In what must surely be a first, Utah joined artistic forces with Bratislava, Slovakia to create a pop-up art show that crosses traditional boundaries of display, time, language and culture. Pieces could be found throughout Downtown SLC, though they were slightly difficult to spot even with map in hand, creating a scavenger-hunt type atmosphere for art seekers.
The idea is that while SLC was hosting its own show, a simultaneous show was occurring in Bratislava—linking two seemingly unaffiliated entities through the power of aesthetic expression.
Tenacious attendees were rewarded with viewings of guerrilla urban installations in a variety of mediums. Within one stop, attendees were greeted with a piece by Nathan Krishnan (SLC) and Rita Koszorus (Slovakia), featuring alaptop repeating a multifaceted and emotional stream of consciousness over visuals and music. Another by Nancy Rivera (SLC) and Diana Garafova (Bratislava) made the viewer a participant in creating a human sundial. All the pieces elicited long stares and many questions—which is exactly what good art should do.
“Are you going to Twilight?” The annual Twilight Concert Series in downtown SLC is the place to be. Now in its 30th year, the series is perfect for people to connect with friends and hear great live music from local and world-renowned artists. Salt Lake City is dressed up and out each Thursday night in late summer, and this year, we’re taking our SLUG Style column to Pioneer Park to feature Twilight attendees’ festival looks and street style. Stay tuned to this gallery for style updates throughout the series, and watch for our separate weekly concert galleries as well.
The 2017 Twilight Concert Series is produced by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and presented by Salt Lake Community College. Running July 20 through Aug. 31, the 2017 lineup features the likes of The Roots, Solange, Kurt Vile and the Violators and more. For tickets and more information, visit twilightconcerts.com.
With the luscious growth of Salt Lake City comes the entrepreneurial buzz from ambitious and unrestrained self-starters. Within this valuable group of people are locals—and business owners—Jacob Hall, Chase Worthen, Fernando Lazalde and Michael Askerlund. On the weekend of Sept. 4–6, these gentlemen kicked off their journey opening Downtown Salt Lake City’s latest watering hole, Alibi Bar and Place.
Attending on the Sunday of that weekend, I was able to take part in the fruit of their labor. Located on the corner Main Street and Fourth South in a classic Downtown brick-and-mortar within the New Grand Hotel, the presence of classic metropolitan characteristics—such as exposed brick walls and large windows providing a backdrop of a bustling Main Street—enrich the aesthetic of Alibi. It doesn’t overwhelm the space, setting it apart from being “just another Downtown bar.” The branding is clear. The main theme in the driver’s seat of Alibi’s branding is a bright aqua color present in all of their social media and the physical bar. Alibi’s logo, design and overall branding (designed by The Young Jerks) is a combination of an Art Deco temperament, cool-colored tones, a regal mural/wall hangings with an overall oasis-like feel.
After standing in an electric cloud of people clustering in front of the bar, I was able to finally order a refreshing beverage. Concocted by the creative bartenders/owners is a limited list of craft cocktails such as “Roller Derby”(gin, lime, raspberry and sugar) and more of a traditional cocktail like the “Paloma” (tequila, lime, grapefruit, sugar, spicy salt rim and Grapefruit Jarritos). Almost anyone can find what they are looking for with—in addition to house cocktails—Alibi’s satisfying collection of red and white wines, canned house sparkling rosé, bottled and draft beers and a small selection of bar snacks. And of course, they are environmentally conscious by providing compostable straws.
The bar is low enough that you can see all the materials the bartenders use to build your drink, creating a source of entertainment. Behind the group of bartenders whipping around their arms as they make drinks is an appealing, soft, baby blue tile backing to the bar in a rhombus shape. The seating opportunities for patrons seems like a challenge Alibi will overcome. Some people took turns sitting down, and others were animated about saving the seats they could find for their friends. Considering that it was the opening weekend, it’s very possible to imagine that on a less busy night, the bar would be a comfortable place to linger in conversation with friends with enough seating for all.
The social aspect and overall “vibe” of the space was welcoming and unassuming—it doesn’t feel like you had to be categorized as a particular type of person to fit in. With the small list, drinks cover a large spectrum of flavors (it is about quality not quantity), and one does not feel overwhelmed by too many options. It is a simple, open space ready to provide a service for customers wanting to treat themselves to a nice cocktail. It is a place where you can meet with friends to start off your night, with the option of a quick walk to places such as Quarters Arcade Bar or Green Pig Pub.
Down a dimly lit, deep-sapphire hallway at the east end of the bar are two doors. Each of them lead to an important aspect of every bar—the bathroom. Y’all know that’s a trendy, social media–driven responsibility to take cute-ass selfies in the bathroom with all your friends. Alibi gives patrons a lot to work with for the self-sponsored photoshoot. The contrast between the dark hallway and the well-lit, red-floral wall-papered restroom will knock you back. It’s like a door from Hollister leading to Target. Beneath the wall paper about halfway down the wall lies a powder-blue tile, each tile different sizes of rectangles, adding to the eye candy of the bathroom. It’s clever and well planned move on Alibi’s part.
Every element of Alibi brings patrons into a lush boozy nook in the heart of Downtown. Yes, there are a lot of bars popping up all over the city, which I see as a sign of a growing and thriving city excited to cater to the ever growing Salt Lake City nightlife. Alibi provides a different world within that and is worth adding to your Main Street bar-hopping list. You can follow Alibi’s spirited expedition through their Instagram at @alibislc and their Facebook page www.facebook.com/alibislc.
Craft Lake City’s 8th Annual DIY Festival expanded to three days this year, and all of the music, vendors, delicious food and beautiful art could hardly be contained in one weekend. From Friday through Sunday, attendees were able to see, taste, hear and experience new things. Whether that be trying out VR goggles in the Google Fiber STEM Building, getting their (mis)fortune told, having their portrait drawn or seeing all of the amazing things being built/made/crafted by local makers and artisans, attendees weren’t likely to go home without finding something interesting. Craft Lake City’s 2016 DIY Fest was bigger and better than ever before.
Read about some of this year’s performers and exhibitors in our August issue.
Custom motorcycle and art show Salty Bike Revival returned for the second time in what has become one of Utah’s largest celebrations of custom motorcycle builders, riders and artists in Utah and beyond. Thousands of people came and went throughout the two-day event, looking at choppers, trackers, cafe racers, bobbers and everything else two-wheeled and fun. Hosted by local motorcycle builder Salt City Builds and Loco Lobo, and sponsored by Intermountain Harley-Davidson, the event lined the streets of the Granary District with bikes for a weekend. Food trucks were parked near the giant inflatable Coors Banquet bottle and tent at the front of the event, where a portion of 600 West was shut down just for the event.
Two large halls were filled with motorcycles of every shape and size, all with the builder’s vision in mind. The event also featured Utah artists who painted helmets and gas tanks with unique designs displayed on a wall built by Project Sunday. Large prints by local photographers were hung on the walls for attendees to peruse and purchase. Local vendors setup pop-up shops, and among the products and services offered were jewelry by Abyss Body Piercing, custom tailoring from Urbana Custom Clothier and tattoos—which were being given at the event—by Cathedral Tattoo. Haircuts and shaves were being performed by Fuzzy Nates Barber Shop. Leather products were on hand from Dresser Leather and motorcycle gear was for sale from Salt Lake Motorcycle Co. Twigs Woodwear brought a selection of their wooden and nature-inspired glasses and watches, and women’s motorcycle clothing brand ATWYLD came all the way from Long Beach, California to show their wares. Bands Color Animal, Dead Things and Mad Max & the Wild Ones performed live music onstage, and SLUG contributor DJ Nix Beat spun garage rock n’ roll on vinyl.
The massive turnout showed that Utah continues to be a leader in the ever-evolving world of custom motorcycle culture.
Lois Brady is an editorial intern here at SLUG Magazine, where she also writes film reviews.
Every month, SLUG Style features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUGStyle is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.
It may not be apparent to people who aren’t in the industry, but Utah has a burgeoning tech community with everything from old giants like Novell and Adobe to startups trying to bootstrap a mobile app to mainstream success.
StartSLC, Utah’s largest grassroots startup festival, was organized in an attempt to bolster this community and get the often sequestered software programmers and entrepreneurs away from their computers and shaking hands. The event attracted hackers, designers, videographers, bloggers and CEOs.
Check out Tyson Call’s coverage of this awesome con here!
The UMOCA (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art) annual gala is always reliably and delightfully indulgent. This year’s theme was Seven Deadly Sins, and the event was held inside the museum’s Main Gallery space. Guests were encouraged to match their clothing to one of the seven traditional vices, namely envy, gluttony, pride, wrath, lust, greed or sloth. A color was paired with each so that guests could display their favorite form of depravity.
The sins were displayed on the walls of the event in tall script, and UMOCA arranged for their own living display of some of the sins as well. Lust was embodied by a tall redheaded woman in a red formal dress, slinking around silently, winking indiscriminately at guests. Sloth was embodied by a young man in a blue shirt carrying around a pillow and laying down for catnaps in the middle of the dance floor or next to the line for cocktails. Gluttony had all types of candy pinned to his clothing, and wandered the party encouraging guests to partake of his delicious outfit. In case guests were experiencing guilt, a pope was on hand at a confessional for quick and easy absolution.
The proceedings included a silent auction for all types of art, much of it created by local artists who have participated in UMOCA‘s Artist-In-Residence program. Also auctioned were trips to Chicago, Austin and New York City. There were performances of acro yoga and dance, as well as more avant-garde displays such as a mock fight between two “servers” illustrating the sin of wrath. The Blended Table served delectable food including seared ahi served cold with savory black rice pudding, tobiko and avocado butter as well as roasted beet napoleon with spring pea jus, wheat berries, goat chevre crema and chili oil droplets.
During what is UMOCA‘s annual fundraiser, guests were able to eat delicious food, enjoy cocktails and mingle with Utah’s most devoted patrons of the arts, all while showing that Salt City residents love to sin.
In what has become unholy tradition, Motos in Moabreturned screeching in sideways to the outskirts of the little dusty town usually known for hiking boots, kayaks and landscape photography. What began as a simple motorcycle ride and campout blossomed into what many attendees are calling the “motorcycle Burning Man.” More than 800 people from across the U.S. converged onto the private property—which was nestled next to a river and between two looming red rock walls—riding, crashing, flashing and generally becoming the glowing heroes of the anti-establishment.
Attendees came from places as far as Australia, Minnesota, Oregon, Florida, Texas and New York—all to see for themselves whether or not the grotesque spectacle reported last year truly occurred. Bigger and better this year, the event featured a dirt flat track for racing, live music from Wing & Claw and Daisy & The Moonshines, raffles with thousands of dollars worth of gear from national motorcycle company sponsors, and a bonfire as big as a house, lit via refurbished Vietnam War flamethrower by co-organizer Juan Coles of Loco Lobo—the same rider responsible for the SLC motorcycle show Salty Bike Revival, organized in partnership with custom shop Salt City Builds.
The event, which last year was plagued by disaster, including rain, flooding and troubles with the law, went more smoothly this year—with only a few broken bones and motorcycles along the way. All told, it was the kind of thing that one expects to read about in a book on 1960s counterculture that actually occurred in 2016, an hour’s ride away from Delicate Arch.
In his breakout book Kitchen Confidential, the late chef, writer and world traveller Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head. I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” Having fasted all day in preparation and with this mindset, I attended Eat Drink SLC at Tracy Aviary, a culinary event wherein restaurants, food trucks, beverage makers, wineries and more gather to show off their best stuff to Salt Lake City’s hungriest and thirstiest foodies.
Attendees could wander the handsomely landscaped grounds while various exotic birds were freely exploring or escorted by handlers. Booths were setup, spread throughout the aviary, shielded from the hot July sun by the tall trees surrounding Liberty Park, with much of the food being cooked or assembled fresh onsite. The sheer amount of food and drink on hand was too much for any one person to sample or review, so lack of mention here should not imply lack of quality. Everything was wonderful.
Provisions served elegant bite-size everything bagels with duck liver mousse with Utah’s Slide Ridge honey vinegar and coarse salt. It hinted at salty and sweet and the mousse was light and creamy. Pago served what they demurely called compressed melon, which had been sealed in a vacuum bag with local honey and water, giving it extra sweetness, alongside Armenian cucumbers with lemon juice and heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil and burrata, a buffalo milk cheese. It was a fresh-tasting dish perfectly suited to a 96-degree-plus evening.
Copper Common served a cocktail they called the “Lazy Frank,” featuring Waterpocket coffee rum, honey, lemon, orgeat and thyme, featuring prominent flavors of molasses and cocoa while remaining light and refreshing. Copper Onion served marinated Persian cucumbers with sesame lavash, house labneh, Aleppo pepper, mandarin and herbs, which offered a wide spectrum of flavors and textures in each bite. As I was finishing this a Tracy Aviary handler walked by with a milky eagle owl, native to Africa, on her arm, which peered at the crowds through marble-black eyes.
We were ready for the first of our many desserts, and Stanza was serving gorgeous mini tartlets with either pomegranate, caramel and Solstice Madagascar chocolate ganache or crushed pistachio and dried mango. They were also serving shrimp ricardo goat cheese cannelloni with a white wine heirloom tomato sauce, as well as cantaloupe and caramelized watermelon bruschetta with mint chèvre and prosciutto, making their booth a one-stop-shop that would have been a shame to miss.
Terrestoria Wine Imports had a variety of Spanish and Italian wines, imported from lesser-known regions and women-run estates. The wine was excellent, and it was nice to know that winemakers outside the usual regions are getting attention. Beltex Meats were there, serving cured meats I had never heard of including smoked mortadella, bresaola and blood sausage, along with pickled radish as well as the salami they serve in their Cuban sandwiches on Saturdays. TheBird Feeder Café was serving adorable mini quiche, one with Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese along with hickory smoked bacon that exhibited a deeply savory flavor, and the other with smoked wild salmon with port salut, a cheese from Pays de la Loire, France, that was very mild and soft on the palate overall.
Round two for dessert was a fruit tart from 3 Cups with dragonfruit, papaya, mango, raspberry and a vegan cream filling. They also had three flavors of sorbet on hand serving generous portions, including lemon basil with marzipan. One standout was the Greek salad served by Eva, which was so tasty I ate more than one should when so many other things are available. Fire and Slice Wood Fired Pizza was baking in their portable brick oven. Their pizza was lovely, though their oven-baked herbed goat cheese on flatbread was heavenly. Rico Cocino y Tequila Bar served enchiladas paired with souza sauce and pineapple, which was a revelation.
Park City Culinary Institute provided me with my first (intentionally) cold soup experience, serving Ajo Blanco, a Spanish soup with almonds, garlic and vinegar, garnished with a single grape. The Dispensary knocked it out of the park with taro-chip nachos topped with organic coconut oil, pickled carrots, rice wine vinegar, jack fruit, coconut milk, soy sauce, lemongrass, garlic, vegetable stock, edzucki beans and green onion. They were different from the nachos at the ballpark, to say the least.
Cafe Trio served melt-in-your-mouth smoked tuna and cute little almond flour pastries. Bambara served chilled duck salad, which they couldn’t help but point out on the description card was being “served in a bird sanctuary.” It wasn’t the only bird served at the event, but the self-aware humor was appreciated.
Normal ice cream was serving strawberry ice cream with chunks of rhubarb and crushed graham cracker. It had that taste of ice cream homemade on the Fourth of July by mom, but if your mom was great at making ice cream—a good, naturally flavored tasty dessert. Our final visit for the evening was to the crowded booth of San Diablo Artisan Churros, which show what a farce most “churros” are. Freshly fried and powdered, these would be good on their own, but they offer unique fillings such as dulce de leche, coconut cream, piña colada and even strawberry lemonade.
As always, the event did not disappoint. Utah’s food scene is great and getting better all the time, and after this event, that many more people know it. –Tyson Call