Need advice on bars in Utah

I’m planning a trip that might entail spending up to three nights in Utah. Specifically, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and/or Orem.

The thing is, I and my traveling companion like to hit the local bars when we’re in a new city. I spent a night in Ogden 15 years ago and I recall a weird system of “club membership” to be able to drink, and going into a non-alcoholic nightclub, which I had a hard time wrapping my head around. But* a) I didn’t know what I was doing and was just kind of wandering around town and b) *I’ve heard that the laws regarding alcohol sales have loosened a bit since then.

So what’s the straight dope? How hard is it for a couple guys from out of town to bend an elbow in Utah? Anything special I need to know?

I have bent elbows in over 30 states and 20+ countries, and these days, it is as easy to get a drink (and not just beer anymore, but any alcoholic beverage) here in Salt Lake as it is in any other major American city around, unless you compare it to Vegas or New Orleans.

The asinine “private club” laws are all a thing of the past, and prices at our (state owned and operated) liquor stores are actually cheaper than a lot of other major metro areas.

If you want to buy liquor, wine or so-called “heavy” beer to drink at home, or in your case a hotel room, you need to go to a liquor store, although 3.2% beer to go is sold everywhere, gas stations, grocery stores, drive-thru quick marts, drug stores, etc.

Finally, even though Orem is only about 20 miles from SLC, it’s culture is apparently still stuck in the 1950’s, alcohol law wise. I understand that there is not a single bar in the entire city, which has to be close to 100,000 people. I would imagine that you could get a drink in a restaurant down there, but you would need to order food to go with it…

If you want specific recommendations on good bars (or restaurants) in Salt Lake, feel free to let me know.

Thanks, MPB! I will let you know if Utah figures into the plan. It’s our annual baseball trip (have you by any chance been to the minor league ballparks in those cities?) and we haven’t yet decided where we’re heading this year.

I have been to Spring Mobile Ballpark many, many times since it opened, as it was actually where we held graduation commencement ceremonies for the (alternative public) high school that I taught at back in the late 1990’s-early 2000’s. I have also been to a few concerts there over the years, including John Hyatt, Los Lobos, Steve Miller Band and David Byrne.

It features truly stunning backdrop views of the Wasatch Mountains, and on thursday night Bees games, 2 dollar draught beers, hotdogs, popcorn, etc.

I have never been to a game at the Ogden Raptors stadium or the Orem ballfield.

If you end up in SLC, get in touch and I will meet you for a brew somewhere…

I was in SLC for a business conference a couple of years ago. Had no issue whatsoever in getting alcohol at a couple of restaurants (wine at an Italian place in downtown SLC, beer at an Outback Steakhouse in West Jordan). That said, I didn’t go to an actual bar while I was there, but it sounds like it still wouldn’t have been an issue.

I haven’t spent much time in Utah, but I am in Idaho, and my understanding is that in Utah you have Salt Lake, and then you have Everywhere Else In Utah.

No insult to Utah Dopers. Beautiful state. Gorgeous place. Fascinating, if sometimes disturbing, history. Not too many states have uniquely intersting histories.

Hideous traffic in Salt Lake, though. I made the mistake of driving through instead of around because I’d never been there. Once. Ouch. is just a few blocks from the ballpark. Good selection, and the only cajun place that I know of in the area.

Not really true, even twenty years ago. Park City, for instance, caters to a “worldly” skiing crowd, and is pretty liberal. You can find other places equally accommodating.
Although I doubt if, say, Manti Utah (home of the Mormon Miracle Pageant) is one of them.

A similar thread I started last year.

If you’re going to SLC and you don’t visit the Southern part of the State, you’re missing out. Moab has two breweries BTW.

In Moab in 2006, I went to one of the brewery restaurants. One side is the bar, where you can buy beer to drink, but kids aren’t allowed. The other side is the restaurant, where kids are allowed and you can buy food, but not beer. That seemed rather Mormon to me at the time.

Unless you want to see the Grand County High School Devils on your baseball trip, stay clear of Moab. It’s not worth the long trip. Moab’s breweries suck, by the way.

I strongly disagree. The town itself is nothing to drive out for, but it’s the doorstep to Arches National Park, which is definitely worth seeing (and hiking through , if you can spare the time). (They filmed the title sequence to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade here.) The trips down the Green River are worthwhile, and there are rock pictures and a very few cliff dweller ruins.

and there’s always Hole in the Rock:

It’s a baseball trip, not a tour of national monuments.

Besides, if he wanted a rafting trip, he would have asked about one.

Hole in the Rock is a tourist trap–and a fucking lame one at that.

Never been there, but Burt’s Tiki Lounge was ranked by some rag as one of the top dive bars in the country. It’s known for punk music, but I’m not sure what that means in Salt Lake City. Personally, I spend a lot of time at the No Name Saloon in Park City.

This may help, if you’re a beer fan.

If he only wanted to see ball, he shouldn’t leave Salt Lake.

But you’re allowed to see national monuments, even if that isn’t the main main purpose of the trip.

Stop being so narrow-minded.

As an Orem resident, I can confirm the above. Its not actually against the law, just the local culture. There is a state liquor store at 1700 or so North State st. and most restaurants do have alcoholic drinks available, but I do think you would need to buy food as well. I have been to a bar in Lehi (about the middle between Orem and Salt Lake), but as a non-drinker, I was just looking for a public phone, so can’t speak to the drinking experience.

I spent a few days in Salt Lake City a few months ago and was very impressed by the beer. Also by the media - there’s a whole gay alternative weekly, which we don’t even have here in a big university town (admittedly in the Bible Belt, but still!)

Park City resident here.
Bars etc no issue in SLC and Park City
In Utah county which is south of SLC and includes Provo, Orem and Lindon there are different alcohol laws to Salt lake and Summit Counties.
You can get beer/wine in a restaurant with food. Draught beer is limited to 3.5% (state wide I think) and you can’t buy beer from a grocery store or gas station on a sunday.
If you get out to Park City I’d recommend the HIgh West distillery, greta food and they do a nice line of rye whiskeys.