Barbary Coast Saloon amps up its offerings with new outdoor stage
By David Burger
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Aug 23 2012 12:47PM
Murray • For years, the Barbary Coast Saloon has hosted music on its indoor stage from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., but this summer the biker bar has added a stage for outdoor concerts. "I’ve always wanted them," said Randy Finnas, who has run the bar for 22 years.
Finnas built a 24-by-16-foot stage at the rear of his large parking area, next to Big Cottonwood Creek that runs adjacent to the property.
The stage was unveiled in late July, just in time for the bar’s biggest concert of the year: the Aug. 2 show by The Fryed Brothers. One of the country’s biggest biker bands, The Fryed Brothers have played at an annual concert at this Murray club for about two decades, a stopover as the band heads to Sturgis, S.D., for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Outdoor concerts, including an upcoming show on Sept. 1, are just the latest offering from the local biker bar that bucks every stereotype of a biker bar. Once you drive by the totem pole near the entrance, you will encounter some of the friendliest bar staff in northern Utah. Tattooed or not, you’re considered family.
Part of the reason for the friendly atmosphere is that this bar is a family operation. Finnas’ wife, Syn Finnas, runs the kitchen at Synz Grill inside the spacious bar. Walt Finnas, Randy’s 83-year-old father, hangs out frequently, chatting with newcomers and regulars. Randy’s offspring — Bozzy Finnas, 21, Whitney Spens, 25, and Eric Finnas, 31 — all work at the saloon, as does Randy’s sister Karen Picard.
Tom Elias, of Sandy, a regular customer, stops by the bar after work. "The people are good ol’ people working here," Finnas said as he ate a French dip, the daily special from Synz Grill, while quaffing a Bud Light. "It has killer food and a good atmosphere."
There’s another aspect of the saloon that Elias enjoys: "I come on my bullet bike and I never get harassed." (Try doing that at another biker bar.)
Although Randy is a biker and has motorcycle memorabilia and articles posted all over the bar, all customers are welcomed, regardless of whether they are motorcycle riders.
"I didn’t open it as a biker bar," Randy said. "That’s who I am. We’re more of a sports [bar]."
A variety of televisions around the dimly lit, roomy wood-floored club broadcast University of Utah and Utah Jazz games, with fans seated around tables made from Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey barrels. Randy is a sports nut himself, coaching baseball for his sons and now grandsons.
Once they become of age, Randy’s grandsons might end up working at the bar, if they choose to follow him into the business. After all, it’s a family place.
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