Bar Guide: Purgatory on Earth

Purgatory’s far nicer than it sounds and wouldn’t be a bad place to have a bump before being cleared for takeoff to the next world. With the obligatory wall of bottles that signals we’re in a craft-cocktail lounge, a garage door that opens onto the patio where corn-hole ramps await and a complicated cocktail menu, Purgatory wants to push all the buttons. The menu includes some creative and, thankfully, non-cloying cocktails, including the well-balanced Bitter End that offers a unique taste profile (not overly bitter, despite the name) by combining Ransom Old Tom Gin, Cynar and Averna Italian liqueurs. Another thoughtful concoction is the Old Manton: rye, Punt e Mis vermouth and bitters. You’ll spend a very reasonable $6 to $10 per drink, and the bartender gets points for avoiding heaven-hell-death puns (except the marginally clever Bitter End).

For those who have dodged enlistment in the cocktail army but somehow got dragged along, Purgatory also offers an acceptable list of local beers. And as for bar food, you can’t go wrong with Purgatory’s burger, including a side of tangy pickles that holds its own with SLC’s best burgers.

If You Go

62 E. 700 South

Glen Warchol
Glen Warchol
The late, great Glen Warchol passed away in 2018. His last billet was on the editorial staff here at Salt Lake magazine but his storied career included stops at The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert News, The New Times and others. His stories haunt this website like ghosts in a machine and we're always happy to see them. RIP Papa Warchol.

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