This spacious oasis has a motto that’s held true since the club’s opening in 1979: “There’s a place for everyone, and it’s at the Nine-O.” Club 90 is the south-valley destination for a night of dancing, throwing back shots of tequila, eating bacon-wrapped pickles and playing golf—yes, golf—on one of the game room’s two simulators. The bar also boasts areas expansive enough to host parties of up to 200, and starts serving breakfast daily at 10 a.m. You can work off some of those calories back at the simulator, which offers 89 courses, including Pebble Beach. So when you’re sick of the city, go south, friends, go south.
9065 S. Monroe St., Sandy, 801-566-3254, Club90SLC.com
2. City Club
3. The Westerner
Best Place to See a Burlesque Show
Bar Deluxe is one of those venues that can get away with just about anything. The shows at this State Street entertainment joint run the gamut through metal, punk, hip-hop, soul—even burlesque. Yes, burlesque—you know, feather boas, fire jugglers, ribbon dancers and, of course, scantily clad, tattooed ladies. If there’s one place to witness that amazing spectacle, it’s Bar Deluxe, which at least once a month hosts fantastic national and local acts like the Salt City Sirens, The Dolls & Gents and Nobody’s Baby.
666 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2914, BarDeluxeSLC.com
Best Music With Your Meat
As if the smoked brisket and ribs weren’t enough of a siren song, this barbecue joint also features killer local acts playing music every weekend from 7 to 9 p.m. Though one would normally have to wait till at least 10:30 p.m. at a bar or venue to hear the trucker-punk stylings of the Utah County Swillers or the sweet Americana crooning of The Hollering Pines, these bands and others regularly hold down the fort during dinnertime at Pat’s, providing meaty rock and blues to accompany the savory items on the menu.
155 W. Commonwealth Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-484-5963, PatsBBQ.com
The Green Pig Pub
The Green Pig Pub
With the sheer amount of traffic that passes through The Green Pig Pub’s doors on a daily and nightly basis, it would be impossible not to meet someone at this downtown hotspot. Whether it’s downstairs watching the games or taking in the Monday Blues Jam, or upstairs enjoying the view from the rooftop patio with a cocktail, there’s a wide swath of folks to get acquainted with—and share a meal with, as The Green Pig serves some of the most delectable appetizers and entrees in the zip code. This is where the people are; come make some new friends.
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
3. Whiskey Street
Best Game Cave
A Bar Named Sue
Sure, you can shoot the shit over a pitcher of beer and a basket of Sue’s fried ravioli, but true bar friendships are formed through (friendly) competition. Both Bar Named Sue locations—the east-bench mainstay and its relatively new State Street sister—offer free games, all day, every day; State Street has pool, darts and shuffleboard in the main room, while the cozy game room at the Highland Drive classic also features a pingpong table and arcade games like Street Fighter II, giving it a nice college dorm-room feel. This come-as-you-are watering hole is a conducive environment for barstool strangers to become bosom buddies.
3943 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222, A-Bar-Named-Sue.com
Back when Bar-X first opened its doors in 1933 (the year Prohibition was repealed), it was a union bar, the type of watering hole with no women’s bathroom and lukewarm bottles of beer as the only drink option. Well, while the current Bar-X harkens to the past, it’s a much swankier one, thanks to a facelift a few years back. The classy speakeasy vibe is matched by delicious, handcrafted cocktails—both classics and spins on old favorites—that make a night at Bar-X an experience. Don’t miss Bar-X’s perfect Sazerac, made with whiskey, sugar and Peychaud’s bitters, and served in an absinthe-coated glass.
155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287, BarXSaltLake.com
2. Zest Kitchen & Bar
3. The Red Door
No Name Saloon & Grill
No Name Saloon & Grill
The No Name Saloon & Grill is a thriving Park City haunt thanks to its role in continuing a long tradition of boomtown debauchery. Whereas the weary silver prospectors of Park City’s frontier era might have come down from the hills to unwind at a Main Street tavern, today’s generation come off the hills after mining the powder to relax and toss back a few in the bustling, rustic-styled No Name. And with its juicy buffalo burgers, frosty beers and classic cocktails, plus shuffleboard and a rooftop patio, the No Name is a bar where out-of-towners feel as welcome as the locals.
447 Main, Park City, 435-649-6667, NoNameSaloon.net
3. Park City Live
Best Theme Night
Fetish Ball, Area 51
Whatever it is that tickles your fishnets, you’ll probably be able to find it at Area 51’s Fetish Ball, held on the last Saturday of every month. The 18-and-over costume party covers pretty much everything that’s ever been featured in a Robert Rodriguez film—zombies, BDSM, vampires, gas masks … it’s all on the platter. Vendors, fetish demos, two full bars, three patios and three dance floors will fulfill all of your freaky desires.
451 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-534-0819, Area51SLC.com
2. Dance Evolution, Metro Bar
3. The Spazmatics, Liquid Joe’s
Best Surprise Cinema
Burt’s Tiki Lounge
You never know what you’re going to get at Burt’s Tiki Lounge. One night, a heavy-metal band could be onstage treating long-haired headbangers to a raucous show. On the next, a local band with a wide following will pack the place. Other nights, maybe seven people are seated at the bar, eyes fixed on a TV screen. The bartender, too, is into the movie, quite possibly Godzilla vs. Mothra (the staff collection is eclectic). If the movie isn’t your thing, take a stroll around the place. The walls and ceiling are covered with an array of ephemera that could keep a casual drinker occupied for days. There’s a pool table upstairs, but the busty naked mermaid painted on the wall makes it almost impossible to shoot straight.
726 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0572
Best New Nostalgia
Back when Salt Lake City was filled with hard-core drinkers, loose women and bearded men who would say things like “Sir, I say sir!”, Brigham Young christened Main Street with the appropriate nickname Whiskey Street. And you’ll feel that you’ve stepped back into the past—well, a cleaner, shinier version of the past—the moment you walk into the vast Whiskey Street, with its gleaming wood and rows of high-end whiskeys. Featuring well-crafted traditional cocktails and a menu of great upscale pub food like the short-rib grilled-cheese sandwich, Whiskey Street is quickly becoming downtown’s favorite spot for feeling nostalgic.
323 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-433-1371, WhiskeyStreet.com
Best Sports Surround Sound
Dick N’ Dixie’s
Dick N’ Dixie’s has a little bit of everything: a pair of pool tables, cheap beer, swanky beer, a photo booth and one of those digital jukeboxes. But when it comes to watching sports, specifically Utah Utes football, Dick N’ Dixie’s takes the cake. The key to this bar’s place in many a sports fan’s heart is the sound. Jukeboxes and the terrible music usually favored by youngsters these days are jettisoned in favor of that college-football-crowd roar, and the television-less patrons who visit the bar to watch football appreciate this. Of course, Dick N’ Dixie’s is also a nice place to visit for all of the other stuff that happens at bars. But when the Utes take the field, you’ll find more than a few fans huddled there, cans of Coors glued to hands, watching and listening to the game.
479 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3556