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Salt Lake City


Nightlife in Salt Lake City

Over the past few years, Salt Lake's button-down image has been replaced by a vibrant nightlife scene. With dozens of new watering holes, the city's image has never been splashier. A 2003 rewrite of Utah's liquor laws made it easier to get into clubs and bars, with a $4 cover charge for a temporary membership. Most restaurants also serve wine, beer, and mixed drinks with the purchase of food. Here are some best bets for nightly fun in Salt Lake.

Best All Around Bar – Port O' Call Offering four levels of TV sports, pool tables, live music, a high-tech dance club, and a bustling outdoor patio, the Port has something for everyone. Housed in a historic downtown building, Port O' Call is Salt Lake's biggest all-inclusive party bar.

Best Club for Beer Lovers – The Bayou With more than 150 varieties, the Bayou is described as "Beervana" by loyal brew enthusiasts. The Bayou serves up a snappy Cajun menu and rollicking live jazz in a sophisticated setting. This is the place for a cold one in Utah.

Best Live Music Venue – Club Sound One of the largest nightclubs in town, Club Sound has emerged as Utah's live music showcase. Located in the mammoth club setting formerly known as Bricks, Club Sound welcomes genres as diverse as Sonic Youth and The Strokes.

Best Underground Bar – Monk's In the subterranean world of Salt Lake's after-hours scene, Monk's offers more piercings per patron than any other bar. With voluble live performances of jazz, rock, and blues, Monk's showcases local talent with a laid-back attitude.

Best Retro Funk Bar – Shaggy's Livin' Room Salt Lake's grooviest bar is also its most comfortable, thanks to dozens of couches and a casual vibe that permeates all four floors. The top level includes a pulsating dance floor where hipsters groove to hip-hop and R&B.

Best Piano Bar - Tavernacle Social Club Dueling pianos take center stage at this neighborhood bar on the border of downtown. Urged on by a raucous crowd, piano masters take on all requests as they compete for laughs and tips.

Best People Watching - Oyster Bar Downtown and Oyster Bar Cottonwood Drawn by a high-energy atmosphere, Salt Lake's beautiful people—and those who love them—congregate at these two locations for potent drinks and fresh seafood.

Best Country-Western - Totem's Wall-to-wall lodge pole pines set the theme for this cavernous institution. A giant stage and lots of room to spread out make Totem's the best place to enjoy live Country-Western music.

Best Irish Bar – Murphy's Bar and Grill A shamrock motif, Guinness, and regular corned beef and cabbage specials define Murphy's authentic pub atmosphere. This Salt Lake institution's mid-city location makes it an after-work gathering place for professionals and visitors alike.

Best Martini Bar - The Red Door The bar's "high octane" martinis are almost as big as the 12-foot mural of Che Guevera that greets patrons as they enter The Red Door. The sophisticated space inside takes the bar scene up a notch, and makes patrons ask, "Is this really Salt Lake?"

Best Mountain Bar - The Thirsty Squirrel Nothing feels better than taking off your boots after a day on the slopes and downing a cold one at this upscale bar in Solitude's new village. The Thirsty Squirrel embodies Solitude's recent makeover which is intimate, comfortable, and chic.

Best Dance Club - Vortex Cosmopolitan martini bar meets gyrating go-go girls at this four-story downtown club. The basement is reserved for underage patrons (over 18), while upstairs offers grown-up drinks, dancing, and ambiance. A giant dance floor takes up the top two levels.

Best Wine Bar - The Wine Bar at Baci Taking full advantage of sommelier Wendy Caron's vast experience and one of the largest wine collection in the West (more than 10,000 bottles), Baci offers pairings, innovative wine flights, dozens of varieties by the glass, and 2-ounce tastings.

Best Margaritas - Keyhole Junction Cantina at Snowbird Serving more than 20 tequilas the Keyhole is the perfect place to sip south of the border style. This resort bar is a year-round destination with cozy winter ambiance and stunning alpine patio views.

Best Sports Bar - SkyBox Sports Grille & Arena Stadium-style seating surrounds a 16' by 16' screen, making the Skybox the place to catch every big game. 80 additional TVs team up with dozens of interactive arcade games to make the Skybox a sport lovers dream come true.

Best Establishment Bar – New Yorker For more than 25 years, the New Yorker has been a focal point for deal-making and celebrations of business acumen and political coups. Helped by an award-winning menu, this is the place for Salt Lake's power brokers to see and been seen.

The Bar at Market Grill
The Bar at Market Grill



Document Information
Source: Salt Lake City CVB, Grant Heaton, Erich Schramm
Last modified: 20050101
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