Salt Lake City: Insider's Guide, OUT Traveler

Evan Lewandowski, sommelier at Pago restaurant, Adam Sklute, artistic director of Ballet West and myself gave OUT Traveler our tips on navigating Salt Lake City for their recent Insider's Guide by Nate Zubal. Nate also touches on SLC nightlife, where to stay, eat and what to do practically year-round. Here's an excerpt:

Salt Lake City: Insider's Guide

5.11.2014  |  BY NATE ZUBAL

We asked some of the numerous LGBT professionals and business owners of Salt Lake City for the inside scoop on their city. 

Jesse Walker, DJ at Zest Bar:

What is gay nightlife like in Salt Lake?
There’s a bit of something for everyone. While we have your more traditional gay bars like Jam, Try-Angles, Sun Trapp, Metro and the Paper Moon, you’ll find that all of our hip(ster) spots are basically overly tolerant of gay/straight/etc. people, from our many diverse brewpubs (Squatters, for instance) right down to the edge-of-town rockabilly road house, The Garage. Basically, if you drink coffee or alcohol, there’s a good chance you’re standing in a room full of liberal-minded folks looking for other liberal minded people. Some of my regular haunts are Zest (vegan kitchen/dance club), Urban Lounge (college/indie music with a stellar lineup weekly), Bar X (craft cocktails by extremely talented bartenders, part-owned by Modern Family’s Ty Burrell). Amazing restaurants and coffee shops, of which there are many, pick up the slack with a fantastic food revolution happening here over the past five years.

What is one misconception about Salt Lake City that you'd like to disprove?
We are not all Mormons, or Republicans. Not all of us ski. Salt Lake proper is truly progressive in its history and culture. Mostly stemming from the often ridiculous fight for our right to party, or marry for instance, vs. the Utah Legislature.

What is one thing out-of-towners should know about your city?
While things may seem ordinary on the surface, there’s more to see and experience once you find the rhythm of the city and its inhabitants. We absolutely love visitors and because of our location between the East/West coasts are accustomed to opening up and being good hosts. Part of what makes living here truly worthwhile is the genuine sense of community and authenticity you find in people. The cost of living doesn’t hurt either. There’s an unabashed hunger for what’s next. Occasionally you have to invent it, but that’s the pioneer spirit. It’s also why thousands of people show up for our Pride weekend, our Twilight Summer Concert series, Downtown Farmers Markets, our world-renowned ballet, dance and opera companies, and annual film festivals.

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