Restaurants + Cocktails

Bar-X | Easy Drink

3/6/2017 | Katie Bald
B.Combs

We admire those trendsetters, trailblazers, and innovators that further the cause of making SLC ever more badass. Having been established in 1933 (adios, Prohibition!), we can safely say that Bar-X is the cool, war-tatted, Cadillac-driving granddaddy of hooch-slingers in this town. True, the speakeasy’s been holding it down on 2nd South since the days of Al Capone and FDR, but in recent years it’s come under new ownership by way of Jeff Barnard and Ty Burrell (the same fellers that snapped up the space next door and named it Beer Bar). We’ve long lusted after the glittering marquee out front (which harkens to a Vegas that best suited Frank, Sammy, and the like), but the new ownership has brought with it an equally drool-worthy interior. A golden-hued, back-lit liquor showcase offsets the somber constitution of the near-window-free establishment. Behind the original bar, you’ll find a handful of craft cocktail masters slinging dizzyingly-good sips like the Gin Gin Mule (dry gin, fresh lime juice, sugar, mint, and ginger beer), the Blood and Sand (blended scotch, fresh OJ, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur), and the classic, but superbly made, Sazerac (Rye whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, served in an absinthe-coated glass). Bar-X is fantastic, boozy goodness, made with quality ingredients by folks that know how. It’s hard to improve on a classic, but somehow they’ve done just that. They made alcohol an art again…and that has made all the difference.

Let’s raise a glass to investing locally, choosing quality over quantity, and staying out after midnight.

Many hat-tips and accolades to Barnard and Burrell for looking to a staple of SLC’s past to ensure for a diverse and damn fine future. Says Barnard, “We were willing to invest a lot of money into the bar to restore its original character.” And to that we say, well done. That show-stopping marquee, along with the classically kitschy Cocktails Cocktails Cocktails neon, mixes artfully with the original wagon wheel light fixtures and molding for just the right amount of tacky pizazz + seedy speakeasy. The low lighting of the intimate interior allows you to enjoy your artfully-made cocktail with little distraction. No frills. A couple of TVs, sure, but they’re ever set to old-timey classics that are just as enjoyable to watch with the sound off. Really, it’s just you and your booze. Bar-X is a dive we could easily spend a Friday night in, but should you want for a quieter haunt, try Sundays or weeknights instead. Our lil’ row on 2nd & 2nd (Beer Bar, Bar-X, Johnny’s on Second, Taqueria 27, Este Pizza) is quickly becoming a burgeoning nightlife mecca, and we can’t say we mind in the least. Let’s raise a glass to investing locally, choosing quality over quantity, and staying out after midnight.

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