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Unique family history fuels the atmosphere at X-Wife's Place

Published February 22, 2013 10:41 am

Bar exam • The name, chosen on a whim, has evolved over time.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Behind the unassuming exterior of X Wifes Place is a friendly, low-key bar with a unique history.

The bar, in a converted house at 465 S. 700 East, is one of the oldest continuously owned family businesses in Salt Lake City.

Greek businessman Andrew J. Luras and his wife, Mickey, opened the place in 1959. It has remained in the family — which also operates The Other Place restaurant — for three generations.

Luras, who was from Price, wanted to open a restaurant, bakery or bar in Salt Lake City, said Michelle Corsillo, his granddaughter who has managed the bar since 2008.

The bar's name evolved over time. "Before opening, Coors was setting up their beer account and asked Andy the business name," Corsillo said. "Andy threw his hands in the air saying, 'I don't know, it's my wife's place, ask her.' So the employee wrote down 'My Wife's Place.' "

The name stuck, and the bar became a favorite place for everyone from college students to politicians to the local Greek community.

Andy and Mickey divorced in the 1970s, but he continued to run the bar until 1986, when his health began to deteriorate. That's when Mickey leased the business from her former husband. It was a friendly exchange, but Mickey painted over the "My" on the sign and changed it to X Wifes Place.

Later, Michelle's father, Lou Corsillo, and her aunt, Renee Luras, took over the bar. "We've changed it but we haven't," Corsillo said. Andy Luras died in 1990; Mickey passed on in 2011.

Guests can sit on stools at the main bar or in cozy booths; TVs are scattered about if you want to watch sports. An adjoining room has pool tables, a jukebox and an upper level where pinball tournaments take place on Sunday nights. The spacious back patio, complete with a wall mural, is home to year-round cornhole tournaments.

The décor at X Wifes Place is basic, but comfortable, as if you are hanging out in someone's living room. Drinks are also inexpensive. The Russian Low Rider, one of the bar's signature drinks, is $6.50, as is the classic Bloody Mary. A Malibu rum and Coke is $3.25.

The clientele varies depending on the day. "There are regulars that have been coming in for 20 years," Corsillo said, but also college students and skiers and boarders.

"There isn't a night of the week that goes by that someone doesn't come in and say, 'My parents met here,' or family members were regulars here," she said. "That's important."

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X-Wife's Place

A casual 21+ establishment that's good for groups and offers outdoor seating; remember to bring cash, because credit cards aren't accepted.

Where • 465 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City

Open • Noon-2 a.m. daily

Info • 801-532-1954