City Guide 2008 | Get Active: Night Life - Boogie Nights | City Guide | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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City Guide 2008 | Get Active: Night Life - Boogie Nights

There’s a bar stool AND a dance floor with your name on it.



Whether you need a cold beer, stiff martini, a date, live music, DJs or just someone to take home, Salt Lake City’s nightlife has it all. In 2008, you’ll find that taverns and private clubs remain smoker-friendly. Light up while you can (a ban takes effect in 2009).

Looking for your music scene or genre? City Weekly has it broken down for you online. In the meantime, check out these clubs and find your peeps:

5 Monkeys
If you were a regular of the other clubs that occupied 5 Monkeys’ space over the past 20 years, you probably won’t recognize the joint. We’re hard-pressed to recall a more radical makeover of a former dive than this; every inch of the new 5 Monkeys seems to have been scrubbed, repainted and swankified, with live music or DJs kicking most nights of the week. If you’re young and ready to party in Murray, this is the place. 7 E. 4800 South, 266-1885

Area 51
Here’s one of the city’s best dance clubs specializing in goth and industrial music. The massive two-floor venue (18 downstairs, 21 on both levels) also spins darkwave, ‘80s hits, techno and alternative. 451 S. 400 West, 534-0819

Bar Deluxe
Bar Deluxe popped on the scene in 2007, reclaiming the space formerly ruled by one too many College Nights and one seriously weak address. Owners/tattoo artists/old-school burlesque enthusiasts installed a raised stage, a few bare-bones booths and a whole lot of attitude to a stretch of downtown that’s this close to being a bonafide “strip.” If you’re looking for cool cats, killer music and the occasional (legal) strip-tease, this club’s for you. 666 S. State, 521-5255

Bar in Sugarhouse
This cash-only bar is one of the last Sugar House landmarks left standing after the colorful district was sold to new developers. Its unassuming (read: shack) digs are a comforting reminder of the good old days. Buy your neighbor a beer and drink to another era. 2168 Highland Dr., 485-1232

The Bayou
Life gets elevated at this spacious “beervana,” where revelers can upgrade standard 3.2 fare with high-octane domestic and imported alcohol. With 204 bottled beers in stock, 31 on tap, plus an extensive wine and spirits list, it’s no wonder the joint is packed on weekends. Enjoy live jazz and blues while you wait—and wait—for a table. 645 S. State, 961-8400

Bliss Nightlife
One of few private clubs in Utah offering VIP service for guests willing to up the ante for a night on the town. Perks include valet parking and a private upper bar. Bliss regulars come for the swank atmosphere, dance parties and weekly Ultimate Combat fighting. This is the place to try out that little black dress. 404 W. South Temple, 363-3734

Why pay full price when you can catch an also-ran comedy, drama, horror film or the occasional music documentary for a cool $4 at this laid-back bar/cinema. Drink at the bar or bring pitchers/pints into the theater to wash down delicious, greasy pub fare. Top it off with a post-show game of pool. 677 S. 200 West, 355-5500

Broken Record Bar & Grill
A no-frills stomping ground for rockers, skaters and snowboarders, the private club formerly known as Todd’s Bar & Grill keeps ‘em loyal with cheap drinks, live music by local and touring acts, snowboard/ skate video screenings, and the occasional Guitar Hero face-off. 1051 S. 300 West, 532-4775

Burt’s Tiki Lounge
This memorabilia-strewn dive-bar holds a special place in its heart for freaks, geeks and balls-to-the-walls rockers who come for ear-splitting performances by touring acts and local rockers including Thunderfist and Ween tribute band Spleen. Check out one of many drink specials, then head upstairs for arcade games and pool. 726 S. State, 521-0572

The Cell Block
Somewhere between a sports bar and a rock bar, but not a “prison” bar, the party-hearty Cell Block on 3300 South mixes it up with DJs, karaoke, Texas Hold ‘Em, live bands up front, pool tables in the back and the occasional bartender lighting stuff on fire. Yes, fire. 1037 E. 3300 South, 463-1138

Cheers to You
Unrelated to anything Ted Danson, this bar has such a diverse crowd that you may very well find a mailman, a psychiatrist or a na├»ve, young Southerner. Booths are a tad small—great for getting to know your date but not so great for meeting up with the Lacrosse team. 315 S. Main, 575-6400

Circle Lounge
Don’t be fooled by the blank, industrial exterior, this joint is swank. The beautiful people meet here to nosh on sushi, sip martinis and enjoy live jazz from a circular stage draped in sheer curtains. Dress code encouraged, if not enforced. 328 S. State, 531-5400

Park City may have more than a 100-year history, but really, Park City is a new city. Leading the way in a roomful of rustic charm, however, and considered an old-timer by Park City’s evolving standards, Cisero’s reigns as Main Street’s go-to hotspot for live music and fine Italian fare—the perfect blend of locals and tourists. 306 Main St., Park City, 435-649-5044

Club 90
Looking for the heart of Saturday night on the mean streets of Sandy? Then Club 90 is for you. Two different bars, a banquet room and waitresses who call you “hun” complete this massive club’s appeal. Great live bands every weekend. 9065 S. 150 West, Sandy, 566-3254

Club Vegas
All metal … most of the time. Industrial, goth and straight-up rock bands appear onstage, but this dimly lit west-side club is first and foremost a headbanger’s heaven. Shout at the devil from the sideline booths or at one of two well-stocked bars. 445 S. 400 West, 364-8347

Good Spirits
Judging by the miscellaneous bras dangling from the rafters, this veteran club has seen some wild and crazy times. Of course, stop in on a week night and you’ll find customers taking in a mellow evening of good conversation and whatever’s on tap. Fill up on more than fried fare with savory enchiladas or hearty burgers, then hustle yourself a cab ride home at one of several pool tables. 999 W. 3300 South, 263-0411

The Depot
Avoid potential construction hold-ups and take TRAX to one of Salt Lake City’s best live music venues. The downtown concert hall has a 1,200-person capacity and caters to touring acts including past highlights The Fall, Michael Franti, DJ Shadow, Rickie Lee Jones, My Morning Jacket and Ice Cube. 400 W. South Temple, 456-2888

Downtown Hookah Lounge
Located in front of the Main Street TRAX stop and upstairs from House of Kabob, this sleek, cozy private club features weekly DJs spinning reggae, afro-beat, funk and electronic music for intimate audiences. Sit back, sip on sweet flavored tobacco and let the beats take you away. 268 S. Main, 390-5609

Duces Wild
Take a walk on the wild side and relax at this Salt Lake gentlemen’s club. Stop in for daily lunch specials and a game of pool. Come back when the sun goes down for late-night entertainment. 2750 S. 300 West, 467-4600

Fiddler’s Elbow
We’re still not sure what the name means, but there’s no mystery as to why folks return night after night to this Sugar House pub. You might imagine a sign outside noting this as a “Place for Friends,” where sports fans gather to cheer on the team or break a sweat at the pool table. Come hungry—Elbow shares a kitchen with Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta, so you can nosh on wings while you friend eats ravioli. 1063 E. 2100 South, 463-9393

Green Street
Following in Jekyll/Hyde tradition, many young professionals meet for lunch in this mild-mannered club during the day. By night, however, collars are popped and skirts are shortened to turn this popular joint into a see-and-be-seen spectacle. 602 E. 500 South (Trolley Square), 532-4200

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as an upscale dinner and dance club in South Salt Lake. The smoke-free bar provides an unusual mix of rap, country and ‘80s that, if just for curiosity’s sake, is worth the southbound trip. 832 E. 3900 South, 268-2228

Harry O’s
Park City’s premier dance club and live music venue, Harry-O’s boasts a massive, indoor stage and jumpin’ singles scene, where beautiful locals can rub elbows with celebrities and discuss either pressing word crises or Britney’s fall from grace while Akon or Brother Ali slay onstage. 427 Main St., Park City, 435-655-7579

Hog Wallow Pub
Remodeled biker bar retained most of its original outsider mojo—just rough enough to keep a few Harley enthusiasts carousing with the club’s skier/snowboarder/Subaru-driving crowd. Especially lively when live bands take the stage playing mostly acoustic rock, bluegrass and country. Check out the patio on summer nights. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, 733-5567

Huka Bar
Anti-smokers who don’t puff because it’s “unglamorous” might find that argument full of hot air at the Huka Bar. The private club’s bar/dinner menu is certainly off the “hookah” (I had to) but it’s the exotic hookah flavors ranging from “oyster” to “pomegranate” that ooze class. 6100 S. 151 East, 281-4852

It seems it’s always Ladies’ Night at the Hotel and Club Elevate, two classy side-by-side private clubs swarming with scantily clad women. While it is a place to see and be seen, upscale parties need greasy food, too. Grab a slice of in-house pizza or jalapeno poppers, then hit the dance floor. Limo service available for guests with VIP reservations. 155 W. 200 South, 478-4310

Jackalope Lounge
Snowboarders, skateboarders and tattoo enthusiasts tend to dominate this popular downtown bar, now in its second year, but all walks of life are welcome—just leave the cigarette outside. Expect clean, close quarters, friendly bartenders, cheap drinks, eclectic DJs and the occasional argument over heated games on one of five TV screens. 372 S. State, 359-8054

Johnny’s on Second
Tain’t your usual pool hall. Hourly table rates, good food and even bluegrass nights (!) raise this bar far above any roadhouse with billiards. But that’s not to say you won’t be laughed at if you scratch the 8-ball. 165 E. 200 South, 746-3334

This Salt Lake City fixture recently relocated to shiny, smoke-free digs in the heart of downtown. Longtime regulars might lament the absence of cigarette clouds hanging ‘round their pints, but they’ll trade restricted freedoms for bartenders who treat them like family. 30 E. 300 South, 322-0318

Keys On Main
Break away from your usual routine at this classy piano bar located in the center of downtown Salt Lake City. Avoid parking hassles by taking TRAX which stops directly across from the ground-level private club. Watch for grand opening. 242 S. Main, 363-3638

High on class, short on pretension, this downtown martini bar is an inviting pre-dinner or after-hours destination for young professionals, fashionable hipsters and anyone who digs drinks with a shot of flair. Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders will help you navigate the extensive menu. 16 W. Market St., 366-9490

Liquid Joe’s
Newly remodeled digs offer classier, roomier digs for this private club’s most popular act: The Metal Gods, paying tribute to hair-band classics every Thursday. Other touring and local acts, typically of the rock variety, grace the stage Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while the Spazmatics raise a ruckus on Saturdays. 1249 E. 3300 South, 467-JOES

Lumpy’s Downtown
Cheer on your favorite teams at this spacious sports bar which brings together the class and elegance of a hot dance club with the requisite access to televised athletic events. Heck, Lumpy’s even boasts a screen inside each of its private booths, so patrons can entertain a date while keeping tabs on Tom Brady’s pass efficiency. 145 W. Pierpont Ave., 938-3070

Mo’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Technically a restaurant that serves beer, Mo’s is famous for its super-hot wings, free wireless Internet and open-mic comedy Sundays. So now, the whole family can see Dad’s Michael Jackson jokes bomb. 358 S. West Temple, 359-0586

Once a house of jazz, now an underground den of irreverent rock, hip-hop and reggae, this downtown haunt is a great place to wind down after work or liven up when local and national bands plug in. Craving privacy? Visit the relatively quiet mafia-esque back room. 19 E. 200 South, 350-0950

Great kitchen pulls in worker bees during lunch, but the prime rib, beef stew and other comfort foods are also served at night when this laid-back, old-school pub fills up with familiar faces from all around town. Everyone’s welcome—just don’t hog the jukebox. 160 S. Main, 359-7271

Mynt Lounge
Modeled after New York City nightclubs, this posh, smoke-free bar attracts stylish urbanites with edgy hair and wardrobes. Drinks are a bit pricey but worth the cost for those who crave the finer things in life. Oh, and the lounge features a lovely patio, so you can take that cigarette outside. 63 W. 100 South, 355-6968

When arguing over Monet vs. Manet loses its charm, trick your artsy friend into visiting Orange. Essentially a bar, Orange also works as an art-space/musical venue which showcases every type of music from experimental to jazz—which even the most pretentious can deign to enjoy. And there’s nothing snobby about cheap drinks. 533 S. 500 West, 433-3399

Oscars Social Club
The Midvale club, featuring DJs on the weekends, offers a friendly south-valley neighborhood vibe while serving up some downtown class. Plus, for Ute fans, few State Street joints bleed redder than Oscars. 8136 S. State, 566-3222.

The Paladium
While not directly affiliated with Los Angeles’ Palladium, this new Salt Lake City music venue gives its big-time counterpart a run for its money with impressive out-of-town acts who in another era would have played Park City’s now-defunct Club Suede. Future performers include Maceo Parker and Drive-By Truckers. 615 N. 400 South, 521-4573

Pinky’s doesn’t look that big from the outside, but inside … it’s cozy, for sure. Not a bad selling point for a strip club, however—you’re never too far away from the ladies, the bar or a pool table. Can’t beat a special like White Trash Wednesdays in the midweek, either. 4141 S. State, 261-3463

Piper Down
All Irish stereotypes aside, this bar is as hoppin’ as a leprechau—er… you get my drift. With the city’s most extensive (and gnarly) shot menu, live music and karaoke on Sundays, you’ll be singing with all your lads by the end of the night. 1492 S. State, 468-1492

The Point After
Armchair quarterbacks, get your forearms ready—you’ll curl plenty of pints at this suburban sports bar. The spacious club fills up on game nights with patrons following major and minor league action on wide-screen TVs as they down trans fat, lager and ale. Work off the fried fare at halftime with a round of billiards. 5445 S. 900 East, 266-9552

Port O’ Call
This place screams tradition: plush carpeting, polished wood and bartenders who give the profession a good name. Stop in at lunch for a pint, a burger and quiet conversation. The three-floor club transforms into a singles’ paradise at night, with two stages supporting live music Wednesday and Saturday nights, a live karaoke band every Thursday and Djs on Fridays. 78 W. 400 South, 521-0589

Red Door
Martinis are the real draw at this intimate private club. Whether you prefer your beverage shaken or stirred, sweet or salty, traditional or adventurous, the novella-length menu does not disappoint. With limited seating room, things get a bit hectic after hours. Soothe your nerves with another cocktail and cool weekend DJs spinning downtempo sounds. 57 W. 200 South, 363-6030

The Republican
An old-school, no frills bar that’s rooted in the traditions of football (the real kind, without the touchdowns) and drinking. A shuffleboard and foosball table will relieve some tension during game breaks, but there is absolutely no rioting during fever pitch. 917 S. State, 595-1916

Saints & Sinners
Open nightly, the private club formerly known as Dragon’s Lair features a sports bar upstairs and hookah lounge downstairs. Get worked up over Monday Night Football, then chill out with sweet, flavored tobacco. 3040 S. State, 487-4498

Sky Bar
Situated in Salt Lake City’s downtown Red Lion Hotel, 13 lucky floors up, this nightclub is a wicked place for the vertigo-prone. It might also scare off wallflowers or anyone with two left feet. Besides drinking, dancing is the No. 1 activity here. Boogie to disco, hip-hop and Top 40 hits. Just don’t look down. 600 S. 200 West, 530-1313

The Station
This Sandy private club now offers live music every Saturday in the Crown Room in addition to weekly Top 40-dance nights and karaoke. The Station’s passion for action sports means plenty of big-screen TVs for armchair quarterbacks. Shake your bootie or saddle up to the bar for the big game. 255 W. Harrison, 255-2289

Complaining about the amount of nudity allowed in Utah’s strip clubs is about as cliché as complaining about the 3.2 content of the beer. For the full T&A goods, get a girlfriend or a high-speed Internet connection, but even those can’t promise big screen TVs and garlic burgers. 921 S. 300 West, 363-2871

The Trapp
Don’t judge this private club by its country-western motif, an aesthetic choice that speaks more to its owners inner interior decorator than the weekly musical lineup—an eclectic grab bag of disco, karaoke and modern dance hits for an equally eclectic crowd. Though largely considered a gay and lesbian joint, The Trapp welcomes all. Free your mind. The rest will follow. 102 S. 600 West, 531-8727

The Trapp Door
Not to be confused with its similarly named neighbor, The Trapp Door features different ownership and a distinct crowd of hip young things who prefer hot Latin and house music dark, loud and booming till close. 615 W. 100 South, 533-0173

Twilite Lounge
Twilite rivals any bar in the city with its retro-dive kitsch. Where else are you going to find scenesters, professionals and barflies all fighting over a free jukebox? A hidden treasure. Just remember to bring cash ‘cause this joint doesn’t operate on credit—or good faith. 347 E. 200 South, 532-9400

Under the Bridge Lounge
Not literally under the bridge (freeway overpass, actually), but as close to a lounge as you’ll find in the relatively remote west-side area. It was previously called The Front Row for good reason: There’s not a bad seat in the small-but-open room. The Under the Bridge Lounge is open every night of the week, hosting live local music on Fridays, R&B and old-school hip-hop DJs on Saturdays, and several screens of football whenever. 1440 W. 200 South, 359-8744

The Urban Lounge
It might be considered hipster central by some, but frequent Urbanites are less concerned with how they look than who’s onstage. Live music is a top priority, with everyone from Salt Lake City rockers Blackhole and Pink Lightnin to touring acts including Avett Brothers, Girl Talk and Caribou performing seven nights a week. Dark, dingy and comfortable as hell, there’s a reason some locals make this spot their second home. 241 S. 500 East, 746-0557

W Lounge
Long lines often wind around this secluded, eclectic dance lounge. Graphic designers, writers, artists and hipsters generate ideas near the bar or shake all their troubles away when DJs spin inventive mixes of dance, house, afro-beat, acid jazz and other ass-shaking genres. It’s a good time, all the time. 358 S. West Temple, 359-0637

The Westerner Club
Where Wrangler jeans are more a statement of function than fashion. Salt Lake City’s premier country-western bar packs in urban cowboys and cowgirls with music and line-dancing, but it’s also a draw for city folk who come to perform karaoke backed by a live band. 3360 S. Redwood, 972-5447

The Woodshed
Newly remodeled, the Woodshed has found its niche by refusing to have a niche. Burlesque shows, music (all genres) and karaoke are a few of the attractions available on any given night. They also boast the largest patio in Salt Lake City, so there’s a lot of space to freeze while lighting-up in the wintertime. 800 S. 60 East, 364-0805

Great place to chill out. Once inside, you’re transported to a cool Chicago nightclub. Snag a seat near the stage for an up-close-and-personal jazz or blues performance by artists including Melissa Pace, The Legendary Porch Pounders and Steve Lyman. 677 S. 200 West, 746-0590

More than an all-ages venue, Avalon is a progressive community center promoting spiritual/emotional/intellectual growth and individuality through positive social interaction and a healthy dose of metal, screamo and emo bands. 3605 S. State, 266-0258

Kilby Court
2007 marked the end of one era—owners Phil Sherburne and Leia Bell left their post to focus on separate pursuits—and the start of a new legacy with Lance Saunders and Will Sartain booking, promoting and running the all-ages venue. Expect the duo to maintain Kilby’s reputation for hosting such indie-rock luminaries as Rilo Kiley, Deerhoof and Melt Banana, as well as promising local groups. 2008 highlights include Brother Ali, Beach House, RJD2 and Living Legends. 741 S. 330 West,

Red Light Books
Primarily a comic book store specializing in horror, this corner shop hosts punk, experimental electronic and noise acts including local stand-outs Agape, All Systems Fail, Pass-A-Fist and Trebuchet, as well as the occasional touring band including Demons.
179 E. Broadway, 355-1755

Independent record store specializing in recent indie-rock releases welcomes touring bands and local favorites to squeeze into its tiny quarters for special intimate performances, which often coincide with Salt Lake City’s monthly gallery stroll. Owners Anna and Chris Brozek are especially partial to Okkervil River and Laura Gibson, so keep an eye out for repeat appearances. 221 E. Broadway, 364-2611

Contributors include City Weekly associate editor Bill Frost, music editor Jamie Gadette and freelance writer Ryan Bradford.