Scallywags is pirate in name only
Bar exam • Scallywags offers cheap drinks, games and a patio with views of State Street.
Published: July 31, 2013 05:33PM
Updated: February 14, 2014 11:32PM
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Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Real pirates would walk the plank for the $6 Dirty Pirate Hooker cocktail, made with three types of rum: coconut, spiced and clear. The spirits are combined with sour mix, Sprite and Coke at Scallywags in Salt Lake City Wednesday, July 31,2013.

South Salt Lake • Scallywags offers cheap drinks and comfortable conversation. But no pirates.

Despite the name and a neon sign that sports a Jolly Roger flag — the one with a skull and crossbones — this watering hole is far from the pirate-themed joints seen on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.”

“We don’t really take the pirate thing too seriously,” said owner Sean Gallimore.

In 2007, Gallimore and Brinton Aylor purchased the State Street building and changed the bar’s name from the Dragon’s Lair to Saints and Sinners. In early 2012, Gallimore decided that a new name and decorations were in order.

“It’s good to start anew and with that, it allows you to filter out some of the problems that you were having,” said Gallimore, who wouldn’t elaborate. “It wasn’t like we were doing anything particularly different, it’s just that it was a good point to say, what are we going to be better at? Let’s play ‘Bar Rescue’ on ourselves.”

Aside from the name, the pirate-themed decorations and the addition of barrel tables, not much has changed at this two-level building, which has three bars and 80 flavors of shisha or tobacco to smoke through hookahs.

On the main level is a private lounge with a bar and plush couches that large groups can use for parties if reserved in advance.

Upstairs guests can find pool tables and dartboards — always free — as well as shuffleboard, air hockey, a punching-bag game and foosball. The bar also offers nine big-screen TVs and a projector.

From the top level, there’s also a decent-sized patio that overlooks State Street.

The bar is a little rough around the edges, but Gallimore said his goal is to offer a place to relax and enjoy cheap drinks, which range from $2 to $6. There’s never a cover charge.

Sasha Sofonia, who bartends at Scallywags, used to come to the bar on her nights off because she loved the comfortable atmosphere.

“Everyone treats each other equally and I really enjoy it,” she said. “Our clientele is so open and diverse.”

On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, Scallywags hosts hip-hop music provided by local DJs. On Aug. 21, the bar will sponsor its first ’90s night with DJ Erockalypse.

Pirates, hookah and hip-hop make Scallywags appear as if it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Gallimore disagrees.

“I didn’t dress up as a pirate as a little kid and always dream of a pirate establishment,” he said. “But with Scallywags, it was ‘Let’s just have fun.’ Who knows what you do at a pirate bar? You can do whatever you want.”

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Scallywags

This pirate-themed bar lacks costumes and pirate talk but offers cheap drinks and comfortable seating.

Where • 3040 S. State St., South Salt Lake; 801.604.0869

Open • Monday–Sunday, 8 p.m.–1 a.m.

Prices • drinks from $2-$6; no cover charge

Upcoming events • Local DJs play hip-hop music on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Aug. 21, the bar will sponsor its first ’90s night with DJ Erockalypse.