Music, beer and friends: Westminster community talks about the importance of nightlife

Sugar House Pub, located off 1100 East, is a popular spot for Westminster College students and alumni. “The bar scene isn't just downtown; you can experience some great places here in Sugarhouse too,” said 24-year-old Westminster alumni Carissa Cooper. Photo by Bre Empey.

Sugar House Pub, located off 1100 East, is a popular spot for Westminster College students and alumni. “The bar scene isn't just downtown; you can experience some great places here in Sugarhouse too,” said 24-year-old Westminster alumni Carissa Cooper. Photo by Bre Empey.

Sure, college is about students furthering their academic careers and gaining knowledge. But what’s a college experience without a few late nights and a little tequila?

That's what some Westminster College students think, anyway. From Sugar House Pub to Liquid Joes, the variety of bars and lounges in downtown Salt Lake City and Sugar House attract many students and alumni, who said nightlife is an important aspect of their social lives and campus experience.

“I love meeting up with college friends and having a great time,” said Logan Butzier, a 24-year-old Westminster alumni. “My favorite thing to do is dress up in '80s costumes, get a big group of friends and go have a few drinks at Liquid Joes.”

For senior neuroscience major Jake Berard, exploring Salt Lake's nightlife is a major part of socializing with his friends.

“Bars are social outlets where you can go with groups of people or just a couple friends and meet new people,” Berard said. “They also provide a social setting to get away from your own house or routine places.”

Berard said his favorite bar to meet friends at is The Bourbon House, located at 19 E 200 South in downtown Salt Lake.

“They have a dance floor, decent service and a huge selection of different whiskeys and bourbon," he said. "The place has lots of seating and provides both an upbeat and relaxing environment because it's relatively spacious.”

Some students and alumni said meeting up with friends and having a good time isn’t everything Salt Lake's nightlife has to offer. They often venture out in search of great music, as well, and many said there's one bar in particular they enjoy most: Liquid Joes.

Liquid Joes is a bar near Sugar House at 1249 E 3300 South. Every Saturday night, visitors can enjoy music from an '80s covered band called The Spazmatics.

“I love them,” said Carissa Cooper, a 24-year-old Westminster alumni. “I enjoy going to watch Spazmatics perform because I can dance and sing along with them.”

Cooper said Utah's night life isn't limited to downtown Salt Lake City.

“The bar scene in Utah is pretty good,” she said. “The bar scene isn't just downtown; you can experience some great places here in Sugar House, too.”

But the bar experience isn't for everyone. Chris Willams, a senior history major, said he'd rather socialize and listen to music other ways.

“I don’t like going out to bars because they’re expensive and in Utah they can only put in like one or two shots per mix drink,” Willams said. “It’s just not worth it.”

For those who do want to try out Utah's night life, Cooper recommended always using carpool or an Uber to ensure a safe experience for everyone.

For those planning to venture downtown anytime soon, Berard offered his best advice: “Wear shoes you can walk distances in," he said. "The bars are blocks apart, which makes bar hopping a real hike.”