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The Bayou

Not Rated.
The BayouThe Bayou
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

39 Ratings
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%
Taps: 30
Bottles: 306
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

645 S State St
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111-3819
United States
phone: (801) 961-8400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @utahbayou

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: HochFliegen)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

Well, let's just say I got back from Wyoming a lot earlier than I had anticipated and had some time on my hands before dinner. I don't care what anybody says, there ain't no Salt Lake here. I figured I'd find something to do. I can keep myself busy driving aimlessly around other cities like it's no one's business, it's true, but I'd grown antsy and terribly parched...
Took the five dollar beat down on the membership vig at the door (which still just cracks me up), got all comfortablified at the bar, an "L" shaped marble top job, and took the room in. TV's over the bar in the corners, track lighting behind and drop spot lighting directly above, a good booze display behind the bar with a glassware rack overhead, and a 48" X 96" blackboard on the wall with a Cat in the Hat drawing saying, "I like Pilsner, I like Stout, I will drink it till you're out" (I'm thinking that it would be reasonable for The Cat in the Hat to like Stouts. You know, Cream Stouts, Milk Stouts, yeah, meow meow. But Pilsners? Everyone knows that cats don't like pilsners). It's an oldish brick building with large front windows, red stained glass panels over the door, windows running down the far wall, stained glass panels here and there, and walls adorned with with mirrors and brewery signage. 4 old wood support beams lie in a row in the center of the room, plank wood ceiling, exposed ducts and overhead fans. A half dozen raised bar tables ride adjacent to the bar and 3 dozen tables run the length of the room to the rear where a pair of pool tables sit in front of a gigantic framed mirror on the back wall.
30 taps (3 towers of 10 each), a cask (empty, or I would've given them a 5 for selection), and 175 bottles, give or take. The taps were mostly locals (6 from Uinta, 4 each from Squatters & Moab, 3 each from Roosters, Bohemian & Wasatch, 2 from Grand Teton, and an offering from Red Rocks) and Bud, Bud Light, Blue Moon & Guinness. The bottle list was broken out by style (Belgians, Pilsners, Barleywines, Amber/Dark Lagers, Pale/Amber Ales, IPA's, Porters/Stouts, Brown/Scottish Ales, Bitters/ESB's). I ordered a Triple Karmeliet but they were out, and likewise with the Westmalle Dubbel, so I slummed it with an Orval. Life is good.
Good food menu, but didn't hit it as dinner was not too far off. Service was good, attentative, all that. This is the place you want to come and spend your day when in Salt Lake City.

slander, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of woodychandler
2.91/5  rDev -30.2%

Walking in on my first visit, the m.d.s was to the immediate left and the young lady manning the podium demanded to know if I had a membership. "Uh oh, here we go," I thought to myself. "No. What now, a quick about face?" I asked. "Oh no," she replied, "Five dollars for a temporary two-week membership." I paid my fin, she took down all of my pertinents, but I was not given anything. When I inquired, she assured me that all of my information would be entered into their electronic database that night and that I would be all set on my next visit. Oakle doakle!

I got seated at the "L"-shaped marble-topped bar on a left oblique from Selma Avenue. A three-piece jazz band flailed away in the right corner by the window overlooking the street. I found myself mesmerized by the 8.5" x 11" laminated sheet which detailed their available beers in two columns on each side. I exhaled, realizing that I might survive my visit to the land of 3.2 beer after all. I started with a Uinta IPA on draft and began to scope out the scenery. In front of me was a color chalkboard that reminded us that this was "Not the same beer your dad used to drink!" Actually, with a wife in Chico, CA and a beer-loving older son, Pops was pretty progressive during his lifetime. Cheers, old man, R.I.P.! There was lots of exposed brick, ducting, rafters, and support beams throughout the space. The centerline was mainly high tables and chairs. The right wall was lined with booth seating fronted by tables. A couple of pool tables were all of the way aft. Another sign proclaimed, "Welcome to Beervana!"

Flash forward to the following late afternoon/early evening. I arrived and was asked for another $5.00 membership and I explained that I had paid the young woman on duty the previous evening. There was nothing in the computer and they seemed not to know what their staff looked like, since as both a former security patrolman and a writer, I have a flair for description and they claimed to have no idea who might have been on the podium. My blood pressure began to rise and I was about to walk out when the manager relented and let me in, especially since it was my last night in town and the odds of my returning were slim and reducing. Dave was a helpful server, but the rest of the staff seemed aloof and stand-offish. I really felt like I got jobbed on that one and I recommend giving this place a wide berth if you plan to visit SLC, UT. I hope never to have to go back.

woodychandler, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -4.1%

The sign behind the bar says "Welcome to Beer Vana". This may be the closest you can come to Beer Vana in Utah... Actually there are no bars in Utah, only private clubs (such as this one). As a result, you have to pay $5 for a 1-day membership to come in and order anything.

Came here on 8/29 while in Salt Lake City on business. The selection is pretty good (about 22 Belgians, maybe 20 Germans, 20 UK, 30 USA micro's, and some local brews (from Uinta, Moab, and Wasatch). I'm a Belgian fan, so I was happy to see the Affligem, Delirium, Lindemans, Westmalle, Triple Karmeliet, and about 6 from Unibroue to boot.

Overall, I'm glad I stopped in. Service was slow, but friendly.

TurdFurgison, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of Yetiman420
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

Stopped in around 9:30 on a Sunday night. The interior is surprising large and nice compared to the exterior and surrounding (run-down) industrial area close to downtown.

Sat at the bar and had excellent, attentive service by two well-informed male bartenders.

The informative beer menu is laid out by style with style descriptions. In terms of beers available, I would have to guess that they had every beer that is available in Utah (including Cantillon which I was told they usually get around summer and was gone by now). They had lots of Epic beers as well as all the local stuff. Also had Jolly Pumpkin, Firestone Walker, and Deschutes for those traveling from the east.

I was keeping it local and had $4 pint drafts of Uinta Kolsch and Desert Edge IPA. Both were excellent. They also had a large bottle of Uinta oak imperial pumpkin which they sold by the glass.

I had a bowl of the gumbo and as a Gumboadvocate snob can say it was good. I prefer mine a shade darker.

I'll be back and would recommend this as a great stop for anyone looking to sample Utah craft beers in a single location.

Yetiman420, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of yemenmocha
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%

This social club has the only decent bottled beer selection in town, and the menu is incorrect most of the time. I can't tell you how many times I picked 2-3 beers in a row and ALL of them were not in stock.

Service is atrocious. More effort is put into hiring young females than competent servers. Atmosphere is contemporary beer bar in nature with decor, but it's hard to overcome the shortcomings in service and selection. They're only in business because there is no real competition for the craft beer consumer who wants normal ABV beers in SLC.

yemenmocha, May 05, 2009
Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

The Bayou is located kind of on the edge of the downtown near a vintage clothing store and a tattoo parlor.

This is a large rectangular space. As you enter, the bar on your left. It's a nice length and must seat about 20. Tables occupy most of the rest of the space with pool tables in back. There is a patio on the side. High ceilings, exposed brick, wood floors and exposed ductwork. You've seen it before but it works well here.

They have a huge beer selection all laid out in a multi-page book. They offer a wide variety of styles and breweries. There is a big emphasis on Belgians and Belgium styles. I’m guessing 12 drafts and around 200 or more bottles.

Food is decent and will pair well with beer.

Service is efficient and could offer alternative suggestions if your first choice was out.

Redrover, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%

Well that certainly is one big beer list. Huge amount of beers from all over the world with a massive variety of styles. Lots of beers on tap, with most being from Utah, of course. The bottle list also has what seems like as many Epic beers as you will see anywhere, if you are looking for them. Service was mature and mellow. Decor was a little bit less polished than the Beerhive. Food was decent. I feel like I'd want to eat there one more time to be able to accurately comment on it. With so many beers available, you can't go wrong at all by visiting. A good stop.

RblWthACoz, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Goldorak
4/5  rDev -4.1%

It was like a million degrees out there, but with the lack of humidity it felt actually pretty decent, and even though it was a relatively long walk from Squatters to the Bayou in a neighborhood that would look dead on a saturday night, let alone a Sunday afternoon where just about everything was closed. I was quite releived to see this place was open when we finally got there.

It was probably the first time I ever got charged admission into a restaurant. A fiver at the door wasn't going to keep me out, I was thirsty!

Interesting atmosphere, it looked too clean to be a dive bar, and a bit too dark to be a restaurant. Worked for me just fine. I would have liked to have sat at the bar and chat with some of the locals, but not this time I guess. A classical guitarist was playing what I thought was a piece by Leo Brouwer, but anyway it gave a great vibe to the place, even though pretty much no one was listening to the guy.

Our friendly and savvy waitress led us over to our table and gave us menus. Frankly, we were still a bit stuffed from the appetizer at Squatters but we still ordered what ended up being a ton of food, some popcorn catfish and a couple of oyster po'boys, very good but we weren't able to finish it all.

Looking at the Beer menu I was hit with a dilemma that I wouldn't exactly classify as moral or ethical, but difficult nonetheless. The menu had some really interesting imports, and even moreso were the ones our waitress listed off. But hey, I was in Utah, not likely to return anytime soon (unless we have to audit this supplier again), and they had a ton of Beers on tap that I never even heard of before. I guess the somewhat premium prices on the imports made me stick with locals, but they turned out to be less than impressive, for the most part. That Wasatch Devestator was easily the best in show there. Unfortunately, they just ran out of the Uinta Barleywine. But anyway, believe it or not, we were so stuffed from the food that we left right after eating because we felt way too stuffed.

Highly recommended, for both selection and food. Could easily rival Beer bars in towns much larger and with way more liberal Beer laws.

Goldorak, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Durge
4.13/5  rDev -1%

This is a pretty big place that's not hard to get to in downtown SLC but it's easy to miss as you drive by. It has two pool tables in the back. The place has the old brick retro look, pretty authentic but seems to be very clean and a decent atmosphere as restaurants go, somewhat dark, busy and kind of noisy in a good way. The waitress was nice but a bit rushed at first. She seemed a tad irritated with all my beer questions, but then she really went out of her way to assist with some things and seemed to warm up. The guy at the door takes care of seating and the "membership". $5 gets you 2 weeks but $17 buys you a year and a choice of "free" tee shirt or a couple pint glasses. The regular beer selection takes up both sides of a menu sheet and then there's another sheet full of "non-regulars". I estimate about 40 belgians in bottle, 60 lagers and with many (20+) regular drafts well representing the regional micro brews. Another 100 or more wheats , browns, pales and IPAs, porters and stouts, and six barleywines all in bottles. The selection was super for bottled beer assuming they really had most of it and we had no misses that night. We did the cajun cuisine and found it to be very good and enough to keep you full for a day or two! A bowl of the gumbo would be a meal for most. The red beans and rice and the jumbalaya were excellent with tons of ham and sausage and crawfish. They had a cask ale available although I didn't care for it much. Service was very quick despite a fair crowd (although it was only a Monday night). I didn't see any real holes here except maybe being overwhelmed by the selection. I also was a little underwhelmed by the cask offering. I had heard that the Desert Edge Pale Ale would be very good but it was a bit skunky here on cask. But they seem to represent the local brewers very well and have lots of other unusual choices to explore. Don't miss this place when you visit SLC!

Durge, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Came in on a Thursday night and sat outside. Nice outside seating area with cover and misters. Helped with the 90+ degree temps. Lots to choose from. Waitperson was very knowledgeable about selections and their likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, Utah liquor laws screws availablity of decent drafts (nothing above 5%, I believe), so I had to stick with bottles. Good selection of local brews, which are apparently hard to find. Food was above average. Definitely worth a return trip if you don't mind drinking bottled or below 5% ABV draft beer.

LittleDon, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of dwagner003
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

dwagner003, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of drewbage
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%

Ahh.. the long delayed final review from my SLC run through of good beer spots.

The Bayou is a private social club, which in Utah parlance is a place you pay a membership to belong to for the year or a temporary membership for a few days and dollars. The "private" aspect is really just a coating over a normal cocktail bar and so don't be intimidated by that aspect. Just ask for an application (or go and talk to the guys at the Beer Nut, part owners of the Barou and get a paid membership from them)

Once the member is secured, step inside and take a look around... big clean brick walls with pool tables, dining tables, a menu of tasty and sometimes odd Cajun fare (alligator cheese cake?), and a stage for live music. When I was there, it was a satellite system playing old bluesy jazz numbers. Really, the place feels like a relaxes supper club.

Now for the beer.. this is why we review here, right? Even exempting the Bayou bonus points for being a good beer spot in the middle of Utah, this would be a place I'd be happy to have nearby.

Currently, the bar is equiped with 30 taps and the bottle list has about 180 entries. The draft beer has a focus on Utah micros, which might not be potent, but they can be down right tasty. (The place regularly has a lineup from Uinta, Squatters, Wasatch, Park City, Roosters, Bohemian and the further off Moab Brewing)

The bottled list has a chockablock approach towards the US Micros (including a listed 21 varieties of Rogue.. including Old Crusty!), highlights of Belgium and others.

By all means.. if you're in the SLC area, go by the Bayou to solve those moments when your palate cries for a tall luscious imperial stout or even the company of the truly beer worthy.

drewbage, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

Was told time and again that this was the place to visit for craft beer in Salt Lake. Glad that I had the opportunity to visit.
The brick walls and warm setting are inviting, especially on an 18 degree day in Salt Lake. About 20 draft choices and a huge bottle list provide the tough decisions that us beer geeks love. Lots of focus on the classic Belgian & German beers make up a good portion of the list. In addition, there are some great west coast choices.. Based on some crazy state law all higher ABV choices are only available in bottle.

Menu was a combination of Cajun classics and typical pub food. I had heard great things about the Oyster Po-Boy so I went with that option. Truth be told, the food was average at best. If a place claims to be have Cajun food, then you simple can't serve a po-boy on a squishy white bread roll..

The service was actually very good. Wait staff was knowledgeable about the beer menu. A good place and one I would visit while in Salt Lake. The food keeps it a cut below some of the top craft beer locations that I've had the pleasure of visiting.

Reagan1984, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of DCon
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%

While touring Downtown SLC, The Bayou was only 2 blocks walking distance from my Hotel. Perfect. Came here @ 10pm and there was a 30 minute wait for a table. With one seat left at the bar (in the corner), I took it! Ended up meeting an enthused craft beer drinker as well and shared a brew at the end of my time at the Bayou.

The place was PACKED the night I came in (on a Sunday night). At the bar, looked over their extensive beer list with more than enough brews to pick from. I had trouble with this. Started with one on-tap and then enjoyed two locals beers not available in the MO Market (Deschutes & Epic). You could tell half the people in the middle of the bar just came off the slopes for they were still in their gear. Very friendly and inviting place.

Not sure what the deal was but asking for another round of beer was tough extremely tough for the bartender to grasp. Of course he was busy pour beer and making drinks for servers, but then hire another bartender or have another one come in during these late night shifts! Was very disappointed at the amount of time it took to get each beer. Luckily the "Bayou Beer Book" kept my focus away from this but still have to downgrade.

Hundreds of beers available? I have to say, their "multiple lists-by-style" were unbelievable! Tried to pick out a beer from each list but didn't have time.. All were updated as well. Nice!

Didn't eat anything but two things that were suggested to me were their Crawfish and any of their Cajun dishes. While it is a Cajun influenced restaurant, you have to try something new! I just was in the mood for beer.

Welcome to BeerVana! This places has what you want if in Salt Lake City and a definite must. Just make sure you make friends with the bartender/server!

DCon, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of CampusCrew
4.63/5  rDev +11%

Wow... stopped by here and it was an up and down night....

First of all the place looks great, mixed modern and classic pub. Had a spacious bar and a small beer garden.

Selection is a beer heaven. Easily up there with any beer bar as far as selection goes, but they were out of stock of a few I asked for. I wanted to try Rogue Chipolte and I was dying for Obsidian. Tood bad.

Food: We tried a lot of different things. Most everyting was great. A great job of classic cajun pubfare.

Prices were decent. Some may of thought pricye but this is above avergae food for a pub and the beers were accuralety priced.

Our night was cut short due to power going out. I was dissapointed. I planned on sessioning myself to sleep there. Great place and best beer bar in STL by far.

CampusCrew, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Hit up the Bayou on a visit to SLC. Sucks that you have to shell out the $5 for a temporary membership, but it's well worth the price.

Parking is scarce, but once you get inside the atmosphere is excellent. Brick walls and beer signs with lots of relaxing jazz music coming out the speakers. Service was very good, no complaints here. Food was excellent, I highly recommend the blackened catfish that was sufficiently spicy...paired well with the hoppiness from my Uinta Anniv. Barleywine.

The selection was, as far as I can tell, the best in Utah, let alone Salt Lake City. About 150+ bottles (Full Sail, Rogue, german & belgian imports, locals, etc...). The tap selection could be a little better, but taking into account Utah's wacky beer laws, it's as good as it gets. They had some Uinta Pale Ale on cask the time I went.

Major downside is the price. Bottles start at $5 and the entrees are ~$15-18 apiece. Pair that with the membership and a poor grad student like me is left with a hurting bank account.

It can be difficult to get a seat here, as I went back for a second night and the wait was over an hour...bar was too crowded for me to fight for elbow room & enjoy a meal. Nevertheless, Th Bayou excellent stop for any beer lover travelling to the land of 4% ABV beer.

wagenvolks, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of elkinbrown
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

elkinbrown, May 22, 2014
Photo of jyeast101
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

The food was amazing. Had Crawfish Etouffe and it was great. The style of food is Creole and they do it well. They also have an incredible beer selection. I was able to go local, national, and world. I stuck local and had some great beers. The atmosphere is nice. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. They have a patio. The outside of the place is kinda nondescript but it is a good find. I would recommend that you seek out the Bayou to eat or just to hold down the bar for a while. I wish that I spent more time here while I was in Salt Lake City.

jyeast101, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of nortmand
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

Cool little place with a more local feel than the convention center area places.
30 Utah beers on tap, tried at least alf and they were all fresh and clean. Also a great bottle selection. Did not have any bottles, but if I was from Utah, I would greatly appreciate this place. Service was a little slow at first, but picked up and turned out pretty good.
Many, many bottled beers, with a bunch that are apparently only available at this restaurant. You have to give them props for that.
Food was awesome. A general trend in Salt Lake. I guess since they can't drink alcohol, caffeine or smoke, the Mormons indulge in culinary pleasures. Michigan could definitely learn from them. Anyways, I had the Muffaletta, which was great and huge, and served nicely as breakfast the next morning.
Seek this place out! It gives you the opportunity to try many Utah beers and indulge in that Rogue brew you've been missing so badly during your tenure in Utah.

nortmand, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of jp11801
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Great beer bar in the unlikely spot of SLC. Nice decor, brick and wooden bar that looks fairly new. I was in town for a night on business and was able to get two sessions in at Bayou.

Beer is very good and could be considered outstanding given the location. I had a local IPA by Desert Edge called UPA that was rock solid as well as a bottle of the Boulevard Brewing Saison and a Hop Rising IPA that was really good as well.

Service was friendly both nights and the bartender was very knowledgeable and was handy with suggestions.

Food was a strong suit I had the jambalaya and a the next day I had a house pizza that was out of this world.

If you are in town fork over the $5 member fee and check this place out.

jp11801, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of jwc215
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

A beer bar that charges a private membership of 10 a year - otherwise, no admission...though you do get a shirt or two pint glasses with it.

A long bar with seats in the back. Big place. Many local beers on tap. Bottle selection of many imports, including some harder to find ones - and quite a few American craft beers on the beer menu. All rather pricey. Too bad that they were out of quite a few of the hard to find imports. They need to keep the list updated. That said, they still had a magnificent list.

Service was very good. Bar staff was very attentive and quite knowledgeable.

Certainly a "must stop" in Salt Lake City.

jwc215, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of Suds
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

During a recent business trip to SCL, I visited this place with a colleague, based on several recommendations. Easy to find, the parking is sparse, and we ended up with street parking on another block. The atmosphere inside, however, is spectacular. While not particularly large, establishment seems roomy, with high ceilings and plenty of booths and tables. The bar is long, and stretches along one side of the restaurant. New Orleans style food is the centerpiece of the menu, and I particularly enjoyed the gumbo (although it did need a few shakes of extra hot sauce). The beer list is extraordinary...a thick book of beers...heavy on Belgian and local brews. The prices for beer were shockingly reasonable...other places have charged double what the Bayou listed. The tap selection was all local, including a great cask ale. The wait staff was busy, and was understandably not as chatty as I would have liked. Still, our server seemed to know her stuff regarding the beer list. The Bayou WILL be on my list of food establishments (along with another trip to the Red Iguana) for my next trip to Salt Lake City.

Suds, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of deanhead
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%

We simply ordered snacks here. It was time for a beer but not entirely time for lunch. We were on a mission to get to Park City.
The first two beers we requested were not available, so we went mainstream and found the Westmalle Tripel. Nice score in the middle of an otherwise seemingly beer wasteland of sorts.

The wings and quesadillas were tasty as well as the gumbo. The service was lack luster, and could use some polishing, but for the most part I enjoyed myself.
The waitress needs an attitude adjustment of sorts
Nice beer on cask!

deanhead, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of casapy
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

casapy, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +5%

The best beer bar in Utah. Spacious, wood-flavored area with some neon beer signs on the brick walls. Entry requires a membership (which you can get for free if you go down the street to the Beernut and buy some homebrew supplies). The only dig I have on the atmosphere is that it can get smoky around the bar (hopefully this will change by law soon). Otherwise, the place exudes cozy beer-drinkingness. 20 plus taps serving local Utah micros (all 4% abv) and some cask offerings (nice). Extensive bottle list details pretty much every beer available in Utah and even a few you can't get anywhere else (Rogue). Laminated beer menus are divided by style (nice), but are not always accurate with regard to what's in stock. My last time in the place, they were out of my first FOUR choices! To be fair, they are reliant on the State Liquor Control for supply so.... The prices are not too bad ($6 for a bottle of Orval). The food is Cajun-influenced and tasty. I especially liked the mix of regular and sweet potatoes for fries. When in SLC, go here.

alexgash, Mar 24, 2006
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The Bayou in Salt Lake City, UT
92 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.