Caviar Club Hosts Pop-ups Suited for Finer Tastes

“I wanted to create a night that was more for adults because a lot of DJ-related nights tend to be a bunch of young kids coming out to dance to the top 40s,” says James Ramirez, an experienced DJ, record-collector and a cofounder of Caviar Club. “I wanted to do something different that celebrated the finer things in life, and for me, vinyl is one of them.” 

Setting out to offer a sophisticated space for music lovers and foodies alike, Ramirez has been collaborating with Salt Lake’s gastronomic powerhouses to host a series of traveling, refined pop-ups for one night only. Though Caviar Club has become known for its high-concept food and vinyl parties, the group began as a way for local record-lovers to connect. In 2013, Ramirez and nine other DJs, producers and vinyl collectors would gather at Bar X and host regular listening parties. The actual caviar came much later.

“We named our group Caviar Club as a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to the inherent pretentiousness of the vinyl community,” Ramirez laughs. Don’t get it wrong—Caviar Club is far from an uppity crew looking down their noses at mere Spotify listeners. But their dedication to decades-long crate-digging for rare and unique vinyl is something to be celebrated, and how can you not want to show off a collection that is 5,000 records strong? “We’ve all been collecting vinyl for the better parts of our lives, most of us have thousands of pieces in our collection,” Ramirez says. 

Caviar Club Salt Lake City

As the meet-ups gained momentum, the worldly Caviar Club listeners decided to use their genre-spanning collections for the greater good and educate Salt Lakers on the finer sounds of life. Ramirez and the club members joined minds with the crew at Alibi Bar & Place to curate regular DJ nights, spinning everything from Soul to Boogaloo to Afrobeats to classic Hip Hop. The events became popular among those who wished to expand their euphonic palette, or just throw back a crushable cocktail and enjoy music that didn’t originate from a TikTok trend. 

Sensing Salt Lake’s love for nostalgic and authentic music experiences, Ramirez decided to take the concept one step further in 2023 and put together a full conceptual listening party for one night only. “I just wanted to pair all the things I love—really good wine, good food and really good music played on vinyl,” he says.  

With guidance from wine and spirits expert Francis Fecteau of Libation, Caviar Club hosted its first official food and vinyl pop-up with Woodbine’s Drift Lounge in September. “Pop-ups have become so popular in this city, and we wanted to collaborate with some of Salt Lake’s most prominent chefs and industry folks to bring this musical soundscape experience to life,” Ramirez says. 

Caviar Club partnered with The Pearl in the following months to host an evening of Yacht Rock, caviar and oysters from Chef Tommy Nguyen, and Central 9th/Water Witch where they spun classic Hip Hop. “We try and get creative and collaborate with food and drink experts,” says Ramirez, who curates each setlist to complement the night’s food and beverage focus. “So for instance our popup at Citizen back in January with Chef Manny Acero of Noche featured Salsa tunes and Columbia records to emphasize his flair for Latin cuisine.” 

February’s Caviar Club shindig was hosted with Post Office Place, which provided cocktail specials alongside Japanese bites from Takashi Chef Bryce Okubo. Dubbed ‘Luxury Exotica,’ Ramirez played a mix of Japanese vinyl and rare Eastern sounds to compliment the evening’s culinary focus. 

Caviar Club Salt Lake City

Each popup invites imbibers to interact with different cultures through the senses and is an opportunity for both Caviar Club DJs and local Chefs to play with specific cuisines and music genres. And, mostly, it’s an appeal for adults to venture into the city for a refined evening of live music and elevated libations. “This kind of pop-up is special,” Ramirez notes. “It’s an evening geared toward adults and people who appreciate the finer things. It’s a void I’m trying to fill in this city.” 

Caviar Club has put together dozens of unique listening parties since they started in September, and there’s plenty of fun stuff still in the works. Ramirez is planning collaborations with Chef Viet Phong from Pretty Bird, Ruin, Green Room, along with joining forces with other vinyl collectives like Social Disco. And more recently, the crew have opened their own consignment record shop and jazz lounge called Fountain Records where they’ll be hosting their salon with their pinkies up. 

For the most recent updates on upcoming pop-ups, follow Caviar Club at @cvrclb and visit their new shop, Fountain Records, at 202 E. 500 South, SLC.   

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Avrey Evans
Avrey Evans
Avrey Evans is the Digital and the Nightlife Editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has been writing for city publications for six years and enjoys covering the faces and places of our salty city, especially when a boozy libation is concerned.

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