When it comes to dance-floor space, 99.9 percent of nightclub owners wish they had more.
But the owner of Salt Lake City’s The Hotel & Club Elevate is that 0.1 percent.
The hotspot on 200 South is Utah’s largest nightclub, and recently shrunk its capacity from 1,850 dance-floor patrons to 1,500 to make way for two new bars inside the spacious 42,000-square-foot club.
What was once the dance floor near The Hotel’s entrance has been transformed into a bar and eatery called The Historic Hotel Bar, and a former storage place underground has been given a stylish make-over and is now known as The Barrel Room.
The renovations were the idea of owner (and former University of Utah football placekicker) Bryan Borreson, who took over ownership of the multi-floor nightclub three years ago. A history buff, he spent time learning about the past of the club and decided that he wanted the two new bars to pay homage to its history — the building opened its doors in 1910.
"I like to know where our state comes from," Borreson said. "I’ve really embraced the history of Salt Lake City."
The nightclub still has two large dance floors, Club Elevate and the Opium Lounge, to entertain those who want to dance all night long, but the new offerings at the restored bars offer something else for Utahns who normally wouldn’t step foot onto a dance floor for various reasons, whether it be age or Elaine Benes-esque dance skills.
The chandeliered Historic Hotel Bar will soon boast a bar staff outfitted in the fashions of 1910 — one hint: bow ties — and is now open at 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, offering an expanded dinner menu for the first time, with a menu that includes standard pub fare such as buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks, but also non-traditional bar fare such as hummus, baba ganoush, glazed pork, quinoa salad, and even a burger that is infused with truffle oil. The house specialties include three different types of flatbread, with one topped with arugula and grape tomatoes, one topped with pepperoni and marinara, and another topped with alfredo sauce and chicken.
With prices ranging from $6 to $14, the menu is designed for three different customers, explained Dylan McDonnell, director of sales and marketing for The Hotel & Club Elevat . One is for people heading to the dance floor who want some sustenance before Harlem shaking, and the second is for local people just looking for a new place to eat and drink downtown. The third is the all-important foot traffic that comes from The Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, directly across the street to the north.
The second new feature of the club is The Barrel Room, which bears the marks of being Borreson’s baby. He said he wanted to recreate the vibe of a "cool speakeasy," and the underground bar reflects his vision, with wood-paneled walls, several seating areas and a stage for live bands over 3,150 square feet. Most important is a fully stocked bar, with the emphasis on artisan and local whiskey and beer. A large barrel bearing the word "Jameson" is the centerpiece of the area.
"I definitely appreciate the craftsmanship of a good spirit," Borreson said.
The Hotel & Club Elevate
155 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City
801-478-4310, 801-478-4311; VIP: 801-860-7180
Web site: http://www.thehotelelevate.com/
The Historic Hotel Bar is open at 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; The Barrel Room is open at 6 p..m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
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