By Heather L. King
Photos by derek carlisle
Early in the history of Salt Lake City, Brigham Young designated the area on Main Street between 200 and 400 South as Whiskey Street—the place where gentiles were able to quench their thirst in the city’s saloons, breweries, billiard clubs and parlor houses. Today, Whiskey Street is one of downtown Salt Lake’s most popular bars.
Housed inside a grand old building from the early 1900s, Whiskey Street patrons are greeted with a spectacular 72-foot-long cherry wood bar backed by a wall of impressive spirits including as many as 150 whiskeys from around the world.
“I wanted to build a bar that would rival any great bar in any big city in this country,” Jason LeCates says. He’s the managing partner with The Bourbon Group, which also owns Bourbon House and White Horse.
Whiskey Street’s warm, welcoming environment extends not only from the bar but also to the southern-inspired food as well. Executive chef Matt Crandall designed the current menu to highlight the colors and flavors of the season.
His take on fried green tomatoes ($12) delivers cornmeal battered tomatoes topped with a generous dollop of kicky pimento cheese. In between the two, you can add thick slices of pork belly for just $2. Create the perfect bite with a swipe of green goddess dressing and balsamic.
And although simple in name, the tomato-and-cucumber salad ($14) is virtually a work of food art in its eye-catching presentation and delicate combination of flavors. Thin shaves of carrots and cucumber curl above cherry and heirloom tomato varieties, butter lettuce, kalamata olives and a sprinkling of microgreens. Underneath it all is a creamy whipped chevre-and-basil vinaigrette that’s addictive.
Whether diners whet their whistle from a towering booth along the north wall or the open-air patio at the entrance, the care and thought of every design decision—from the inclusion of more than 20 different woods in the interior to the careful curation of quality spirits—it’s easy to appreciate the craftsmanship that the has placed Whiskey Street at the forefront of Utah’s growing bar scene.
“Whiskey Street taught us that people in Utah were starting to demand the absolute highest quality in every aspect of their drinking and dining experience,” LeCates says. And that’s something we can all raise a glass to.
323 S. Main, SLC, 801-433-1371 WhiskeyStreet.com