Salt Lake City in a nutshell
Salt Lake City- Olympic partygoers found it is just as easy to get drink in Salt Lake as it is to order a meal.
Restaurants serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks with the purchase of food, and visitors rarely notice differences between
Salt Lake and other American cities. “Some people were surprised at how easy it is to have a good time here, “ said Deno Dakis,
general manager of Port O’Call Social Club in downtown Salt Lake , and nine-year veteran of Salt Lake’s club scene. ”The
laws are really no big deal,” Dakis said. “ Once visitors get inside, there really aren’t a lot of differences between our
clubs and bars in other cities. “
Private clubs are Utah’s equivalent to bars. While the term “private club” sounds exclusive, they are open to everyone.
Visitors purchase two-week memberships, similar to a cover charge in other cities, which usually cost about $ 5 and allow
sponsorship of five other guests.
“ The term”private club” in any other associated with an uppity,snobby sort of experience,” says Michael LePrey, general
Manager of Green Street Social Club in Historic Trolley Square. “In Utah, a private club is the same thing as a bar anywhere
outside of the state.” In private club business for 23 years, LePrey said there may be unseen advantages to the system.
“We work very hard to make sure out-of-town guests feel welcome, partially to overcome any preconceived ideas about
what a private club is,” he said. “For the most part, private clubs are more personable, friendly, and accommodating
than bars in other states because we want to compensate for the label.”
Private clubs have full bars and allow smoking. Patrons order doubles by asking for a “side car” which is a single
shot of liquor, served separately. Mixed drinks, wine and beer are also served in restaurants and hotels with the purchase of food.
Grocery and convenience stores sell beer. Sixteen conveniently located state loquor stores in the Salt Lake area sell wine, spirits,
and beer. There are more than 1,000alcohol-serving restaurants, clubs, pubs, and stores in the greater Salt lake area.
In 2001, the people of Utah consumed 4 million gallons of wine and liquor, making the state far from dry.
Utah operates one of the most comprehensive wine stores in the United States.
Located at 255 South 300 East in Salt Lake,(801-533-6444) the Utah Sate wine Store has more than 3,000 different varieties
of wine with more than 30,000bottles in stock. The store’s inventory is worth an estimated $3 million.
“ We were the first state to open a wine specialty store,” said Brett Clifford, the state’s wine expert.
Clifford samples 400-500 varieties of wine every month to determine what to buy for the store.”
The best compliment I get are from out-of state wine industry insiders who are amazed at the depth
and breadth of our collection,” Clifford said.
“It’s one of the best wine stores in the country,” agrees international wine judge,
Jon Engen MWC, of Jon Engen Selections. “ The selection at the wine store in Utah is
not unparalleled, but it is extraordinary, It doesn’t take a back seat to anyone.”
Connoisseurs are’bedazzled by the wine store selections, “said Engen. “You can
basically find anything you want at the Utah Wine Store. In fact, wine lovers
from major markets like New York and California take back bottles they can’t find at home.”
Salt Lake is also home to one of the best brewpubs in the United States, according
to the National Brewpub Conference & Tradeshow. Red Rock Brewing Company in downtown
Salt Lake was awarded the group’s Brewie Award for” Brewpub of the Year” in 2000. “
I think it’s a great surprise for people that the country’s best brewpub is in Salt Lake,” said Lynda Tobin, one of Red Rock’s founders.
Uinta Brewing Company was Utah’s first production brewery, opening in 1993.
It’s flagship brand Cutthroat Ale is the number one selling “ craft-brewed” beer in Utah.
Other award-winning breweries in Salt lake include Squatters, Marmot Mesa, and Desert Edge.
In the 2001 Great American Beer Festival, Salt Lake beers competed with microbrews from across
the country and walked away with numerous awards including desert Edge Brewery’s Road Rage Rye
( Gold), Red Rock Brewing Company’s Nut Brown Ale ( Silver), Squatter’s Full Suspension Pale Ale
( Gold), Uinta Brewing Company’s King’s Peak(Bronze) and Black Forrest Schwarzbier (Gold).
Salt lake also hosts it’s own major brew festival every September. Additionally, 22 Salt
Lake restaurants hold awards of excellence from Wine Spectator magazine including
the Aerie Restaurant, Bangkok, Thai, Fleming’s Steak House, La Caille,
Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar, Metropolitan, Shallow shaft,
Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops, The New Yorker, and Tuscany.
“One of the unplanned legacies of the Olympics may be an increased vibrancy
in Salt Lake’s nightlife, “ said Jason Mathis, spokesman
for the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau in the past
year alone,” he said. “We got a taste for Olympic-sized parties
during the Games and Salt Lake’s nightlife scene just seems to be getting stronger every day.”