Salt Lake City band Royal Bliss opens a bar
Bar exam • Nightclub in SLC provides stage for local and nationally touring bands.
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Murray • During the past 15 years, one of Salt Lake City's hardest-working rock bands, Royal Bliss, traveled all over the country, playing every dive, honky-tonk and roadhouse bar that would host them.

To pass the time before and after soundchecks, band members would assess the virtues and sins of each venue.

"Playing around the country was like research for 15 years," said lead singer Neal Middleton, who partnered with Kelly Petersen — formerly of Salt Lake City's Liquid Joe's rock club — to open a new club in Murray.

Dubbed The Royal, the modern club and concert venue — near the intersection of 900 East and the Van Winkle Expressway — incorporates many of the best features the band has seen over the years.

"You see what works and what doesn't," said Taylor Richards, guitarist for the band, which has a countrywide tour planned this fall and a new album due in early 2014.

"We want this to be an everything bar," said Middleton, who is making his first foray into the day-to-day business of running a bar.

The nightclub, which opened on May 24, took over the building that was most recently The Veranda. Before that it was Rivers restaurant. It has two floors that add up to 6,500 square feet. The centerpiece is the main level stage that will serve as a frequent home for Royal Bliss when it is in town, as well as a spot for local bands to perform. American Hitmen, fresh off its "America's Got Talent" tour, performs Friday, and King Niko headlines Sept. 13.

The bar also will host nationally touring acts such as the Boston-based The Red Telephone on Aug. 30 and Super Diamond on Sept. 27. The lure for these larger acts will be playing in a venue where the people in charge know how musicians like to be treated.

The second floor is a sports bar with large, high-definition televisions.

Another highlights of The Royal is its 1,500-square-foot patio alongside Big Cottonwood Creek.

The club is still working on d├ęcor and is changing its extensive menu; Middleton said the omission of mozzarella sticks will be rectified soon.

In the meantime, music geeks and average Joes can grab a beer and a hamburger and watch live rock and roll as well as NFL once the football season commences. There is even a pizza named The Royal Bliss, made with bourbon sauce, steak, red onion, roasted red peppers, green olives, roasted garlic and provolone.

With a full liquor license and a wide range of local beers, The Royal is the perfect home for Royal Bliss and its legions of local fans.

dburger@sltrib.com —

The Royal

Where • 4760 S. 900 East, Murray; 801-590-9940

Hours • Wednesday-Sunday at 5 p.m.

Online • facebook.com/royalslc

Tonight's show • American Hitmen with Adjacent to Nothing, tonight at 8; $7 at SmithsTix —

The Royal

Where • 4760 S. 900 East, Murray

Hours • Wednesday-Sunday at 5 p.m.

Online • facebook.com/royalslc

Upcoming shows • American Hitmen with Adjacent to Nothing, Friday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m.; $7 at SmithsTix