Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Home Eat & Drink The Best Dive Bar In Utah?

The Best Dive Bar In Utah?

Sticky floors. Jukebox. Neon signs. Cheap drinks. Regulars. What makes a good dive bar? It turns out, after a lively discussion in the editorial office here at Salt Lake magazine, the answer is: it depends.

I think a good dive bar is a little seedy and a lot friendly. But, Managing Editor Glen Warchol feels quite passionately that “Illicit drugs or stolen goods should be exchanging hands” to make it a true dive.

Food and Lifestyle website The Daily Meal says, “A true dive bar will have the cheapest beers in town, a clientele of colorful characters, and something a little quirky to set it apart.” And so, it’s editors set out to find the best dive bars in the nation based on the following criteria: pricing, existence of a jukebox, the availability of pool, darts and other pub games, and what they subjectively define as overall character.

After an extensive nation-wide search they named a bar in our fair city as one of the 25 best.


Y’all probably know the painfully unoriginally named Bar in Sugarhouse, but probably not by name. You might call it the old (old) Tap Room. You might call it That Place Next To Fats Grill. Or you might call it The Tiny, Crooked Shack on Highland Drive (that would be a better name, actually). Well, apparently, it’s the best dive bar in the state, according to people who may or may not have ever stepped foot in the place.

Don’t get me wrong, The Bar in Sugarhouse is a decent joint. I was once on a date there and talking about music —and I somehow managed to get the entire bar engaged in a dscussion about The Pogues. What’s not to like about that? But, let’s just be honest. There’s better dive-bars in this town, no matter how you define them.

Here’s a few on my list.

Willie’s: My one evening at Willie’s was after a Bee’s game. There was karaoke, roller derby girls, a bar with a sign declaring it “The G-Spot” and a derogatory name for women on the ladies room door. Oh, what a night.

The Republican: No matter what time of day you go in, The Republican is a dark place. This windowless cavern on State Street is a great place to get a beer and be left the hell alone, if that’s your thing. That’s totally my thing.

The Busy Bee: This place has gone from a bar to an all ages restaurant and back to a bar again. I swear to you, every time I have been there (and I have been there a lot, those garlic burgers always hit the spot) I have had the same waitress. It’s cash only, beer only and smells of garlic and broken dreams. Oh my gosh, I love it there so much.

Twilite Lounge: Twilight is a retro-cool dive with vinyl booths and old-school charm, pulling an interesting and diverse mix of folks from all walks of life. Like their website says, it’s like a happy boozer’s commune.

This blog would be remiss if we didn’t pour one on the ground for the lost, but forever in our hearts, dive bars. This one’s for you, Burt’s Tiki Lounge and Bar-X (before the Modern Family takeover). You’re gone, but never forgotten.

What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...

Our Jan/Feb issue is out on stands now! This issue means so much to us. Made with lots of love and tears. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it. ❤️ ...

Here's one from our upcoming Jan/Feb issue out on stands in just a few days. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it.⁠

Mary photobombs Lisa Barlow at the premiere party for Real Housewives of Salt Lake. Below is a snippet from Mary's last editor's letter:⁠

"It’s all a little crazy.⁠
Sometime in 2020, the world stopped making sense for a lot of us. Between one of the ugliest election cycles the U.S. has ever been through and the most mysterious disease most of us have ever experienced, normal was canceled. We can’t get together with friends, hug our loved ones, be in the room with them when they die. But somehow we have to go on, right? Somehow we have to continue to work and love and laugh. This issue of Salt Lake magazine holds a lot of frivolity, the main one being an extremely silly TV show, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. There I am in a pink fur coat in a car with our cover housewife, Lisa Barlow and her boys."⁠

Pick up our Jan/Feb issue at your local grocer and read the full letter. ❤️

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We love you so much, Salt Lake ❤️⁠

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. Be merry, be bright and be good for goodness sake! ✨

Skip the milk and cookies this holiday and leave out something that Santa really wants 🍺😉🎅⁠

Check out our local holiday beer round up for last minute gift ideas! Link in bio!

Mary's last-minute holiday gift ideas from last year are still as true and relevant today...⁠

"The planet we live with and the creatures on it need all kinds of things. Polar bears need presents, tree frogs in the Amazon need gifts, our Utah canyons and our national parks need help."⁠

Check the link in bio for full write up.

There was never a time there wasn’t Mary Malouf. Until now. Today, Mary died when a rogue wave swept her out to sea off the coast of Northern California. Only she – perhaps the world’s foremost lover of Bronte, BBC mysteries and, of course, Moby Dick – would appreciate such poetic drama.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” — Mary Brown Malouf. Ooops. Herman Mellville.