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Two Sugar House bars linked by history

Tap Room and The Bar in Sugarhouse finding their customer niche.

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"We’re known for our cheap beer," Dardano said. Munchies include chips and the Kickass brand of beef jerky sold from behind the bar.

Other than a few plumbing and electrical upgrades, the place is the same as when Daniels started serving beers in 1947.

At a glance

The Bar in Sugarhouse

A no-frills beer bar in a long, narrow but tiny houselike setting.

Where » 2168 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City

Open » Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, noon to 11 p.m.

Details » 801-485-1232 or facebook.com/thebarinsugarhouse

Tap Room

A clean bar with seating for about 50, not including a patio. Also offers karaoke on Saturdays and a Geeks Who Drink trivia night on Wednesdays.

Where » 2275 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City

Open » Sunday-Saturday, noon to 1 a.m.

Details » 801-466-0974 or facebook.com/slctaproom

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The family of patrons has been fractured by Tap Room’s move a block south, but there’s still plenty like Odie Roberts at The Bar in Sugarhouse who regularly warm the stool seats.

Tap Room 2 » Down the street, the family roots at Tap Room, growing since reopening in 2002, already run deep.

A bulletin board near the entry is overcrowded with photos of people who work and regularly commiserate at Tap Room.

"He took me on my first river trip," bartender Ed "Just Ed" Droney said about his boss, Chambers. "We know each other’s kids. … He’s really good to all his employees."

Droney has been a bartender at Tap Room since 2003.

Exposed ductwork is covered in the signatures of adoring Tap Room fans — evidence that the bar is building a new soul.

Pieces of paper in shot glasses behind the bar are reminders of regulars’ tabs – record-keeping done old school, like Daniels might have operated.

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Tap Room’s evolution includes adding a few games, a touch-screen jukebox, a patio with seating for 25 and more room inside for up to about 50 folks. You can order a $1.50 beer, drinks with hard liquor and even a $110 shot of 100-year-old King Louis XII de Rémy Martin Cognac.

Customers can also get a "monstrous" sandwich, à la Daniels. Chambers’ evolving recipe includes homemade meatloaf made from hamburger, elk and bison, which is especially good with a freshly pulled Killian’s Irish Red.

James Baucum is typical of the Tap Room loyalists, who tend to live in the Sugar House area and who enjoy Chambers’ company and knowing their beer money is going to a good guy.

"My friends are here," Baucum said. At this bar people ask how your week was — "and they’re sincere about it." And Droney always knows what to serve when he walks in the door.

Tap Room, Baucum said, is a place with a "small-town" feel where "ties and dirty shirts" sit together to talk and have a few beers.


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