chatting with them.
“If I can get somebody in here once, they’ll come back and keep coming back,” Gundersen says.
Much of that is due to Gundersen’s passion for bartending. She learned from an old hand that there are two secrets to good bartending: Never go anywhere without a tray, and look the customer in the eye and repeat the order, and you won’t forget it.
Gundersen’s clients express both deep affection and loyalty for her. When she quit in frustration over management issues in the 1990s, a regular told a former owner, “You either bring her back, or I’ll buy her her own bar across the street.” Gundersen came back.
Over the years, she says, the only thing she’s lost customers to is old age. She and the current owner thought about creating a plaque to mark those who have passed on, but there are simply too many names. They both attend each funeral.
If there’s a downside to bartending, it’s the lack of benefits—but that, she says, is the nature of the bar business. “If you’re going to stick with it, you’ve got to be smart enough to have your own plan.” She tries to put away a few hundred dollars every month for her approaching retirement—not that she wants to put down her tray anytime soon.
“This where I was meant to be,” she says. “I just love it.”
- Russel Daniels
111 E. 300 South, Suite 190, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0543, CopperCommon.com
Booze Brag: Craft cocktails like the Valentino (Blanco tequila, Campari, jalapeño, lemon & lime) and the Bourbon Sidecar (bourbon, basil, mint, Luxardo, maraschino cherry). There's a great list of brunch cocktails aside from your typical Bloody Mary and mimosa options.
In Their Own Words: "Craft cocktail bar utilizing specialty liqueurs and fresh ingredients, complemented by our chef-inspired menu, open seven nights a week and Sunday brunch."
3943 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-272-1903, Facebook.com/CruzrsSaloon
Booze Brag: One of the very few bars in town that serves Strongbow dry cider on draft.
In Their Own Words: "A welcoming bar with a perfect tree-sheltered patio for summer, and a barn for rainy days."
Dick N' Dixies
479 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3556
Booze Brag: Hirsch Bourbon is available only at Dick N' Dixies.
In Their Own Words: "We're the best neighborhood bar in Salt Lake City."
6405 S. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-943-1696
Booze Brag:Well-known for Old Fashioneds.
In Their Own Words: "We're a laid-back, relaxed lounge with live music and live DJs; it's just simply quiet and comfortable."
Fats Grill & Pool
2182 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9467, FatsGrillSLC.com
Booze Brag: The signature drink is the Razzle Dazzle, a concoction of vodka, rum, pineapple, cranberry, orange juice and a little something special. The favorite beer by far is Uinta's Organic line on tap.
In Their Own Words: "Fats features local live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night; 12 flat screens; and seven awesome pool tables."
1063 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-463-9393, FiddlersElbowSLC.com
Booze Brag: Fiddler's serves a lot of beer, especially local microbrews, and has 32 beers on tap.
In Their Own Words: "A sports-themed pub that's laid-back with great food, and everything is made from scratch."
7 E. 4800 South, Murray, 801-266-1885, 5MonkeysClub.com
Booze Brag: The Monkey Punch. It's a fruitier spin on a Long Island iced tea for $6.
In Their Own Words: "We probably have the most diverse crowd in the state, good times, free pool all the time and live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday."
Green Pig Pub
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
Booze Brag: You can get a lot for $3: $3 tequila, $3 whiskeys and domestic tall cans for $3.
In Their Own Words: "We offer a great rooftop patio, great live music, great drink specials, great food."
832 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-268-2228
Booze Brag: Drink menu changes seasonally, offering a unique variety of crafted cocktails.
In Their Own Words: "We are a high-energy dance club, with additional offerings such as karaoke, Texas Hold 'Em and dining."
6194 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-277-8251, HighlanderUtah.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drink is the Fireball, and all the drink prices are very reasonable.
In Their Own Words: "Best karaoke in the state."
Hog Wallow Pub
3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-733-5567, TheHogWallow.com
Booze Brag: The Horny Hog (chilled Hornitos tequila, cinnamon, sugared orange).
In Their Own Words: "A laid-back neighborhood bar."
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
2400 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-438-8300, TheHuddleSportsBar.com
Booze Brag: The Bubblegum Mind Eraser.
In Their Own Words: "Best place in Utah to watch sports."
The Huka Bar & Grill
151 E. 6100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-281-4852, TheHukaBar.com
Booze Brag: Specialty cocktails include the Coronarita (a margarita with a bottle of Corona) the Bob Marley and the Caramel Apple.
In Their Own Words: "We have the hottest staff in town, a relaxed, chill environment, and in the evening, become a full-on nightclub."
Johnny's on Second
165 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-3334, JohnnysOnSecond.com
Booze Brag: The $4 shot and a beer, which is Canadian Host whiskey and a pint of Blue Moon, Third Shift or Coors Light.
In Their Own Words: "Seven days, seven reasons."
30 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-322-0318, JuniorsTavern.com
4700 S. 900 East, No. 6, Salt Lake City, 801-268-3294, TheLeprechaunInn.com
Booze Brag: Cold beer served in frosty mug.
In Their Own Words: "An icon in Murray; been here for 34 years. It's an unpretentious, niche neighborhood bar; anybody can walk in and feel welcome."
1249 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-5637, LiquidJoes.net
Booze Brag: $4 25-ounce steins of domestic draft beer at all times.
In Their Own Words: "Liquid Joe's is Salt Lake City's premier full-service live-music party bar."
3000 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-5597
Booze Brag: The Ruby Red (grapefruit vodka, sour mix, cranberry).
In Their Own Words: "Best for watching sports, with free pool, DJ Martin on weekends, and poker and karaoke downstairs."
Market Street Oyster Bar
2985 E. Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2020
1030 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-355-8055
22 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-8600
Booze Brag: The specialty is an ice-cold 32-ounce schooner of your favorite suds, backed by a shot (Patron, Jaeger or today's top bourbons).
In Their Own Words: "Tucked in the basement of the Historic Brownstone Building on 100 South, O'Shucks is a welcome retreat from the hustle and heat, and has been the go-to beverage option for the business community and young hipsters since 1997."
1492 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com
Booze Brag: 56 whiskeys (16 of them Irish), including some you can't get anywhere else in the state.
In Their Own Words: "The most diverse crowd for a neighborhood pub that you've ever experienced, live music, great kitchen, always something going on every night of the week."
The Point After
5445 S. 900 East, Murray, 801-266-9552, PointAfterSLC.com
Booze Brag: Extensive selection of spirits and some of the coldest beer in Utah.
In Their Own Words: "The Point After is Utah's best sports bar."
Dennis Chambers, The Tap room
The term “nice guy” doesn’t even begin to describe Dennis Chambers, bartender and owner of the Tap Room (2021 S. Windsor St., Salt Lake City, 801-484-6692, SLCTapRoom.com). He’s known for lending a hand any time he can, from finding rides for patrons who’ve had too much, to cycling in the Multiple Sclerosis 150 every year.
Chambers, a West Valley native, attended the University of Utah and studied geology, but his geomorphology career was short-lived.
“My area of specialty was hazard assessment,” Chambers says. “I was working for a consulting firm jumping into trenches, and they were paying me about $6 an hour, but I was making about $20 an hour bartending. It’s much more lucrative and much more fun.”
And so began Chambers’ 28-and-counting-year career tending bar in Salt Lake City.
“It’s dynamic and I get to shoot the bull with people,” Chambers says. “I get to meet a lot of different people from different walks of life.”
Different walks of life indeed, as one of Chambers’ craziest moments as a bartender was discovering a naked man in the bathroom washing his clothes in the sink.
“I just told him we were closing and asked him to finish his laundry and skedaddle,” Chambers says. Throwing the man out soaking wet had never even crossed his mind. “What had happened is he had thrown up on himself and thought it was a good idea to clean up before he left.”
Chambers makes a point of seeing the world through sympathetic eyes, so while he acknowledges that Utah’s liquor laws can be restrictive and confusing, he’s quick to support the DABC, which, he says, doesn’t make the laws, only abides by them.
“One ounce of primary. One aggregate. No more than two vessels. Only 2.5 ounces in front of a customer.” Bartenders, Chambers says, “are almost like paralegals right now because there are so many laws we need to know.
“Someone should come up with a guide—the Utah Drinker’s Guide—for understanding drinking laws in Utah.”
Hmm. Stay tuned.
- Austen Diamond
917 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-595-1916
Booze Brag: The house shot is the Muddled Protestant: Absolut vodka, orange, sour.
In Their Own Words: "A traditional neighborhood Irish pub with great people."
4760 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-590-9940, TheRoyalSLC.com
Booze Brag: The Lime Ricky: grape vodka, rum, Chambord, sweet & sour and Sprite.
In Their Own Words: "Ton of TVs, great food, great patio, and a great sound system and stage for live music. We try to provide it all!"
3040 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-604-0869
"Booze" Brag: Hookah hits for $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
In Their Own Words: "It's just a neighborhood pub with a hookah bar also attached."
Sugar House Pub
1992 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-413-2857, Facebook.com/SugarHousePub
Booze Brag: Whiskey and local microbrews.In Their Own Words: "Whether it's for an after-work beer, an outing with friends or a first date, our relaxed and inviting atmosphere appeals to the interests of everyone in the neighborhood."
Tram Club at Snowbird Resort
Snowbird Center Level 1, Sandy, 801-742-1008
Tavernacle Social Club
201 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-519-8900, Tavernacle.com
Booze Brag: Featured drinks constantly rotate—the summer menu includes mojitos, a peach Long Island and Moscow Mules.
In Their Own Words: "Surprisingly funny, all-requests dueling piano shows Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; we also have karaoke Sunday, Monday and Tuesday."
347 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9400, TwiliteLounge.com
Booze Brag: There's always a shot & beer combo available for less than $5, and a variety of Uinta beers.
In Their Own Words: "Twilite is dedicated to the merry souls of other days who will again make drinking a pleasure."
837 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9068
Booze Brag: Bloody Marys made from scratch.
In Their Own Words: "It's a working man's bar."
342 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-2107
Booze Brag: Home of the $2 shot and really good $4 Long Island iced teas.
In Their Own Words: "There are bands and DJs performing almost every day of the week, and there's free pool every day from noon to 7 p.m."
323 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-433-1371, WhiskeyStreet.com
Booze Brag: 145 different whiskeys and 560 different drink options.
In Their Own Words: "There's over 20 different types of wood used in our bar, so it's a beautiful back bar."
60 E. 800 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-0805, TheWoodshedSLC.com
Booze Brag: The No. 2 seller of Jameson in Utah, with more than 50 different types of beer, from drafts to bottles.
In Their Own Words: "A very comfortable and laid-back place to grab a drink."
X Wife's Place
465 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-532-1954
Booze Brag: $1.50 Coors cans and $2 Jim Beam Rye, as well as kickass Bloody Marys and the cheapest drink prices around.
In Their Own Words: "Utah's only neighborhood bar."
SALT LAKE VALLEY WEST OF MAIN
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-534-0819, Area51SLC.com
Booze Brag: Hundreds of specialty drinks invented by our staff for over 15 years that are only available at Area 51.
In Their Own Words: "Three clubs in one: three dance floors, three patios, two bars. 18 and over and 21 and over; '80s, alternative, Top 40, dance, electronica."
128 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4268
Bob's Redwood Lounge
502 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, 801-972-9822
Booze Brag: Fireball cinnamon whiskey.
In Their Own Words: "It's a neighborhood bar. Everybody's welcome."
Brewvies Cinema Pub
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, Brewvies.com
Booze Brag: A huge selection of local beers (more than 30 locals on tap and in bottles), supporting locals like Moab Brewery, Bohemian, Shades of Pale, Uinta and others.
In Their Own Words: "Brewvies is more than just a movie theater—for more than 15 years, we have been a place locals can call their own. We have hosted hundreds of fundraisers, community events and screenings of locally produced films."
- John Taylor
BTG Wine Bar
63 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-359-2814, BTGWineBar.com
Booze Brag: The only wine bar in Salt Lake City, with a drink menu featuring 75 wines available by the glass—the most popular of which is the Belle Glos Pinot Noir—craft cocktails and local beers.
In Their Own Words: "A relaxed, inviting and upscale ambiance with more than 75 wines available by the glass, and cocktails and beers."
221 W. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-1721
Booze Brag: $2.50 Lunavel all day every day.
In Their Own Words: "Local blue-collar bar with a diverse age range."
3849 W. 5400 South, Taylorsville, 801-964-8575, ClubDJsUtah.com
Booze Brag: Deep Six (60-ounce globe of brandy, rum, triple sec, orange juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice).
In Their Own Words: "Something for everyone."
9065 S. Monroe St., Sandy, 801-566-3254, Club90SLC.com
Booze Brag: Using our extensive selection of spirits, our seasoned mixologists can cater to anyone's taste.
In Their Own Words: "We have everything from live music to catered events and everything in between. You'll feel like a regular from the moment you walk in."
251 W. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-3203, ClubTry-Angles.com
Booze Brag: The Slut Punch: Malibu black rum, peach schnapps, raspberry and vanilla rum.
In Their Own Words: "The neighborhood gay bar—a local player with very friendly staff and crowd."
9071 W. 2700 South, Magna, 801-450-0308
2324 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-973-4470
Booze Brag: Standard bar fare.
In Their Own Words: "It's a quiet place that's got that old-time lounge feel with booths and dim lights."
533 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-1610, DevilsDaughterSLC.com
Booze Brag: Plantation Punch (Sailor Jerry, coconut rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, dark rum and grenadine).
In Their Own Words: "A great place to get great food and great drinks at great prices, as well as free gaming."
932 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-6401, DuffysTavernSLC.com
Booze Brag: Coldest, cleanest beer lines.
In Their Own Words: "Good food, nice people, great neighborhood bar."
659 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-596-0344
Booze Brag: Faces' owner makes a few signature drinks, like the popular Vanilla Ice, which tastes like ice cream, and the Reverse Long Island Iced Tea.
In Their Own Words: "A quaint bar, off the beaten path, where you can come for a drink to relax, play checkers on the giant checkers board, play pool, listen to live music on occasion, or chat with the super friendly bartenders."
1199 N. Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-521-3904, GarageOnBeck.com
Booze Brag: The Garage-arita (Tres Generaciones tequila, sour mix, fresh lime, orange juice and Grand Marnier on top) or just a shot of Jim Beam.
In Their Own Words: "A roadhouse bar & grill at the edge of town featuring live music."
999 W. 3300 South, South Salt Lake, 801-263-0411
Booze Brag: The Rock Cock: peach schnapps, coconut rum, pineapple, orange juice, cranberry juice, grenadine and pina colada mix.
In Their Own Words: "Very special neighborhood bar where literally everybody knows your name."
Mark Phipps, Duffy’s Tavern
Like many of the bars that line south Main Street, Duffy’s Tavern (932 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-6401, DuffysTavernSLC.com) is a nondescript building, built from aging cinderblocks and fresh stucco. But no matter how commonplace it might seem from the outside, once patrons step through the windowless door, the tavern is revealed as a warm, friendly place. That’s just how owner and bartender Mark Phipps likes it.
Bartending for the Utah native has always been a family affair. His dad was a barkeep at the old Sugar Bowl, and Phipps began working in the business at the age of 8, sweeping floors. He didn’t pull his first draft until many years later, of course, but he enjoyed it so much that he’s been doing it for the past 29—most of that time at Duffy’s, which he purchased in 1998.
Phipps says he knew it might be difficult to keep a small neighborhood bar open in a quickly changing world of clubs and cocktails, but for him, it’s worth it. With Duffy’s, he’s continuing the tradition of friendly local watering holes with the edict “Be nice or leave. My mother may be in the booth next to you.”
It’s the reason that there are regulars who belly up to the bar to sip on a pint who have been drinking at Duffy’s longer than the 26 years Phipps has been bartending there. It’s also the kind of place where Etta James’ version of the classic “Sunday Kind of Love” is regularly playing on the jukebox. It’s an odd juxtaposition, but it works.
Besides bartending, Phipps also regularly makes delicious sandwiches, and during every football season, he cooks made-to-order omelets for his devoted regulars.
“The reason the food is so damned good, and the beer lines so clean and cold is because Duffy’s is a labor of love,” Phipps says. “Everything we do here has love in it.”
326 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-819-7565, GraciesSLC.com
Booze Brag: The Miami Vice (half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri, a long pour of Mount Gay rum, garnished with a pair of sunglasses for $11).
In Their Own Words: "A large, fun downtown bar with great food and live music. We offer something for everybody."
122 Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-833-8838
372 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-359-8054
751 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-382-8567, JamSLC.com
Booze Brag: The Stumbling Missionary and the Power Bottom.
In Their Own Words: "Club Jam is Salt Lake's premier gay club, with one of the best patios in town, the sexiest bartenders, monthly drag shows with The Ladies of Marmalade, and the best and most current electronic dance music."
Keys on Main
242 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3638, KeysOnMain.com
Booze Brag: The best mojito in the state of Utah.
In Their Own Words: "We're Chuck E. Cheese's for adults."
Kristauf's Martini Bar
16 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-366-9490, MartiniBarSLC.com
Booze Brag: Kristauf's Mule, a house twist on a Moscow Mule.
In Their Own Words: "Fun, friendly with great drinks and a DJ on the weekends."
3153 W. 2100 South, West Valley, 801-972-0506
Booze Brag: Neon Cowboy (rum, Midori, melon liqueur, vodka, pineapple juice and Sprite) for $7.
In Their Own Words: "Basically a neighborhood bar—kind of an old-school bar."
135 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-4418, Lucky13SLC.com
Booze Brag: The house Bloody Mary ($4), best Bloody Mary in the valley.
In Their Own Words:"Lucky 13 is a bustling Utah roadhouse with a huge patio and lots of character. We focus on using fresh, local ingredients in our made-from-scratch American dishes, and have become famous for our signature gourmet burgers, as well as for our house-smoked bacon, fresh-roasted chiles and innovative Sunday brunch."
- Austen Diamond
145 W. Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-883-8714, LumpysDowntownSLC.com
Booze Brag: More than 80 beers: 10 on tap and 70 high-point beers, plus more than 30 whiskeys and vodkas.
In Their Own Words: "Three levels and three full bars with TVs everywhere—if there's a game, we show it!"
1704 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-467-6289
Booze Brag: Known for Flaming Dr Peppers, a concoction of Amaretto topped with 151-proof alcohol dropped into a shot of beer.
In Their Own Words: "A good little local neighborhood dive bar."
Market Street Oyster Bar
54 Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-239-2412
615 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-652-6543, MetroBarSLC.com
Booze Brag: Drink menu features one-of-a-kind cocktails.
In Their Own Words: "There's absolutely something for everyone."
The Moose Lounge
180 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-739-3337
Booze Brag: $3 Cosmos
In Their Own Words: "Time to Moose out and enjoy Salt Lake's newest lounge, with service that makes you feel like you are in your own living room."
Murphy's Bar & Grill
160 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-7271, MurphysBarAndGrillUT.com
Booze Brag: Irish beers and whiskeys.
In Their Own Words: "A quaint, old-style pub with a great atmosphere and good food."
The Penalty Box
3 W. 4800 South, Murray, 801-590-9316
Booze Brag: Slap Shot: Pinnacle Whipped Vodka and Red Bull
In Their Own Words: "A neighborhood bar with sports-bar flair."
Poplar Street Pub
242 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2715, PoplarStreetPub.com
Booze Brag: A variety of beers and cocktails.
In Their Own Words: "Locals rave about our food."
3396 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, 801-975-7825, ThePuck.org
Booze Brag: Cheap Fireball.
In Their Own Words: "A nice, casual sports bar with more than 20 TVs and a big screen in the middle."
The Red Door
57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030, TheRedDoorSLC.com
Booze Brag: The Wrath Martini (Sauza hornitos tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, orange liqueur, fresh muddled cilantro and jalapeño).
In Their Own Words: "Award-winning crafted martinis and cocktails, finest bourbons, whiskeys and wines; sultry, intimate, delicious."
8925 S. Harrison St., Sandy, 801-225-2078, SandyStation.com
870 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-7768
Booze Brag: 10 beers on tap and 65 beers in the bottle.
In Their Own Words: "We are a very clean and chill place to hang out, with four pool tables, Golden Tee, darts and foosball. We even have a chocolate Labrador as security."
- Niki Chan
2021 S. Windsor St., Salt Lake City, 801-484-6692, SLCTapRoom.com
Booze Brag: Handcrafted cocktails are made using whatever is ripe and fresh. Right now, there's a blackberry mojito for $5.50.
In Their Own Words: "Catering to the Sugar House neighborhood for four decades."
Swede Town Pub
1461 Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-355-0534
Booze Brag: Coors, Miller and Budweiser in bottles, and Coors original on tap.
In Their Own Words: "Just a friendly little beer bar."
- Austen Diamond
538 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, 801-975-0401
Booze Brag: Lime-aritas are popular.
In Their Own Words: "A casual club with good food."
202 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-595-0000
The Westerner Dance Hall, Bar & Grill
3360 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, 801-972-5447, WesternerSLC.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drinks are Wet Pussy and Cowboy Up. 23 beers on tap and more than 75 spirits to choose from.
In Their Own Words: "Over16,000 square feet of endless fun for everyone."
1716 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 760-828-7351, WilliesLounge.com
Booze Brag: Draft beer and Mind Erasers, offering 15 of each.
In Their Own Words: "Willie's Lounge is open 365 days a year, and is clean, cheap and friendly at all times, with the most diverse mix of patrons possible, plus a variety of entertainment every night of the week."
Zest Kitchen & Bar
275 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-433-0589, ZestSLC.com
Booze Brag: People love to sit out on the patio and sip on Strawbubbly Lavender Martinis (fresh strawberries and peach vodka, topped with Prosecco). Everything is made from fresh, organic ingredients—even the vodka and Prosecco.
In Their Own Words: "A healthy, organic cocktail bar."
UTAH COUNTY & POINTS SOUTH
- Austen Diamond
ABG's Libation Emporium
190 W. Center St., Provo, 801-373-1200, ABGsBar.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drink is the AMF, plus the largest beer selection (63 beers) in Utah County.
In Their Own Words: "We're a rockin' little roadhouse."
65 W. 100 North, Spanish Fork, 801-798-7530
Booze Brag: Liquid Mary Jane: spiced rum, Midori, Blue Curacao, Malibu rum, pineapple sour.
In Their Own Words: "We are a very diverse bar ranging from the music to all types of drinks being poured. Not to mention karaoke Wednesdays."
Marge Berger, Club DJ’s
When Marge Berger emerges from the back of Club DJ’s, she’s immediately flanked by her staff. “We’re gonna crash in on this,” says one woman. “I’m her manager,” says another. “They’re gonna help,” Berger says. Everybody laughs.
Berger, 59, has a tough yet maternal countenance. Her throaty chuckle blends with the high giggles of her staff. It’s clear they’re a family, which is appropriate, because DJ’s is a family business. Berger’s stepfather, Dick Courville, opened DJ’s in Bountiful in 1982. “[The name] stands for Dick and Joanne,” Berger says.
Berger has worked in the club from the beginning. “I have twin boys who were 6 months old when I started doing this,” she says, “and they’ll be 36 next week.” Bartending worked well for her, she says, because she could make two weeks’ salary in just a couple of nights a week.
Courville moved DJ’s to West Valley City (3849 W. 5400 South, 801-964-8575, ClubDJsUtah.com) in 1993, and it has occupied the same location—near Kmart and Arctic Circle—ever since. There’s also a State Liquor Store nearby, but that doesn’t lessen DJ’s loyal clientele. They come rain or shine for the food, cold drinks and good company—and darts, a main attraction at DJ’s, which hosts a ton of tournaments.
And the patrons keep coming even through occasional spats. “One night, we had a fight break out,” Berger says with a laugh. “They were drinking Deep Sixes”—a massive blue drink enjoyed by DJ’s regulars—”and everyone was dripping Blue Curacao. But they all came back and got along afterward.”
Berger says if she wasn’t tending the bar, she’d be arranging flowers—a longtime hobby. But she’s more than happy to stick around. Although Courville sold the club 11 years ago, Berger doesn’t want to leave because “it’s a great job. I love the people. I would miss them so much if I didn’t see them.”
- Niki Chan
1641 N. Main, Tooele, 435-248-0646, BonnevilleBrewery.com
Booze Brag: A wide array of Bonneville's craft beer is on tap. There is something for everyone.
In Their Own Words: "Bonneville Brewery is a beautiful place to enjoy good beer, good food and is the last stop for craft beer before Sparks."
440 W. Center St., Provo 801-374-2337
Booze Brag: Gourmet Jell-O shots.
In Their Own Words: "The friendliest down-home neighborhood bar in Provo."
31 E. Main, Wellington, 435-637-4223, CowboyClubUt.com
Booze Brag: A full-service bar with a patio.
In Their Own Words: "We are located between Salt Lake City, Moab and Lake Powell."
The Cowboy Bar at Red Cliffs Lodge
Mile Marker 14, Highway 128, Moab, 435-259-2002, RedCliffsLodge.com
Booze Brag: Castle Creek wines are made here. Signature drinks include the Cowboy Lemonade.
In Their Own Words: "The bar is done in the style of the great American National Parks and features a huge 25-foot river rock fireplace and a barn-wood interior covered by famous Western paintings."
The Hitching Post
30 N. Geneva Road, Orem, 801-226-3277
Booze Brag: Bud Lite
In Their Own Words: "Just a local crowd."
221 S. Main, Moab, 435-259-3550
Cisero's Good Times Bar
306 Main, Park City, 435-649-6800, Bar.Ciseros.com
Booze Brag: Large, diverse selection of alcohol; $3 wells every night.
In Their Own Words: "A favorite of Park City locals, where you can play pool and darts or dance the night away."
625 S. Main, Park City, 435-615-7200, DownstairsPC.com
Booze Brag: The Cucumber Cooler (gin, simple syrup, muddled cucumber).
In Their Own Words: "An intimate dance club where you get to see national DJs up close and personal; our level of bottle service and energy is unmatched."
Flanagan's on Main
438 Main, Park City, 435-649-8600 FlanagansOnMain.com
Booze Brag: The most Irish whiskey in town, pouring the best Guinness in the state, and featuring a new menu including Summer Cooler drinks on the patio.
In Their Own Words: "We are the premier Irish pub in Park City, with a music venue."
- Austen Diamond
No Name Saloon & Grill
447 S. Main, Park City, 435-649-6667, NoNameSaloon.net
Booze Brag: Tons of local beers.
In Their Own Words:"There's a bunch of old antique stuff everywhere, giving No Name—a whiskey and burger bar—an old mining-town feel."
O'Shucks Bar & Grill
427 S. Main, Park City, 435-645-3999, OShucks-AhhSushi.com
Booze Brag: 32-ounce schooners of draft beer are $3 on Tuesdays.
In Their Own Words: "We're the local dive bar that's a great spot for vacationers as well. Plus we're a peanut bar—they're free and you can throw the shells on the ground."
Rock & Reilly's Irish Pub
427 Main, Park City, 435-655-2926, RNRPub.com
Booze Brag: The Irish Mule: Irish whiskey, blackberry simple syrup, ginger beer, lime and soda.
In Their Own Words: "We're a classic rock & roll Irish pub with a modern vibe, featuring a variety of original signature cocktails with gastropub-style fare."
The Spur Bar & Grill
352 Main, Park City, 435-615-1618, TheSpurBarAndGrill.com
Booze Brag: The Spur Margarita with housemade margarita mix.
In Their Own Words: "An upscale Western bar with live music all the time."
DAVIS, WEBER & POINTS NORTH
201 25th St., Ogden, 801-990-0692, Alleged25th.com
Booze Brag: The menu of 20 cocktails all have 2.5 ounces of liquor. Each drink is as strong as a Long Island or an AMF, but tastier. The standard metered pour is 1.5 ounces, but Alleged has a huge assortment of "flavorings" to fully maximize that provision in state law. You can get a "real drink" in Utah.
In Their Own Words: "Alleged is an eclectic bar in a historic building that was last used as a whorehouse, with three different floors with three different speeds: The Rooftop Bar (mellow, great views), The Brothel (open design, unisex bathrooms, great place to have a conversation/meet someone), Moxie (dance floor, faster pace)."
244 E. 25th St., Ogden, 801-394-1713, BrewskisOnline.net
Booze Brag: Twenty tap handles.
In Their Own Words: "Unique appetizers, humongous sandwiches and killer salads make Brewskis a local favorite among the 21-to-50-somethings."
The Century Club
315 24th St., Ogden, 801-781-5005, CenturyClub1CC.com
Booze Brag: Twenty-two craft brews on tap, and a huge selection of margaritas—the habanero-lime margarita is a favorite.
In Their Own Words: "The mecca of northern Utah, with food, entertainment and the best DJ lineup in the state."
264 E. 25th St., Ogden, 801-392-4447, TheCityClubOnline.net
Booze Brag: 21-plus full bar.
In Their Own Words: "Turn off your mind, relax and bask in a truly one-of-a-kind surrounding. A splendid time is guaranteed for all."
240 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-6494
Booze Brag: Small selection of beers at a small bar.
In Their Own Words: "We are a family; one of the cheapest bars in town."
Down Under Club
544 W. 400 North, Bountiful, 801-397-0758
Booze Brag: The Oh F—k Yeah (Fireball 151, apple pucker, cranberry & pineapple).
In Their Own Words: "Best place in Bountiful, with smiles and greetings, a heated/misted patio, and three pool tables."
641 Olsen Plaza, Layton, 801-544-8717, Facebook.com/GoodtimesUtah
Booze Brag: The bartenders all have the freedom to make up their own drinks.
In Their Own Words: "A neighborhood place, nothing too fancy. We pride ourselves on being normal—a classic watering hole."
162 25th St., Ogden, 801-394-6233
Booze Brag: Eye Opener (vodka and amaretto cocktail) and Fireball (cinnamon whiskey) are big draws.
In Their Own Words: "A neighborhood bar; cheapest one in town."
30 S. 130 East, North Salt Lake, 801-936-8775, OrchardLanes.com
Booze Brag: The coldest beer in Utah.
In Their Own Words: "All of the amenities of a big bar for locals, with a great snack bar and bowling."
216 25th St., Ogden, 801-621-9991
Booze Brag: $2 tequila shots along with the special Eye Opener: vodka, amaretto, pineapple juice, grenadine and orange juice.
In Their Own Words: "We have a very historic appearance and feel, as if you walked into a bar and it took you back to the '50s."
Christina Anderson, Twilite
Feeling overwhelmed by life’s problems? Take a seat at the bar at Twilite (347 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9400, TwiliteLounge.com), order a Tina Turner (a Bud Light and a shot of Jager on the side) and spill your troubles to bartender Christina “Tina” Anderson.
Anderson dreamed of going to school for psychiatry. Instead, she became a bartender, which allows her to be a therapist on occasion—one who’s not afraid to be a bit blunt, doesn’t charge by the hour, and won’t rush you out the door before her next client. Instead, she’ll pour you a drink and listen, even if she’s heard it all before. Anderson says she loves the social interaction of working in a bar—meeting new people, remembering their drinks, and introducing customers to one another and seeing those connections grow.
She started bartending part time in 1989 when she was 27—her first shift was a Super Bowl Sunday at the grand opening of the former Atomic Post. She’s bartended on and off since then—at the Dead Goat, Lucky 13, Batters Up and Chuckles Lounge, among others—and has been full time for the past 15 years. Anderson has been at Twilite Lounge for more than 11 years.
With 25 years of bartending under her belt, Anderson has seen her share of changes to Utah’s liquor laws—from the 1-ounce shot to the sidecar, and private clubs to the Zion Curtain. But, she says, the Salt Lake City bar scene is better than it used to be. Ending the private-club law and increasing the number of licenses has allowed more bars to open. And that, Anderson says, has opened up a whole new world and created a new, vibrant downtown.
130 E. 25th St., Ogden, 801-392-3901
Booze Brag: High-end house cocktails and custom martinis, catering to the Endless Indulgence crowd—a shop next door that sells pinup-style fashions. Drinks are all garnished and dressed with fresh fruit; it's all about presentation.
In Their Own Words: "It's a fun, friendly, fabulous environment."
33 Federal Ave., Logan, 435-752-5511
Booze Brag: All the domestic beers and all the stuff from the liquor store.
In Their Own Words: "A small, quaint bar. I've got people who've been coming here for 20 years, yet we get new clientele every year."
1254 W. 2100 South, Ogden, 801-334-9260, OutlawSaloon.com
Booze Brag: The Rough Rider: Bulleit Bourbon, Bushmills Irish Whiskey and ginger ale.
In Their Own Words: "We are a very diverse bar, with all types of music, and everyone's welcome."
Rock Bottom Lounge
317 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-2070
Booze Brag: Liquid Marijuana: Malibu rum, apple pucker, pineapple juice, Blue Curacao and Sprite.
In Their Own Words: "Cheers!"
Rockin T Saloon
2040 S. 1900 West, Ogden, 801-731-9300
Booze Brag: The Pantyripper: Malibu rum, pineapple juice and grenadine.
In Their Own Words: "We welcome everyone!"
2851 Washington Blvd., Ogden 801-394-4446
Booze Brag: Five Wives Vodka.
In Their Own Words: "Friendly atmosphere with competitive karaoke every Wednesday and Thursday."
Shooting Star Saloon
7350 E. 200 South, Huntsville, 801-745-2002, ShootingStarSaloon.co
80 N. Main, Layton, 801-544-8102
Booze Brag: The Vegas Bomb: Crown, peach schnapps, Malibu rum, cranberry and energy drink.
In Their Own Words: "We've been remodeling for two years and just opened up our upstairs outdoor patio. We're friendly and up and coming, with lots of new stuff happening all the time."
The White Owl
36 W. Center St., Logan, 435-753-9165
Booze Brag: Home of the Big Dog mug—33 ounces.
In Their Own Words: "It's the bar in Logan everyone comes to—the same bar your parents came to 30 years ago. Nothing's changed."
2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-339-3600, WineCellarOgden.com
HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE
With nine locations from Ogden to St. George, this local sports-bar franchise defies geographical constraints.
Bout Time Pub & Grub
Booze Brag: A huge selection of local craft and high-point beers.
In Their Own Words: "Your favorite neighborhood hangout, featuring a fresh homemade menu, cocktails and beer in an uncompromising sports-viewing atmosphere."
Pubs & Breweries
These places aren't strictly bars (you can bring the kiddos) but they're still a part of Utah's nightlife, and their drinks are just as much, if not more, of an attraction than their food—which you will have to order to get that beer or cocktail.
The Annex by Epic Brewing
1046 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-742-5490, TheAnnexByEpicBrewing.com
Booze Brag: All the Epic beers, along with great Negronis, Old Fashioneds and jalapeño margaritas.
In Their Own Words: "Beer-centered and the food to pair with it."
Bohemian Brewery & Grill
94 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-566-5474, BohemianBrewery.com
Booze Brag: Bohemian makes their own beer, and usually has a couple of special "brewer's stash" beers on tap that are only available at the pub and restaurant.
In Their Own Words: "Stop by Bohemian Brewery & Grill and step back in time to the days when good friends, food and beers weere commonplace. Our log-cabin feel is warm and inviting, while our patio offers sunshine, flowers and majestic views of the Wasatch Mountains."
Break Sports Grill
11274 Kestral Rise Road, South Jordan, 801-987-3354, Facebook.com/TheBreakSportsGrill
Copper Creek Pub & Grub
3451 S. 5600 West, Suite A, Salt Lake City, 801-417-0051, CopperCreekPub.com
Booze Brag: Fourteen beers on draft (including local breweries), and the Creek Creamsicle—a delicious blend of spiced rum, whipped vodka and orange juice.
In Their Own Words: "An excellent menu that goes beyond typical pub fare, with the coldest beer in town. When you arrive, you'll immediately feel like a local."
Donkey Tails Cantina
136 E. 12300 South, Draper, 801-571-3838, Guadalahonkys.com/donkey_tails.html
Booze Brag: Shazel, made up by a bartender and named after a regular.
In Their Own Words: "Kickass! Good times, great company, cold drinks and delicious food!"
Desert Edge Brewery At The Pub
273 Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, 801-521-8917
57 S. Main, Moab, 435-259-2337, EddieMcStiffs.com
High West Distillery & Saloon
703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300, HighWest.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drinks are the High West Lemonades (with either High West Double Rye! Whiskey or High West Vodka 7000). Executive Chef James Dumas created the drink using his own spiced simple syrup recipe, mulled with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
In Their Own Words: "The world's only ski-in gastro distillery, serving whiskey-inspired cuisine."
Hoppers Grill & Brewing Company
890 E. Ft Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-566-0424
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3598, WhyLegends.com
Booze Brag: More than 20 taps, focused on local beers like Squatters and Wasatch.
In Their Own Words: "We're the ultimate sports bar. We play the sound of all our games on three different big screens."
1400 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-582-3111; 855 W. Heritage Park Blvd., Layton, 801-728-9111; 2510 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-675-5920, MacCoolsRestaurant.com
Booze Brag: The signature Black n' Finn: 70 percent Tetley's English Pub draught and 30 percent Guinness. The Foothill MacCool's has an array of Scotch and Irish whiskeys (six varieties of Jameson) and is the "House of IPA," with a 17-bottle selection of full-strength bottled IPAs. The Layton MacCool's has 117 bottled beers and a new brew garden on the patio. Ogden has 17 draught handles and is joining the House of IPA concept. All MacCool's locations feature direct-draw cask beer.
In Their Own Words: "There are no strangers here, only friends who have not met!"
Maxwell's East Coast Eatery
9 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 801-328-0304; 1456 Newpark Blvd., Park City, 435-647-0304
Millcreek Grill & Bar
2020 E. 3300 South, 801-484-0339, Facebook.com/MillcreekGrillAndBar
Booze Brag: A separate oak hand-crafted bar that offers a large assortment of local draft and imported beers, and a diverse selection of wines, cocktails and specialty drinks.
In Their Own Words: "Your neighborhood establishment—a place that embraces all of your needs regarding food, beverage and entertainment."
686 S. Main, Moab, 435-259-6333
Booze Brag: Moab's own 10 beers are on tap, and the brewery also has a new martini menu, including the Cotton Candy Cosmo (made with Grey Goose and garnished with cotton candy) and the Caribbean Root Beer (made with RumChata, Moab's Beehive Root Beer and garnished with a lollipop).
In Their Own Words: "Moab Brewery is proud to be Moab's only microbrewery, where our patrons enjoy award winning beers as well as our décor, featuring local activities geared to the outdoor enthusiast."
Molly Greens Pub @ Brighton Ski Resort
8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4731
O'Shucks Bar & Grill Pinebrook
8178 Gorgoza Pines Road, Park City, 435-658-0233, OShucks-AhhSushi.com
"Booze" Brag: Locally brewed root beer on tap—the kids love it.
In Their Own Words: "Regulars refer to this location as 'Shucks Lite'; it's the family-friendly O'Shucks group, expanded to include the whole family with a large menu, pool tables, pingpong and classic video games like Ms. Pacman."
Pins & Ales Restaurant and Nightclub
12101 S. State, Draper, 801-572-1122
Booze Brag: A full line of spirits, wine and beer, including 12 handcrafted Bonneville Brewery microbrews on tap, and a specialty "skinny" cocktail menu.
In Their Own Words: "The newest restaurant and nightclub in the valley, featuring great handcrafted beers, upscale gastropub-style foods, live entertainment and dancing, amazing large HD TVs and 12 lanes of ultramodern boutique-style bowling!"
Players Sports Grill
1688 Convention Center Drive, St. George, 435-634-9211, PlayersSportsGrillRestaurant.com
Porcupine Pub & Grille
3698 Fort Union Blvd., Salt Lake City, 801-942-5555, PorcupinePub.com
Booze Brag: Porcupine has 24 local beers on tap and proudly serves Utah spirits such as Vida Tequila and High West Whiskey. A favorite is the Cactus Cooler: High West vodka with spiced lemonade and prickly pear cactus puree.
In Their Own Words: "Urban warehouse meets mountain cabin. Located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. A great place to take a date, impress a client, or unwind for a great meal after skiing or mountain biking."
Red Rock Brewing Co.
254 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7446; 6227 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-262-2337; 1640 W. Red Stone Center Drive, Park City, 435-575-0295
Booze Brag: Red Rock gets first dibs on head brewer Kevin Templin's award-winning beers like Paardebloem, Reve and Secale.
In Their Own Words: "Our beers are made in small batches with an emphasis on quality at every level."
331 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 917-655-4321
Booze Brag: The After Dark: an egg-white-based cocktail with cold-brew coffee, bourbon, Cynar and chocolate bitters.
In Their Own Words: "The Rest is a subterranean speakeasy that looks like a bar that Hemingway would have built. Dark wood, taxidermy, old books and plenty of good whiskey. It's the perfect place for privacy and escaping the world for a minute ... or hours."
Roosters Brewing Company
253 25th St., Ogden, 801-627-6171; 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd., Layton, 801-774-9330, RoostersBrewingCo.com
Booze Brag: A crisp, cool, refreshing pint of Roosters Honey Wheat is the most popular drink on a hot summer day.
In Their Own Words: "Walk in the door from the heart of Historic 25th Street and you will be welcomed at the long, wooden bar with our working brewery in the backdrop of Roosters' 116-year-old historic brick building."
147 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-2329; 1900 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-9868, Squatters.com
Booze Brag: Besides a ton of beer (more than 250,000 pints of Squatters craft beer have been poured so far this year in the pubs alone), Squatters serves beer cocktails like the Immoral Suasion, made with Hell's Keep, honey syrup, High West Peach Vodka, Laird's Applejack, Rosewater Rinse and a lemon twist.
In Their Own Words: "Beer. A community pub serious about crafting interesting, award-winning brews and huge portions of pub fare served with fun integrity."
Uinta Brewhouse Pub
1722 S. Fremont Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-467-0909
Vernal Brewing Company
55 S. 500 East, Vernal, 435-781-2337
Wasatch Brew Pub & Brewery
250 Main, Park City, 435-649-0900, WasatchBeers.com
Zion Canyon Brewpub
495 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, 435-772-0336, Facebook.com/ZionCanyonBrewPub
Van Brown, David’s
Van Brown has a lot going on. He likes it that way. That’s why, while driving a beer truck in 1975, “I got silly and bought a bar.”
It was a little place called Better Days, which, these days, is Burt’s Tiki Lounge.
“When I took it over, I found out the previous owner had been dealing drugs,” Brown says. “So all of the clientele [disappeared] because I was real straight and real stupid. I didn’t know a thing about the drug business. Or the bar business—I didn’t even drink at that point.”
Brown turned Better Days around, though, and even opened Ludlow’s, a topless bar, in 1977. “We had only one dancer,” Brown says, “and the truckers never paid attention to her. But they would complain if she wasn’t there.”
Ludlow’s closed in 1979, and Better Days survived until 1983, while Brown briefly focused on his side business, wholesale foods. “I couldn’t find someone to service the bar well,” he says, “so I started selling to me and about 30 other places.”
Alas, it didn’t keep him busy enough. “I’ve never had only one job,” Brown says. In 1984, he went to work for David Van Wagenen, the late owner of David’s (2324 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-973-4470), which Brown manages today.
“I started working for him at Harding’s, which became David’s Uptown, and is now Murphy’s,” Brown says. When David’s Uptown closed, Brown moved out to David’s West Valley location. He continues to moonlight with his old wholesale company, which he recently sold.
Brown says he’s “real boring” and has no hobbies—just a love for work and the people who come with it. That’s what keeps him going, even after hard-won battles with heart disease and cancer. “I just enjoy it,” he says. “It’s basically my social life.”
There are three ingredients required to have a good time at a concert: Quality music, enjoyable company and a refreshing drink. Utah is home to a variety of music venues, but here are some that make the drinking experience (almost) as important as the music happening onstage.
666 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2914, BarDeluxeSLC.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drink is a combo beer & whiskey shot.
In Their Own Words: "A music venue hosting all genres of music and events."
536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-528-9197, TheComplexSLC.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drinks are the AMF and Long Island.
In Their Own Words: "Salt Lake's newest music headquarters, with four venues hosting national and international touring acts, parties and private events."
400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-355-5522, TheDepotSLC.com
The Great Saltair
12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna, 801-250-6205, TheSaltair.com
In the Venue
579 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-359-3219, InTheVenueSLC.com
Park City Live
427 Main, Park City, 435-649-9123, ParkCityLive.net
Booze Brag: Red Bull & vodka or, more recently, Lime Red Bull & tequila.
In Their Own Words: "Our bar is efficient and high-energy."
The State Room
638 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-596-3560, TheStateRoom.com
Booze Brag: The housemade margarita with a Patron topper. The State Room has recently cooperated with Beehive Distilling for a very popular gin fizz.
In Their Own Words: "The best place to see live music in Salt Lake City."
The Urban Lounge
241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0557, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com
Booze Brag: Most popular drink is the Green Lev.
In Their Own Words: "The Urban Lounge hosts local, national and international music artists four to seven nights a week."
When it comes to Utah strip clubs, there's one slogan you need to remember, "See the boobs, drink no booze." But whether your favorite hoo-ha joint serves alcohol or not, it doesn't really matter. All of them bring something to the table ... dance.
2706 S. 1900 West, Ogden, 801-393-2281, Club-Wet.com
Booze Brag: AMFs, Long Beach, Fat Tire and Stella.
In Their Own Words: "We have a party atmosphere with the hottest ladies in Utah."
2750 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-467-4600, DucesWildSLC.com
Booze Brag: More than 25 styles of bottled beer, 10 beers on tap, and a huge selection of whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and Irish whiskeys.
In Their Own Words: "It's like Cheers with titties."
4141 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-261-3463, PinkysSLC.com
Booze Brag: $4 Fat Tire beer every day.
In Their Own Words: "Salt Lake's most intimate gentlemen's club, home of the friendliest staff in town."
Southern X-Posure/Show Girls
Multiple locations, 801-288-1488, MySouthernX.com
Booze Brag (21-plus location only): The Triple X margarita, introduced in 2013. The margarita, made with limearita mix, is served in a 25-ounce stein and is the most popular menu item.
In Their Own Words: "We've got the most gorgeous women on the planet, friendly staff, great atmosphere and entertainment. At our 21-plus locations, we offer a full menu—steak is the most popular. The Beck Street location (18-plus, no alcohol served) is the No. 1 after-hour party club, open till 5 a.m."
Trails Gentlemen's Club
921 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2871, TrailsClub.com
Booze Brag: High-end drinks—patron platinum, Hennessey XO—are popular
In Their Own Words: "Utah's hottest girls, by far—we hear that time and time again from customers."