Best of Utah 2010: Night Life | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2010: Night Life



Page 3 of 3

Best Karaoke Talent
Talent Quest Utah

When it comes to singing—and singing alone—it’s a well-known fact that America’s true idols aren’t lining up to audition in front of celebrity judges, instead lining up at their neighborhood bars to croon their karaoke hearts out. Every year, karaoke warriors go to national competitions to see who’s got what it takes, and Utah’s crooners are regularly some of the finest competitors. In 2009, Utah’s karaoke combatants came home with top honors, with Corine Cyphers in 1st place, Tony Parker and Andrea Sharp tying for 3rd, Layne Dansie 4th and Tony Penrose and Jessica Saranguy 5th. With such fertile ground for karaoke champs, who knows—maybe you could be next to bring home gold?

Best Strip Club

This Best of Utah category has been owned by Trails ever since we introduced it eight years ago, and it’s not difficult to understand why: Trails (and its State Street sister, Trails II) is classy, clean, and a Salt Lake City institution—ask your dad about “Golden Trails” back in the day. First and foremost, Trails’ lineup of dancers is renowned throughout the state; they’re gorgeous, they’re athletic and now, thanks to the club’s annual professional-grade calendars, they’re practically famous. Need more convincing? Check out Trails’ Website for the real NSFW goods. Trails, 921 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2871; Trails II, 3055 S. State, 801-484-4846, Salt Lake City;
2. Southern Xposure
3. Duces Wild

Best Sports Bar
Lumpy’s/Lumpy’s Downtown

Our readers didn’t specify which Lumpy’s is their favorite, and we can understand why: How can you choose between the original on Highland and the swank Lumpy’s Downtown digs? Both offer better-than-average bar grub. Both have enough TVs to sate the most click-happy ADD-afflicted sports nut, not to mention surprisingly vibrant post-game dance and karaoke scenes. And both offer proper homage to the hometown teams, covering their walls in Utes, Jazz and Real flotsam. 3000 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-5597,; 145 W. Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-938-3070,
2. Iggy’s
3. SkyBox

Best Contras
Wasatch Contras

Do-si-do, little darlin.’ If you’re unfamiliar with calls like Balance & Swing, Ladies’ Chain, Hey For Four, or the more lively Gypsy Meltdown, don’t fret. Callers will teach you the moves before you shuffle your feet. So, what’s the lure of Contras? The dance is learned quickly, because the same sequence repeats up to 30 times in any given song—great for folks with two left feet. Contras isn’t fanciful or pretentious, just plain and simple. And, the Ladies’ Literary Club hosts monthly shindigs, each with a live band. 850 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City,

Best Farmington Entertainment Hub
The Collective Loft

The influence and impact this small studio has had on Farmington is starting to show statewide. Being both a home to the Amicus and Aequitas clothing lines, as well as a fully functional gallery for local area artists to feature their work, a weekly yoga spot, and an acoustic venue for bands who wish to show their skills, the place has become an eclectic spot in the most unlikely of places. The small group of friends who started the place have accomplished what every small town needs for those who can’t get to the big city: a homegrown entertainment hub. 10 N. Main, Farmington, 801-268-6898,

Best Sandy Super Club

Anyone who says a Utah club outside of downtown Salt Lake City or Park City can’t possibly bring the party has never been to Allure. The sprawling, flashy Sandy nightclub gives off a VIPs-only vibe from the outside; once inside, prepare for the kind of sensory overload that only the glossiest local hot spots can (barely) match. From the large light-flashing dance floor to the more intimate Crown Room featuring regular live bands to the Texas Hold ’Em nights, pool tables and TV sports packages, Allure is the definition of “something for everyone.” 8925 S. 255 West, Sandy, 801-255-2078,

Best Park City Club
Harry O’s

Let’s face it: Size matters. While nightclubbing in Park City is more interesting than ever thanks to clubs old (Star Bar) and new (Downstairs) booking great music, Harry O’s remains the go-to spot for party hounds rolling up to ski town. It might be due to the two levels of fun and huge dance floor available if you can make it through the door. It could be the series of quality DJs (Tiesto, Swizz Beatz) and hip-hop shows (Talib Kweli, Nas). Perhaps it’s the annual orgy of stargazing the club hosts during the Sundance Film Festival. Whatever the reason, the club near the top of Main remains where it’s at in PC. 427 Main, Park City, 435-655-7597,
2. Star Bar
3. Downstairs

Best Christmas Present
Glen Arbor Street

In the run-up to Christmas, it’s hard to find anywhere quite as magical or as festive as Glen Arbor Street. For 21 years now, the residents of this cul-de-sac in Sugar House have attracted an endless array of slowly circulating traffic admiring the Christmas-light decorations that adorn each property. From the simple house lights to the more baroque decorations festooning trees and pathways, Christmas Street has that special hint of wonder that’s almost like witnessing It’s a Wonderful Life breathed into life before you. Glen Arbor Street, 1745 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Best Gypsy Jazz
The Red Rock Hot Club

The Red Rock Hot Club—Rich Daigle, Pat Terry, Scott Terry, Charlie Ayers and Dan Salini—know how to party like it’s 1939! Performing at various times and locations as a duo, trio, quartet or quintet, the boys rock gypsy jazz in a way that would make Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli proud. They’ve become virtual artists-in-residence at Caffe Niche, but you can also catch The Red Rock Hot Club at various other locales and festivals around town and, even at your own party. For sure: These guys know how to rev up a wedding reception.

Best Engaging Evening Discussions
Leo After Hours

The folks at Leonardo After Hours do their best to stay ahead of the curve in a state that is more often than not behind the curve. From the frontiers of green energy to the health-care divide, the lively discussions will pique your interest into today’s hot topics. Generally, Leo beckons luminaries in their respected fields from Salt Lake City or countrywide to shed their light. Make sure to RSVP, because these discussions fill up. 801-531-9800,

Best Neighborhood Bar (Not In Your Neighborhood)
The Spot

A bar that is willing to stock your favorite beer is by default your neighborhood bar, even if it’s not located in your neighborhood. The Spot, equipped with an ice-chip-chasing dog named Dot, is just such a bar. It’s the type of place that you may walk into midweek and find completely empty, where you can choose your own personal channel on one of the flat screens, crank up the jukebox or have at it with a game of pool. The good thing is that it’s a roomy and comfortable place where you and your friends can amble in, take charge and pretend that you grew up just around the corner. 870 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-7768

Best High School Brouhaha
Judge Memorial High School’s Rent

When Judge Memorial High School announced its 2009 theater production would be Rent, the 1990s Broadway hit about young New York City artists struggling with AIDS, drugs, poverty and nasty landlords, inevitably there was a backlash from a conservative element in Utah’s Catholic community. All that served to do, however, was raise more interest in what turned out to be a superb production. Watching so many young Judge students grapple with and deliver roles that touched on thorny issues on sexuality, drugs and disease rendered a joyful and well-mounted production that was a pleasure to watch.