Best Of Utah 2014: Nightlife | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah

Best Of Utah 2014: Nightlife



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The Tap Room

Best New Old Neighborhood Bar
The Tap Room

The Tap Room has been a Sugar House staple for decades, and January saw the second move for the bar since it opened in the ’40s. There’s a sentimental soft spot for the Tap’s old basement digs, where they’d poured brews since 2002, but they brought that local-watering-hole vibe along in the move to Windsor Street. The new location allows for expanded indoor seating (tables!) and a patio that’s spacious yet more secluded than the hustle & bustle of its former Highland Drive home, giving patrons space to grab a drink after work or get rowdy on the weekends.
2021 S. Windsor St., Salt Lake City, 801-484-6692,

Best Dance Club
Metro Bar
Just about every day of the week, the Metro party planners have something insane in the works, whether that’s a night of Dance Evolution—Utah’s longest running all-request dance party—a contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race showing up for the LGBT-friendly Fusion Saturdays, or the Disco Brunch on Sundays. With all that—plus live touring bands, dance groups, art shows, pillow fights, oil wrestling and, of course, a solid rotation of great DJs— Metro Bar makes it easy to get down on the dance floor.
540 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-652-6543,
2. Area 51
3. Habits

Best Forever Young Bar
The Canyon Inn

Bold and brassy, The Canyon Inn is an institution of both après ski and summer nights that just doesn’t seem to grow old. Spending a night at The Canyon Inn—located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon—isn’t just a matter of enjoying a shot and a few cheap beers; it’s an opportunity to watch a typically good-humored crowd dance to a raucous blues band or shoot the breeze out on the patio. With its inventive and generously sized pizzas and seasoned bar staff, The Canyon Inn is a place to let your hair down and celebrate that the night is forever young.
3700 Fort Union Blvd., Salt Lake City, 801-943-6969

Best Place to See ’Em Before They’re Cool
The Urban Lounge

Hate to say it, brah, but that band you just “discovered” probably played at The Urban Lounge two years ago. Will Sartain and Lance Saunders, owners of S&S Presents, have the keenest ears in town, and know exactly which diverse acts Salt Lakers need to witness live. Where else can you see Juicy J one night and Sleigh Bells the next, plus free shows from some of the best local bands in the valley, all in one week?
241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0557,

Best Hidden Charmer
The Hog Wallow

Nestled in a grove of trees at the bottom of a narrow valley, The Hog Wallow has a charm that is truly unique. The Wallow’s range of gourmet pizzas—the Surf & Turf, with shrimp, sausage and onion, is a particular delight—is the perfect pairing for the music from local roots bands that play Wednesday through Saturday nights. The rustic bar feels like home the moment you step inside the Swiss-style cabin, and you’ll desperately wish that the leafy back patio could be part of your home.
3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-733-5567,

Best Gay Club
There are a lot of factors that go into a perfect gay club: bears, otters, Lady Gaga remixes, twinks, muscle queens, drag shows ... And no other gay club knows how to blend those ingredients into the perfect gay party like Jam does. Wednesday through Sunday, this Marmalade landmark expertly mixes cheap drinks, sexy bartenders and a posse of great DJs—like DJ Harry Cross Jr. and DJ Lishus— in a safe, LGBT-friendly environment.
751 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-891-1162,
2. Try-Angles
3. The Paper Moon


Copper Common

Best Bar Snacks
Copper Common

Now that Copper Common has arrived on the scene, high-class drinkers no longer have to compromise their standards when they’re hungry for something late at night. From the folks behind The Copper Onion, Copper Common concocts creative sips like the Valentino—a sweet-named tequila-based drink with a spicy margarita-like kick, accented by one giant square ice cube with a jalapeño frozen inside. And if you want more than a drink to keep you company at the gorgeous, window-facing bar, you’re in luck. Copper Common serves oysters and tuna tartare till 1 a.m., as well as a diverse selection of top-shelf bar snacks like Jameson beef jerky, chicken wings (the popular wings from the former Plum Alley) and Iberico Bellota—essentially, a slab of cured ham from a black-hoofed pig that spends its life eating nothing but acorns.
111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0543

Best Country Welcome
The Westerner

With the biggest dance floor in Utah and three bars, everything about The Westerner screams size. And yet it’s one of the warmest, most welcoming bars you could visit. The Westerner offers free mechanical bull rides and free line-dancing lessons, but you don’t have to be a country-music fan to get into the mood, since the frequent live bands play all genres of music. And even if you’re not ready to do-si-do or take on the bull, it’s plenty fun to sit back and live vicariously through those who are.
3360 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, 801-972-5447,


Poplar Street Pub

Best Post-Concert/Game Spot
Poplar Street Pub
They say location is the most important thing for a business, but Popular Street Pub hasn’t just sat back and let its proximity to both Pioneer Park (home of Twilight Concert Series) and EnergySolutions Arena (home of the Jazz and huge concerts) carry it. Poplar’s innovative menu of hearty pub snacks mixed with fancier options (like secret chile verde sauce and an entire team of veggie burgers) means that your whole crew will be satisfied when you stop by to replace all the calories you burned at the game, walking up stairs and yelling at the ref. And Poplar’s lineup of local beers from Squatters, Epic and Wasatch, plus its massive back patio, often turns first-time visitors into lifetime fans.
242 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2715,
2. Lucky 13
3. Gracie’s

Best Bar Bingo
Piper Down’s

Breaking Bingo Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Piper Down breaks out Breaking Bingo, a humorous, alcohol-soaked, fast-paced version of the classic nursing-home game. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waiting breathlessly for someone to yell out a number, checking your card and marking it off with an oversize marker. And when that thrill is combined with cheap brews and worthwhile prizes like cash and gift certificates, you have yourself a winner—er, bingo!
1492 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1492,

Best Pool Joint
Fats Grill & Bar
Nothing beats sippin’ on a cold one while playing a game of 9 ball, and for 15 years straight, our readers have voted that Fats Grill & Bar is the best spot in Utah to knock around balls with a big-ass stick. Fats’ seven tables can be reserved for $9 an hour after 7 p.m., but they’re free before then if you want to warm up, so long as you order food. Serious pool sharks can step it up a notch with the cash tourneys on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And even if you don’t win, a full night of pool will be easy on your wallet, thanks to the $1 Natural Lights and $3 Beams.
2182 Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9467,
2. X-Wife’s Place
3. Brewvies Cinema Pub

Best Westminster College Bar
Sugar House Pub

Every respectable college should, of course, provide its students with a quality education, but any campus worth its salt also needs a decent drinking spot within walking distance. Thankfully, Westminster College has Sugar House Pub just two blocks away. Any given Friday or Saturday, this neighborhood establishment is packed with Griffins knocking back $3 tequila shots and $3 steins in an attempt to erase any memory of that two-hour British Literature exam they just finished.
1992 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-413-2857,