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Perhaps the anything-goes atmosphere of Area 51 is why it wins Best Dance Club year after year. Or it could be because downtown’s biggest club space doesn’t discriminate against the youngsters, offering a dance floor for drinkers and another for the under-21 crowd. Either way, owner Alan Moss has successfully cultivated a well-oiled, industrial-themed dance fortress that satisfies Salt Lakers’ need for goth and ’80s music.
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City,Â 801-534-0891, Area51SLC.com
3. Metro Bar
Best Reason toÂ Paint the Town Pink
With pink walls, pink neon, pink streamers and more, Paper Moon is absolutely the pinkest bar in town. A few years back, this was a lesbian-oriented bar, but Paper Moon now attracts a diverse crowd of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, straight people and others who come for the weekend dance parties, free Texas Hold ’Em on Monday and Wednesday, and karaoke on Tuesday and Thursday—Pink Floyd, Pink or Aerosmith’s “Pink,” anyone?
3737 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-713-0678, Facebook.com/PaperMoonSLC
Burt's Tiki Lounge
So they cleaned up the bathrooms (a little); the venerable Burt’s Tiki Lounge is still the first joint that comes to mind when you’re talkin’ Salt Lake City dive bars—real dive bars, not the catch-all Travel Channel descriptor applied to any club with a beer sign in the window. They keep it simple at Burt’s: The bands are loud, the house specialty drink is the Pabst tallboy, and the smoking lounge/alley is out back. Any questions? Shut up and drink your PBR, punk.
726 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0572, Facebook.com/BurtsTikiLoungeUT
2. Cheers to You
3. Bongo Lounge
Best Boozy Game Night
Metro Bar understands that video games are best played with booze and plenty of trash-talking, so once a week it dedicates an evening to all vidiots, appropriately dubbed Metro-cade. Every Tuesday, Brenton Leu organizes this night of tourneys, with video games like Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, Rock Band and Wii Bowling. Tons of free giveaways and cheap libations sweeten the deal.
540 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-448-1140, Facebook.com/MetroBarSLC
Best 18 & Over Nightclub
The historic brick building at 404 S. West Temple that housed The Bay has been home to quite a few tenants over the past century. A little over a year ago, the owners of Club Jam renovated the landmark into arguably one of the nicest clubs in Salt Lake City, period. Yeah, sure, there was no booze, but there were plenty of Red Bull, hookahs and dance-y tunes. The Bay definitely knows how to throw a good party—so good, in fact, that to meet demand, The Bay is in the process of moving to a bigger, better venue.
- THE TAVERNACLE
The Tavernacle’s outstanding karaoke nights are a great mix of no cover, $1 draft beer, games and some of the most talented karaoke singers in town. Sundays are reserved for straight-up karaoke, but Mondays and Tuesdays up the ante with bingo. Spectators and singers alike can play for prizes, with numbers called between singers—everyone’s a winner.
201 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-833-0570, Tavernacle.com
2. Piper Down
3. Highlander Club
Fats Grill & Pool
There’s no question that Fats Grill & Pool is Salt Lake’s City’s best pool spot—it’s won this award a whopping 14 years in a row. But Salt Lakers come to this Sugar House hangout for more than just the billiards and cheap PBR. There’s outstanding food, like the firehouse burger with ham and barbecue sauce, and a downstairs stage that has become a hotspot for local bands.
2182 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9467, FatsGrillSLC.com
2. Johnny’s On Second
3. X-Wife’s Place
Best Online Concerts
Not everyone can afford to plunk down money for a live show. GigViz has local music junkies covered, live-streaming shows from most of the major music venues in Salt Lake City, with crystal-clear audio. It’s just a single camera, but that’s a better view than you’ll get avoiding the mosh pit or standing behind a U of U linebacker in a space smaller than your studio apartment. And they’ve recently begun archiving shows, so fans can even relive their favorite concert moments.
Best UFC Party
Oscar's Social Club
There’s something about watching two grown men rolling around in short shorts while beating the crap out of each other that’ll always bring a neighborhood together. Oscar’s understands this completely, which may be why all of Midvale shows up for the free UFC screenings. The fights are the main event, but this party also features tasty grub and cheap tallboys.
8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222
- BY AUSTEN DIAMOND
- THE SHRED SHED
Best New Venue
The Shred Shed
More than a year in the making, in October 2012, the new home of the Shred Shed opened to sold-out shows. The all-ages venue has become the hotspot for shows that normally wouldn’t find a home at Kilby, Urban, Bar Deluxe or Burt’s. The new wild location on Exchange Place is a great location to party hard, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s just a stone’s throw away from TRAX, three bars, several food joints and a music shop, either.
60 E. Exchange Place (350 South), Salt Lake City, ShredShedSLC.com
If ESPN and a Dave & Buster’s had a baby, it would probably look something like Lumpys Downtown. Whether you’re dying to watch the Super Bowl, the NCAA softball World Series or even the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, Lumpys Downtown has it on one of its many, many TVs. Flat-screens circle the bar and a few Jumbotron-size screens on the main wall give sports the cinematic treatment. If you’re looking for something super obscure, every booth has its own TV with channels you can change yourself. And Lumpy’s basement bar is a top-notch game room that every man cave worth its salt should be modeled after.
145 Pierpont Ave. (240 South), Salt Lake City, 801-883-8714, LumpysDowntownSLC.com
2. ’Bout Time Pub & Grub
3. The Huddle
Fetish Ball, area 51
As Whodini once pointed out, “The freaks come out at night,” and they more than likely end up at Area 51’s monthly Fetish Ball. The club’s longest-running theme night pulls in more than 1,000 patrons each month by constantly switching things up. One month, guests might be asked to wear their sexiest Disney outfits; the next month might call for vampire clowns. Whatever fetish you’re into, it’s probably been done at Area 51.
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City,Â 801-534-0891, Area51SLC.com
2. Drinking Liberally, Piper Down
3. Toga Party, Huka Bar & Grill