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Best Park City Nightlife

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Conservative Utah wasn’t always the easiest place to get a drink. Thankfully, the state’s strict liquor laws were eased up in July 2009, and you can now order a cocktail in many restaurants and clubs, without having to fill out a form and pay a membership fee to a “private club.” Yeah, it really used to suck and while it’s much better some restrictions do remain (for example, most beer served is limited to 3.2 percent alcohol, and cocktail service ends at midnight, though you can order a beer until 1AM). While Park City’s thriving nightlife may be seen by much of the state as a place for sinners, it’s still pretty tame by big-city standards.

The Owl Bar

Neighborhood: Park City Outskirts
Belly up to this watering hole’s restored 1890s Rosewood Bar that was once a favorite stoop of Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in the-Wall Gang, and you may just feel like a cowboy.  At least that’s what Robert Redford was hoping when he had the historic bar shipped from Thermopolis, Wyo., to his Sundance Resort’s Owl Bar. The old-fashioned Western pub is a little off the beaten path, unless you’re staying at the resort, but it’s worth the drive. Weekends feature live local music, with a $5 cover charge. You can gnaw on nachos, pizza and dessert while you enjoy your beverages and the Western ambience.

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The Owl Bar  

Downstairs

Neighborhood: Park City Mountain Resort
Part owned by “That ’70s Show’s” Danny Masterson, this hipster lounge is dimly lit, with black-and-white pictures of such rockers as Bob Dylan and Keith Richards decorating the walls. A cool combination of cocktail lounge and live music venue, Downstairs features a small stage for performance, as well as a DJ booth. Somehow, the space has managed to avoid becoming a pretentious hangout for the privileged set, though during the Sundance Film Festival, it’s almost impossible to get into the special events and parties held nightly at this intimate club. Even throughout the year, Downstairs is faced with the downside of being pretty small, so you need to arrive early or get on the guest list.

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Downstairs  

Cisero's

Neighborhood: Park City Mountain Resort
Dine upstairs on well-priced Italian fare, then head down the steps to this mountain-esque nightclub, where Park City locales and visitors have been coming to dance and listen to music for more than two decades.  Flat screen TVs and a pool table give this friendly watering hole a neighborhood feel, where you’ll find patrons working up a sweat on the dance floor after a day on the slopes. The local bands that take the stage may vary from painfully bad to sing-along cover bands, but all add to Cisero’s party atmosphere. It's rare that the place has a cover charge but when they do, it's usually around $10.

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Bacchus Wine Bar

Neighborhood: Park City Mountain Resort
This intimate wine bar is like a secret speakeasy, located down a flight of steps off Main Street.  Once you find the subterranean setting, get cozy on one of several teak couches or a comfy silk-covered barstool and order a glass of wine or a bottle from a selection of more than 100 varietals, many from small, boutique producers. Bacchus boasts a friendly atmosphere, and staffers are knowledgeable about the wines on hand. With jazz music playing in the background, this is a nice spot to sip wine and nosh on small plates of olives and cheese.

High West Distillery and Saloon

Neighborhood: Park City Mountain Resort
Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s, High West is set in a restored livery building right at the end of Park City Mountain Resort’s Quittin’ Time run, so you can ski-in for a shot of small-batch whiskey or vodka.  The saloon’s bar, made of reclaimed wood from the Great Salt Lake Trestle bridge of 1904, is a fun place to sample High West Whiskey neat, on the rocks or just straight up. Or try the Vodka 7000, a smooth blend made with oats. Call ahead to make a reservation for a tour of the distillery, which includes tastings of the house-made liquors. Or, stay for dinner, which includes small plate selections like smoked trout and whiskey-glazed short rib or such entrees as tender rib-eye or a stomach-bomb chicken parmesan schnitzel.

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High West Distillery and Saloon  
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