This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The DABC has you thinking it's nearly impossible to get a good buzz in Utah. You might even consider crossing state lines and returning with contraband or finding a speakeasy to get a drink. But is it really so difficult to sit in a bar stool and ask for a pint of a local brew? Not really. The watering holes throughout the valley are plentiful, and getting a drink is easy. It may not be all-you-can-pour liquor or an ABV stronger than 3.2, but that's a minor detail when you want to go out and have a good time in a bar. To give you a sampling of what is available when it comes to going out and getting a drink in SLC, we've put together our top 50 bars (in no particular order) to scope out the next time you've got a thirst for booze and an itch to see what happens when the sun sets on the Beehive state.
326 S. West Temple; 801.819.7565; http://www.graciesslc.com
The warm-weather seating options are plentiful at this busy downtown Salt Lake City self-proclaimed "gastropub." Drink, eat and listen to live music outside under huge, illuminated canvas umbrellas or stay cool inside and watch TV or play a game of pool ($1), foosball ($1), shuffleboard or Golden Tee Golf. Sip on a Raspberry Mojito ($7.50), a blend of mint, raspberries and baker's (superfine) sugar muddled and served in an iced pint glass with Cruzan Raspberry Rum, soda water and lime and mint garnishes. Gracie's serves lunch, a small tapas menu (Monday to Friday, 4 to 7 p.m.), dinner and brunch (Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Lesli J. Neilson
Green Pig Pub 31 E. 400 South; 801.532.7441, thegreenpigpub.com The crowd at this downtown sports bar which offers a rooftop patio with a beautiful, urban view morphs with the sun. The lunch crowd is mixed, the early-evening crowd appeals to the more mature crowd with acoustic live music, and the crowd gets younger and the music harder as the night wears on. About 10 TVs broadcast all types of sports, with a particular fondness for University of Utah football. Treat your taste buds to the lunch and dinner menu and check out Sunday for brunch.
22 E. 100 South; 801.596.8600
Intimately nestled below street level, O'Shucks remains the best place to combine cold beer and raw fish. Adjacent to Ah! Sushi, the two operations work as one, a perfect and unique way to dine upscale while downstairs. If you're not into sushi, grab a burger for $3. Pabst Blue Ribbon, served in a 16-ounce schooner, is $3 on Wednesdays. The full sushi menu is on par with other local Japanese spots, while the burgers hit the spot on a recent late-night voyage.
Brewvies Cinema Pub
677 S. 200 West; 801.355.5500; brewvies.com
Is it a theater with booze, or a bar with movies in the back room? Brewvies' two movie theaters play first- and second-run movies (R-rated comedies like "The Hangover" go particularly well with beer), and have long counters down every row for your food and drinks. The airy front area has three pool tables, TVs and a bar that serves beer and hard liquor, along with a menu big on burgers and pizza. And don't miss the habanero-infused chili-mayo fry sauce. A wide array of local microbrews are served as well as Brewvies' version of a Long Island iced tea, called "The Dan Aykroyd."
Sean P. Means
1492 S. State St.; 801.468.1492; piperdownpub.com
Irish pubs are usually cramped pine boxes, like caskets with beer, but Piper Down is surprisingly roomy: High ceilings, a wide dance/music area in back and even a second bar (the Temple Bar) for really busy nights like St. Patrick's Day, when the place is packed with Irish-for-a-day revelers. There are cozy paneled booths up front and a long slab of a bar, suitable for a Guinness, a shot of Jameson's or something hearty from the kitchen menu. Try the Regimental Red, an Irish red beer custom-made for Piper Down by Red Rock Brewing, $3 or the "Bloody Piper Brunch," with a bloody Mary bar and $1 mimosas, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop in on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for the Geeks Who Drink pub quiz.
Sean P. Means
30 E. 300 South; 801.322.0318; juniorstavern.com
Small and dimly lit, Junior's Tavern is the perfect neighborhood bar particularly if your neighborhood is the cross-section of bankers, lawyers and arty bohemians who cross paths downtown. "Jazz and blues, conversation, one television, no frills, no gimmicks," is how owner Greg Arrata describes the place. A downtown staple since 1974, its newer digs (Arrata moved there in 2005) is smoke-free, but the old bar's laid-back atmosphere remains.
Sean P. Means
3737 South State St.; 801.713.0678
A vibrant piece of Salt Lake's LGBT culture, Paper Moon caters primarily to the "Ls." Play some pool on the pink-felted tables or settle at the bar and ask the tender for something special. Not gay? Just be respectful and check your inhibitions at the door and you'll have a blast especially on karaoke night. Ask for the house specialty the W.P., we'll call it. This fruity tumbler of deliciousness combines Parrot Bay rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, melon liqueur and grenadine.
Carol's Cove II
3424 S. State Street; 801.466.2683
The first problem with Carol's Cove II is finding it. Even the Arby's immediately south displays more bravado. But once you locate the State Street bar, you'll be faced with a bigger problem leaving it. Carol's Cove II (for licensing purposes, the bar still sports the "II" despite this being its third location) welcomes all patrons as if they were regulars. The bar bills itself as a sports bar, but the walls pays as much homage to the Rat Pack as the Green Bay Packers. Carol's Cove offers a reasonably priced lunch the garlic burgers on Thursdays are the prized entrée. There are peanuts and hot dogs available to munch on, but they don't come highly recommended.
741 N. 300 West; 801.891.1162; jamslc.com
Jam in the Marmalade has become a brilliant addition to the local bar scene, even earning a citation from The New York Times in a recent travel story. The tastefully restored former auto shop rocks with music, karaoke, disco ball, backyard cook outs and even offers a first-class pool table. The quality of mixed drinks is subpar, however, especially the house fav, "Grape Shit," an high-octane potation of three grape-flavored rum, vodka and a liqueur, lime juice and Sprite.
540 W. 200 South; 801.580.2491; facebook.com/MetroBarSLC
As its name suggests, Metro Bar's niche is hybridity. A bar, lounge and dance club on the outskirts of downtown that describes itself as "the best gay bar to take your straight friends to." It's deceptively large, open and poshly decorated. With themed nights during the week, including the immensely popular Dance Evolution on Thursdays, the bar's main event is the gay dance party called Fusion on Saturdays.
400 W. 451 South; 801.534.0819; http://www.area51slc.com
Utah's subculture thrives at Area 51, where DJs eschew chronic club thump-and-bump in favor of a wealth of alternative, electronica and '80s hits. DJs honor requests, and the staff are personable and go the extra mile, even during the frenzy of the monthly themed Fetish Balls, when the place is packed with the naughty, the sexy and the sinful. Come early for the mixed drinks, and stay late to move to the music on three dance floors in this 18-and-up venue.
19 E. 200 South; 801.746.1005; http://www.bourbonhouseslc.com
Walking into this recently remodeled bar in the basement of the Walker Center, the tension in your shoulders after a long day at work immediately lifts. The dim lighting and low ceilings make for a cozy rather than cramped setting for young professionals to eat and drink. The huge, dark wood bar is a welcoming sight, as is the bevy of bourbons, whiskeys and scotches on its drink menu. Drinks are cheap, and they are the only bar in SLC that serves Hamm's beer and a combo they call the Pickle Back (a shot of Jameson chased by a shot of pickle juice) for only $4.
3165 S. 1300 East; 801.466.0838
From the outside, Tony's could easily be an auto shop or warehouse. But step inside the neighborhood bar most nights and you'll find a mix of a devoted old-timers and youngsters sipping cheap drinks amid the dark curtains and black vinyl booths that give Tony's a surprisingly metropolitan feel.
533 S. 500 West; 801.532.1610; http://www.devilsdaughterslc.com
Part barbecue grill house, part steamy lounge and part neighborhood sports bar, this new kid in town (it replaced Club Orange) has something for everyone. With a full lunch and dinner menu that includes ribs, brisket, sliders and pulled pork, it's a perfect place for grub while watching the game. The bar also features a free game room upstairs, a state-of-the-art jukebox and live music on the weekends.
1199 N. Beck Street; 801.521.3904; garageonbeck.com
An homage to its former incarnation and the American roadhouse grill, The Garage has been modernized with warm wood and vintage signs in its location with an oil refinery out back. With a menu that offers comfort food such as fried Mormon Funeral Potatoes and grandma's chicken pot pie, The Garage is a great place for getting grub and enjoying DJs and live music.
The Jackalope Lounge
372 South State Street; 801.359.8054; facebook.com/JackalopeLounge
Show off your new tat at The Jackalope Lounge, where the ink is plentiful and so is the beer selection. Setup is a standard rectangle: long bar, some booths, but that's where normalcy ends expect to make eye contact with several stuffed jackalopes and smiling skulls. The food is great, and the kitchen's open late. And if you want to blend in with the high-energy bar-goers, grab your skateboard and headband and ditch the razor.
3943 S. Highland Drive; 801.272.1903.
The bar has a convivial, worn feel, including dollar bills on the ceiling above the bar and an antique brass cash register that once graced Port-O-Call. Cruzrs serves a Tokyo tea ($8.50) made with a mix of vodka, gin, 151 rum, melon schnapps, pineapple juice, sweet and sour, Sprite and lemon and cherry garnishes. As for grub, the hot pastrami sandwich ($6) is as popular as the $4.25 Jagermeister shots. Or, if you're into a challenge, try tucking into the Oh Boy! four 1/4-pound patties, cheese, onions, four strips of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños and special sauce. If you eat it in under seven minutes, the $15 burger is on the house and you get your picture taken oh boy!
Lesli J. Neilson
832 E. 3900 South; 801.268.2228; http://www.clubhabits.com
Club Habits is proof that you don't have to head downtown for a nightclub experience. Feel free to wear your team's jersey on Mondays when the suburban club shows off all the accoutrement of a big sports bar from big screens to nachos to poker games. But make sure to wear your collared shirt on the weekend, gents, when scores of people take to the club's immense dance floor and Habits enforces its dress code.
A Bar Named Sue
3928 S. Highland Drive, Holladay; 801.274.5578; Facebook.com/aBarNamedSue.
Choose the nondescript door on the left, walk down the old wooden stairs lined with music and beer memorabilia and enter the vast basement known as A Bar Named Sue. With more than 60 whiskeys and 40 beers on tap, Sue's got the beverages covered. The kitchen makes up burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fries and "whiskey" chips that, as the name suggests, are spritzed with whiskey prior to being served. Stay entertained with free darts, shuffleboard and pool along with numerous TVs throughout the bar.
Lesli J. Neilson
9065 Monroe Street, Sandy; 801.566.3254; http://www.club90slc.com
The only two bars in Sandy are right across the street from each other, and both have "club" in the name, but the atmosphere at the two couldn't be more different. Club 90 is less DJ dance club and more live-music oriented. Weekdays are more sparse and laid-back, with an older crowd mostly there for football or karaoke, while the weekends are much busier and attract a more diverse group. There's plenty of room for those who want to dance and those who just want to socialize. The menu is more like a restaurant than a bar, with chicken penne pasta, the Jack Daniel's Beef Panini and steaks among the selection. Since it opens at 10 a.m. every day, Club 90 even offers breakfast.
ONE Nightclub/Lounge/Event Center
180 W. 400 South; 801.214.6180; http://www.oneSLC.com
One of the newest downtown clubs is ONE, an upscale spot to score a drink. With some 5,000 square feet on two levels, owners and bouncers enforce a dress code (that is, no jerseys or ripped jeans) and electronic dance music nightly. The center of the modern, sleek club is designed for dancing, but perhaps the real entertainment is seeing and being seen, with a who's who of the Salt Lake scene decked out in their sexiest club attire.
328 S. State Street; 801.531.5400; http://www.mycirclelounge.com
Part decadent lounge, part sushi bar, the sophisticated party-loving crowd dons their finest attire to see and be seen at this circular-themed hot spot. Guest DJs cue the dance floor with pulsating beats amplified with a side of wasabi. The alley-way patio has an urban vibe and spacious booths are perfect for sharing a hookah and intimate socializing.
6194 S. Highland Drive, Holladay; 801.277.8251; http://www.highlanderutah.com
Regulars expect no frills, and the bar doesn't offer any unless you're a karaoke fiend. Highlander Club stakes its claim as the best karaoke joint in the valley, with high-tech lights and sound and a 65,000-song database you can search from your smartphone. This is a place to wind down, with its '80s-riffic short drop ceiling, black vinyl stools and faux-wood laminate tables. (A Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet" album is even displayed behind glass.) But the clientele don't seem to notice they're regulars who love the place because it's quiet and cheap. The staff is friendly, and while the food is nothing fancy, most meals are $5 to $6.50, and a tasty plate of spaghetti was just $2.
666 S. State Street; 801.532.2914; bardeluxeslc.com
In addition to its music shows, Bar Deluxe hosts events, burlesque and fashion shows and is an all-around great place to hang out because you can enjoy a view of the large stage from comfy couches on the side of the bar. If you would rather stand front and center of the stage, then that too is an option or you can opt to listen to the music from the front of the bar, where you will find pool tables just waiting to be played on. Bar Deluxe owner Kaci Tokumoto is proud of her creation of the Whiskey Tini, and if you are a whiskey lover then you will want to add this drink to your to-try list.
465 S. 700 East; 801.532.1954; facebook.com/pages/x-wifes-place
This delightful dive a bottle-cap's throw from Trolley Square serves a mixed bag of quirky college kids and longtime regulars. Known for its cheap drinks, jukebox, pinball, pool and patio, the allure of this bar is its no-fuss, laid-back atmosphere. No tabs allowed here, though: X-Wife's Place is cash only.
Kristauf's Martini Bar
16 W. Market Street; 801.366.9490; also at 6405 S. 3000 East, Cottonwood Heights; http://www.martinibarslc.com.
Sandwiched between Takashi and The Melting Pot, the 11-year-old Kristauf's offers more than 50 martini cocktails. The range includes classics, such as a Manhattan with a 151 rum-soaked cherry, vodka- and rum-based (the Grey Goose Crisp Pear was Park City's official drink in 2008), fine-liquor, sexy and dessert martinis. The narrow, wooden-accented space lends itself to good conversation (thanks to the presence of only two TVs) and catching up with friends before or after dinner or just because. For the ladies: Crisp Pear ($8) with Grey Goose La Poire, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, champagne and a cherry garnish. For the gentlemen: Mark's Manhattan ($9) with Maker's Mark, sweet vermouth, bitters and a 151 rum-soaked cherry.
Lesli J. Neilson
Oscar's Social Club
8136 S. State Street, Midvale; 877.218.2235; http://www.oscarsutah.com
Oscar's just may be the South Valley scene's diamond in the rough. The airy, well-lit venue has plenty of space for bigger groups, while the dance floor area is great for karaoke, DJs and poker tournaments. As a bonus, the jukebox plays a nice mix of classic rock faves when no one ponies up a buck. The Saturday night crowd is a laid-back mix of women dressed up for a night out, guys grabbing a beer, couples enjoying a meal and friends shooting pool. Just be careful not to park in a tow-away lot. The menu offers pub fare done right for reasonable prices.
102 S. 600 West; 801.531.8727; http://www.thetrappslc.com/The_Trapp/Home.html
Iconic gay bar The Trapp is an old reliable spot where a drink and a conversation are easy to get. The establishment itself is a cocktail of divey brown décor and campy gay nostalgia (those disco ball boots weren't made for walking). The clientele is just as mixed: young and old, guys in ties or sassy pink T's, enjoying their drinks in Mason jars as they unwind on the dance floor, at the pool table or on the patio.
Johnny's on Second
165 S. 200 East; 801.746.3334; http://www.johnnysonsecond.com
Home of the $4 shot and beer, Johnny's appeals to a crowd that's a little rougher around the edges, with a bouncer named Wolf checking IDs and Sexi-Mexi slinging the booze. A veritable smoker's haven, it's not unusual for there to be more patrons on the patio smoking than there are hanging out in the bar. Typically loud and lively till closing time, this is a great last stop after a night of bar-hopping.
1249 East 3300 South; 801.467.5637; http://www.liquidjoes.net
The college and post-college crowd bang their heads to local bands and sing along with the regular acts at this round bar located near the Brickyard shopping area.
"Nerds with guitars," the Spazmatics, are the highlight of the week, performing covers of hits from the '80s every Saturday night. What's nice about the club is that there are two rooms, so if you're not into the local metal band on the stage, you can retire to the other room to socialize and play pool.
60 E. 800 South; 801.364.0805, http://www.thewoodshedslc.com
The Woodshed is a great place to catch live music, as it regularly books reggae bands on Thursdays and local and nationally-touring bands on Fridays and Saturdays. A young comfortably dressed-down crowd frequents the well-lit bar. The yellow-orange color scheme inside is a bit garish, but soon you don't mind as you quaff a $3 Jager shot and relax into one of the several couches and plush lounge chairs inside. A disco ball on the stage sends illuminated flashes of green onto the dance floor. Try Sex on the Shed ($5), a blend of spiced rum, peach Schnapps, cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice and pineapple juice, this is a super-fruity drink that's also surprise! very sweet. Other specialty cocktails include the Sly Fox, Sour Puss, and the Root Beer Mind Eraser. Located near taco carts and a Taco Time, this is a perfect nightspot for when you get the munchies.
155 E. 200 South; 801.532.9114
This historic SLC dive has been recently resurrected as an artisan cocktail club. Indeed, the X's mixologists do a first-class job of shaking up Moscow Mules (a favorite), Pimm's Cups, Sazaracs and more for $9. Remnants from the previous club have been restored to preserve the past while a wall of liquor bottles is contemporary with color-changing LED lights to illuminate the cozy club.
347 E. 200 South, 801.532.9400, twilitelounge.com
Twilite has been a Utah institution for 60 years, and the lounge maintains its low-key 1970s feel with dark wood panelling and black and red decor, providing a chill atmosphere and chilled drinks to every type of clientele you can imagine. What the Twilight's customers have in common is being cool enough to drink there.
Keys on Main
242 South Main St.; 801.363.3638, http://www.keysonmain.com
There's karaoke here on Mondays and Tuesdays, but the real draw are the dueling pianos Wednesday through Saturday at Keys on Main. The cavernous downtown bar is filled with birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and girls' nights out every night because of the two piano players who play everything from today's favorites (such as every Katy Perry song you can imagine) to oldies ("The Thong Song" and "Welcome to the Jungle" are heavily requested by patrons). Two large bars are situated across the tan-colored room from the pianos, and attentive bartenders and table service offer a limited menu of pub grub, as well as imaginatively and musically named specialty cocktails such as "Lady Gaga," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The John Daly" and "Crocodile Rock."
145 W. Pierpont Ave.; 801.883.8714, lumpysdowntownslc.com
This is the perfect bar for serious sports lovers; you can find every game on TV with all major sports packages. Customers can control their personal TV with a touch-screen remote in every booth. Take your own sport skills to the basement where you can play pool, golden tee or fooseball and if that's not enough, you can satisfy your appetite with a wide variety of pub fare and enjoy dancing with a live DJ every thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
358 S. West Temple; 801.359.0637
You could easily drive past this club situated at the rear of a strip-mall, but once you get inside, you'll dance the night away with some of the finest homegrown electro DJs on the ones and twos. Dancing shoes are a must for this intimate club that emanates mammoth beats.
Murphy's Bar and Grill
60 S. Main St.; 801.359.7271; murphysbarandgrillut.com
Murphy's Bar and Grill bills itself as "A Step Down in Social Clubs," The small Irish pub is a great place to enjoy Guinness on tap while waiting to eat some fantastic pub food, hang out with friends, or just sit at the bar top to watch a game. The bartenders at Murphy's brag about their fish 'n' chips and reuben, but we also boast about their garlic burgers with cheese fries ($11). Beyond the Guinness, we suggest ordering the Grapefruit Kamakaze, a specialty drink that is perfect for those who aren't into sugary drinks. The taste is both sweet and sour, goes down nice and smooth and will have you coming back for more.
Sugar House Pub
1992 S. 1100 East; 801.413.2857
Sugar House Pub is an unpretentious neighborhood tavern where the bar flies skew under age 40. This mellow watering hole fills its neighborhood role well. No fancy cocktails or glitzy interior, but bartender Reilly says she can "pretty much make anything," including a fine classic martini. That, three pool tables, foosball and couple video games what more do you need to unwind after work?
Cheers to You
315 S. Main St.; 801.575.6400; http://www.cheerstoyouslc.com
Cheers to You has an East Coast feeling with a classic long bar and stools on one side and cosy booths on the other, with pool tables at the back. The drinks are cheap, the bartenders are efficient and friendly, and Cheers is open from 11 a.m. through 2 a.m. 365 days a year. They also serve basic food including French Dip and Meatball subs served on a hoagie roll. Try a watermelon or apple Mind Eraser or two and your cares will go out the window for at least a few hours.
645 S. State St.; 801.961.8400; http://www.utahbayou.com
Locals know The Bayou as a beer lover's paradise, but they also serve excellent speciality cocktails, including the Hurricane, made with light and dark rum and fruit juices. The Bayou is often packed during peak hours but at off-peak times you will get a table immediately. Sip in the adjacent alleyway while enjoying Cajun and Creole menu items. Have a side of live jazz and blues Thursday through Saturday.
The Hotel, Elevate and Opium Lounge
155 W. 200 South; 801.860.7180; http://www.thehotelelevate.com
With the three clubs in one, red carpet-loving clubgoers embrace the posh hotel lobby vibe where paparazzi are stalking local celebs a certain Utah Jazz player frequents this club and DJs and bartenders do an impeccable job of keeping guests entertained. Next door, at Elevate, DJs fill the dance floor with hip-hop and Top 40 booty-poppin' beats. The second level of the renovated hotel is the ultra-swanky Opium Lounge, where slick white VIP booths invite a chill attitude. If the club scene isn't your thing, find solace among pool tables and cozy booths in the basement.
Dick N' Dixie's
479 E. 300 South; 801.521.3556
Dick N' Dixie's is the bar that took over the hole-in-the-wall Andy's and made the corner of 300 South fun again. ESPN 700 touts this bar as the official home of the University of Utah home football game after-parties, which is also frequented by athletes from Real Salt Lake. Pool tables, long windows looking out on the street and fun bartenders make this location a nightly hot-spot for locals. If you drop in on a weekend, go before 10 p.m. to grab a seat and beat the crowd.
135 W. 1300 South; 801.487.4418; http://www.lucky13slc.com
Lucky 13 goes beyond their collection of draft beers and into the world of amazing burgers with quirky names such as the "Breath Enhancer" ($7.50). The bar is staffed with down-to-earth bartenders who are eager to chat with you while they wait for you to decide on what you want to order. You can choose to dine inside at the comfortable bar, where you can watch a game on TV or check out the vintage decor adorning the walls of the bar, or go out on the patio (which is marred by the traffic on 13th South, so you'll want to sit far enough away from the street to enjoy a conversation). Stop in for Sunday brunch and order a Bloody Mary, $3, which comes excessively garnished and is made with owner Ron Dutton's original Bloody Mary mix recipe.
Poplar Street Pub
242 S. 200 West; 801.532.2715; http://www.poplarstreetpub.com
If neon-colored martinis aren't your style, head to his downtown gastropub, which offers a low-key atmosphere where you can talk to friends, play pool or watch a game. Poplar Street offers three separate inside seating areas, as well as a comfortable patio and a friendly staff. It also serves great bar food, including hand-tossed pizzas, gourmet burgers, Chile Verde and possibly the best halibut fish and chips in town. Don't miss the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch for just $9. It's served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a made-to-order omelette bar, French toast, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy and chile verde.
Huka Bar & Grill
151 E. 6100 South, Murray, 801.281.HUKA, http://www.thehukabar.com
Sexy cocktail waitresses, known as the Huka Girls, are not the only attraction at this Murray bar. Cozy booths, theme parties, dance floor-filling DJs and exceptional bar food are enough to keep this chic bar and grill hopping every night of the week. Thursday's College Night is one of the hottest parties in the valley with Huka Gogos dancing on the boxes and Huka Girls serving up plenty of Thirsty Thursday specials. Plan your birthday party, bachelor or bachelorette party in the VIP rooms by calling 801.604.7035.
The Red Door
57 S. 200 West; 801.363.6030; http://www.behindethereddoor.com
For a sophisticated, albeit pricey, night out, this martini and wine bar fits the bill, thanks to its vibrant décor with plush couches, a floor-to-ceiling mural and full wall of liquor bottles. Martinis are the specialty with more than 40 different choices in four different levels: straight up, high-octane, medium-octane and decadent. But wines are available both by the glass and the bottle, and there's a hearty selection of single malt whiskeys.
3200 East Big Cottonwood Canyon Road; 801.733.5567; http://www.thehogwallow.com
The vibe of this neighborhood pub is carved into the 1947 building, like the names in the building's ceiling. In 1997, Keith Biesinger, with his father and brother, transformed the longtime bar into the Hog Wallow, named after rapids on the Green River. Besides the friendly staff (shift manager Michelle Hahn rings a bell to signal good tips, or a good live band), the pub's attraction is its versatility, with six TV screens, video games, live music most nights of the week, and a creekside patio. As a bonus, there's a formidable menu of Mexican-inspired finger food, pizza, grill-fresh burgers and Tom Westland's signature barbecue. Ben Fulton
8925 S. 255 West, Sandy; 801.255.2078; http://www.allureslc.com.
Club Allure touts itself as multiple venues in one, with a game room, live music in the Crown Room, and a smoking patio with a beach theme. But this is really a dance club with a lighted dance floor (think more LED Tetris than "Saturday Night Fever"). Brushed metal columns act to section off the seating from the dancers, who move along as the DV/DJ plays tunes with music videos projected s throughout the club. On a recent Saturday night the dance floor began filling up around 10:45 p.m. There are two full bars and plenty of friendly servers, so waits aren't too long and prices are reasonable. Scott Sherman
201 E. Broadway (300 South); 801.519.8900; tavernacle.com
Two piano players and drunk people singing along with them is a recipe for good times at the decade-old Tavernacle. These entertainers tickle the ivories Wednesday through Saturday and take a break on Sunday and Tuesday for patrons to enjoy piano-free karaoke.
Burt's Tiki Lounge
726 S. State St.; 801.521.0572
This downtown favorite is known for its dive atmosphere and live shows. All sorts of musical genres have graced the stage at Burt's and while the bar is pretty cozy when the place is crowded, one of the draws are the cheap drinks. Before hitting the beer, try a Cerebral Assassin, a strong drink mixed with whiskey and jagermeister that could potentially have you waking up wondering what you did last night.