Spending Summer Days (And Summer Nights) Downtown at SLC Open Streets

Summer sun, something’s begun / But, oh, oh, the summer nights.”
With John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as your personal soundtrack, here is a quick guide to SLC Open Streets, what is happening in downtown Salt Lake City this summer, and how you can make the most of it. 

Summer Days

Once again, the city is blocking off downtown Main Street to traffic to host SLC Open Streets, back for 2021. Promenade with your pod Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to close this summer, starting the last week of May. Restaurants, bars and shops will extend their service onto the sidewalks between 400 South and South Temple on Main Street and Regent Street.

The Downtown Alliance says 150 businesses will participate in Open Streets this year. Along the Main Street Corridor, you’ll find some perfect places to take lunch al fresco. Eva’s Bakery offers a light fare of salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and soups. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier, try some solid German cuisine at Siegfried’s Deli.

Not that you need more reason to attend, but the SLC Open Streets inaugural event last year helped keep downtown businesses afloat in the pandemic. Several of those businesses experienced a 30% increase in sales as a result of the efforts. So shop it up! You can find high-quality second-hand clothes at Uptown Cheapskate, vinyl records at the Heavy Metal Shop, reggae-themed gifts at Twisted Roots and souvenirs at Salt Lake Souvenir & Gift.    

Pedestrians on Main Street enjoying SLC Open Streets.
Downtown Main Street closed to cars for SLC Open Streets

Downtown Alliance’s website as a full list of businesses participating in Open Streets. And, remember, even though the CDC says we may not have to wear masks outside anymore, some bars, restaurants and retailers might still require them, so don’t leave your mask at home!

If you’re looking for more to do downtown during SLC Open Streets, you can check out the Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays all summer. For a bit of culture, the Gateway Art Stroll is happening on the third Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m. The Living Traditions Festival will have live, traditional, culturally diverse performances by dancers and musicians going on all day at Washington Square on June 26. And Pride Week is happening June 1-7 with events at the Utah State Capitol Building and Washington Square. 

slc busker fest performer
Busker Fest performers will take to the streets downtown during SLC Open Streets

Summer Nights

The show really begins with live performers taking to the streets from Gallivan Center and Exchange Place to City Creek Center between 6 p.m and 10 p.m. It’s part of a partnership with the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Busker Fest (May 27-29 downtown with more events around Salt Lake City throughout June). A busker is a performer who typically entertains in a public space for donations, so make sure to bring cash to tip the buskers for a job well done!

When you’re ready for dinner, London Belle Supper Club is right there on the Main Street drag, offering small plates to share and sporting one of the best namesakes of any Salt Lake establishment. Who doesn’t want to eat at a place named for a notorious madam? While not named for a madam, Eva has some of the most satisfying small plates around. Enjoy a few of those with a friend, along with a glass of wine or two, on their patio.

Afterward, you can make your own fun by challenging your friends to some old-school arcade games at Quarters Arcade Bar. Loser buys the next round of cocktails. 

For more to do downtown, check out our story on mainstay summer events returning to Salt Lake City and these day trips guaranteed to cure your cabin fever. While you’re here, you can also check out the latest issue of Salt Lake magazine.

Christie Porter
Christie Porterhttps://christieporter.com/
Christie Porter is the managing editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, writing about everything under the sun, but she really loves writing about nerdy things and the weird stuff. She recently published her first comic book short this year.

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