Ulterior Motives.

I’ve had the pleasure of living outside of Utah for an extended period of time. While living in North Carolina, and to a lesser extent visiting other places, there seems to be a recurrent question asked of me about Utah viagra ou. “How hard is it to find a drink?”

For years, this sort of bothered me. I felt that people were not really giving Utah in general and Salt Lake in particular the respect that it deserved when regarding libations. I think that there is a drinking culture here that is worthy of exploration. There are fun little places, loud dance clubs, depressing dives, upscale martini bars… The same types of places that you can find anywhere else in the country. Sometimes it just takes a little more effort to discover them.

I am hoping that in our travels around the city, Rawb and I find some great places that will get our continued custom once our project is finished. I also hope that we are still having fun with this when the 118 are done and we look to expand our horizons further.

There are a great number of places on our list that I am looking forward to visiting. There are also a great number of places that I would generally simply avoid. I imagine that in the latter group of establishments will be more than a few diamonds in the rough.

I hope that word gets out of our project. I also hope that people will find the time to join us on our journey and discover new and exciting venues for a late night cocktail or an after work beer. The next few places has a couple of joints I know and love, one I’ve never been to, and one I don’t really like all that much. In any event, I know the night will be fun and memorable simply because of the people who will be with us.

Travel plans always get the best of me.

Just when we start getting this thing set up and rolling, I have to go out of town. My paintball team http://teambadkarma.com is going to an event in Nevada this weekend. I will be traveling back to Salt Lake when we would normally be at the bars.

So instead, next week we are planning on doing Four on 4th. We are planning on Manhattan, Green Pig, Jackalope and Juniors. And yes, I know that two of those are not on 4th but it’s all the same block. Who knows, maybe we will hit Cheers to You as well. I’ve been to a few of these places and only have trepidations about one of them. It should be an awesome night (as they all have been thus far).

Wish my team luck in our first game of the new season.

Goal Setting.

Goal setting is the best way to accomplish things.  In 1942 a group of determined scientists and engineers began working on the Manhattan Project.  In 1961 Kennedy addressed Congress and encouraged them to make sure we reached the Moon.  Late in 2009 two guys decided it’d be nice to say to anyone asking about a particular bar “Yeah, I’ve been there!”.

The Goal, for Rawb and Marv to have a drink at every bar in Salt Lake.  Stealing a page from http://everybarinsanfrancisco.wordpress.com/ we began to look at how difficult it would be to visit every bar in Salt Lake in a year.  The first task was to determine the scope of our project.  Originally we thought we would shoot for every bar in Salt Lake County.  That list we felt unmanageable, so we then decided to visit every bar in Salt Lake City, instead.  A visit to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control website yielded a list of every bar with a Salt Lake City address.  This pruned the list to 118 establishments.  While not every bar is actually within Salt Lake City proper, we decided to go with it.

The Rules:
We have to both be at the bar at the same time.
At least one of us has to order, purchase and finish a drink.  If we don’t have someone to drive us, we will alternate drinking.

The Score:
25 Visited
93 Unvisited

Be sure to red the entries below to see what our thoughts of the various establishments are, and comment.  If you disagree with us, let us know.  If you want to join us, feel free.

The Goal: To be able to say “I’ve been there” to any query about a bar in the city.

Dramatis personæ:

Rawb.  Programmer by day, Scotch drinker by night.  Favourite Drink: Aberlour Single Malt.

Marv.  Network Engineer by day, Beer and Whisky man by night.  Favourite Drink(s):  Beer, Pislner Urquel.  Whisky, Blanton’s Bourbon.

Cast of thousands:
JL The Designated Viking
George Definitely Designated Driver

Visit our friendface page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/DrinkSLC/281962567884?ref=mf

#10 Bar X

Marv Says:

This is a beer only cash bar with hardly any selection.  PBR was $1.50 in cans and the best beer available.  It’s dive, and it was empty.  I am surprised the hipsters don’t flock there for the cheap PBR.  Umm, PBR was the best thing, so it’s what I had.

Rawb Says:

If I was one to follow traditional advice of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” I do believe my total review of this bar would state: The bar stool did not fall over when I sat on it. Luckily for you, I’m going to cast that age-old wisdom aside and tell you what I really thought. We rolled in here around 11:50 or so at night, ready to finish off the night at one final bar. Inside, there was a total of three people, the bartender, a guy that looks like someone who would hold down a “job” of preaching and/or urinating on you from a street corner, and bewilderingly a girl. Now, this place is beer only. Beer only can be good, you would figure they would really branch out and offer a huge range of beers so you could imbibe in any number of tasty flavors. Instead, we were presented with a menu of four: Bud, Bud Light (and then if you ask if they have anything else), Coors, and PBR. The drinks were really cheap, I think a can of PBR was $1.50 (and goes on sale on Sunday for just a dollar), so there is something positive about it, just not enough to go back.


Attending: Rawb, Marv, Sascha

#9 Johnny’s on 2nd

Marv Says:

Very good Bourbon selection, but light on the Scotch.  Bartender Mikey was very good and explained that their signature $4 Shot and a Beer was a good value.  It’s got pool and live music, and a well stocked bar with capable bartending. It’s on the Bro Bar side of the scale, but don’t think it’s Downstairs at Port ‘O Call.  Shot and a Beer (Shock Top and Canadian Host), Bulliet  bourbon, Hops Rising, Blanton’s all made it past my lips as we took in the sights, sounds and feel of this gem in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake.

Rawb Says:

I really liked this bar, but mostly because it taught me the beauty of the Shot and a Beer. That was the nightly special and a good nightly special it was, only four bucks for a very tasty and quite powerful little beverage. The bar staff here was very friendly but quite overworked, in their favor they did have a segment of bar devoted to walk up drink orders so when the wait got long, people could form a proper non-Norwegian style line. As for the bar itself, it seems to be a bit confused. The decor said that it was a hole-in-the wall designated for punk, where the people who were coming there seemed to be mostly just-out-of-college guys and barely a handful of women. Overall I liked it and I do believe I’ll be going back someday.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, Sascha

#8 Nostalgia

Marv Says:

Nostalgia is not a bar.  However, it gets high marks from me. It’s a coffee shop that sells beer.  I like it regardless of it’s lack of booze.  Chill atmosphere with a $2 Bottle special for beer on Saturday nights.  This includes good local micros. Evolution Amber was my selection at this quiet urban coffee house.

Rawb Says:

This place was more like a happy accident. Walking up, you could tell something was amiss because there was far too much light coming out of those windows. Oh, yeah, and there were windows in the front, so something was definitely different. When we entered and saw tableload after tableload of people with school books, papers and ipods we pretty much figured it all out. This was no mere bar, this was a coffee shop. What makes this coffee shop different is that they do have a fair collection of beer in bottles for those of us on the other end of the brain-activity slope. The beer is mostly the craft-type brews, I’m not even sure if they had Bud Light. It was a bit odd, sitting around a table nursing a beer while surrounded by gaggles of people trying to study and get stuff done before the upcoming monday. Made me feel a bit like I was lording it up over them and being a bit of a braggart about not having to study for a thing these days. It’s good to be the king.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, Sascha

#7 Twilight Lounge

Marv Says:

A dive bar with a free juke box, minimal selection of booze but a good staff and 70’s era decorations.  It’s been “found” by the hipster crowd so get there early to avoid the trustafarians invading to drink PBR ironically while they admire their bad haircuts.  I ran into an old friend Richard there, and had a blast (and some shots) with him.  Tequila and Redbull, Maker’s Mark were on the block that night.

Rawb Says:

When I think of a “bar” in the classic sense, this is exactly the thing that comes to mind. Small, poorly lit, extensive amounts of heavily oiled dark wood and a general feel of someplace to go to drink away your sorrows; In my mind this place even has shag carpeting but I do believe reality doesn’t agree with me on this one. As Marv said, this place has been discovered by hipsters going in for the ironic touch that this bar, in it’s un-updated since the day it was born decor, gives one that drinks a steady diet of PBR because it’s the in thing. We made it there early before there was more than one or two fixies sitting out front so we got a good feeling for the old crowd that used to populate this place and they are a bunch of older, but very friendly folk. Conversations at the bar weren’t just joined in by anyone else at or near the bar, it was almost expected. The bartender seemed a little off-put by the crowd, probably hoping that the late-coming hipsters were better tippers, but drinks were served quickly so no points deducted there. Overall, this bar is a good one if you go early and want to hit a good, classic, what-your-dad-drank-at-if-your-dad-drank-at-bars bar.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, Sascha

#6 Hog’s Wallow

Marv Says:

This was a rough night for me as it was the anniversary of the death of my father.  I was bound and determined to go out regardless of my illness, depression and injury.  As we were walking in, a soldier in his Class A uniform asked us to have champagne with him.  We of course allowed as this would be an awesome idea and proceded to have a couple of bottles outside the bar.  Inside we paid our $5 cover and claimed a table.  We had Scotch in honor of my father and from there on had a great night.  One made epic by a series of text message pranks played on an unsuspecting public when Rawb started getting messages from people expecting a “Sassy” instead of a “Rawb.”  I enjoyed my Glen Livet and Black and Tans.

Rawb Says:

This night didn’t seem like it would amount to much, it was snowing and the location of this bar is not very snow-friendly. It’s a pseudo-biker bar, really more intended for leather-clad suburbanites or snow bunnies after a hard day bunnying. Taking aside the unexpected level of awesomeness contributed by the drunken man in uniform handing out free champaign and the joy of chaos produced by the misdirected phone number, I still like this bar. Pulling a reverse doctor who, it’s smaller inside than it appears from the outside with the majority of the space collected around the bar in the center. Tables are fairly plentiful, which is where we spent our evening and even got our drinks brought to us by a waitress which shows we don’t necessarily have to stick with what we know. The music was your standard cover band, more enthusiastic about their destruction of your all time favorites of classic rock than normally performed but the volume level was set low enough so that one could actually talk across the table. The crowd here seems mostly older, but there was a handful of the younger generation and everyone seemed to be quite friendly, the table next to us even joining in on some of our pranks on the hapless misdirected phone number people.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, JL, Renae

#5 – Green Street

Rawb Says:
While there was a cover band there slaughtering many of the great songs of people much older than my youth I still enjoyed myself. The bar was pretty surrounded by people and it was a bit tough trying to get a drink, fortunately my zebra print shirt allowed me to part someone from their seat long enough to get something ordered. The general feel here is all about the younger collage student with no particular style. Strangely, it seemed to favor having more women there than men.

Marv says:

A $5 cover is hardly bad, but it’s only charged to dudes.  This is apparently the status quo at this club.  Dance floor upstairs, bro bar down.  I enjoyed my Maker’s with Redbull to round out an evening out on the town.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, Lacey, Sascha

#4 – X-Wives Place

Rawb says:
Felt like a good old blue collar bar that was slowly being overrun by hipsters looking to drown in irony. The drink was hardly passable and the only thing I drown in was the complete failure of the booth to be anything but a complete pain in my ass (literally).

Marv Says:

X-Wive’s was at one point an unshakable pillar of my existence.  I was a regular there with many friends on both sides of the bar.  The pool tables and dart boards are fun and usually well maintained.  However the soul was ripped out after a change in management.  My silent boycott was kept and I absstained from ordering a drink.  Glad to have this one behind me as it does not live up to the happy memories I have of the old X.

Attending: Rawb, Marv, Lacey, Sascha