After a day on the slopes, few things are more satisfying than sitting down with a group of good friends and enjoying an ice-cold beer, steamy hot toddy, or artfully poured glass of wine.
Park City's dozens of watering holes range from rowdy taverns reminiscent of a frat house party to über-civilized, crystal-and-white-linen table-service lounges complete with views of the surrounding snowcapped peaks. Following are a few of our favorite après-ski locales. We suggest sampling some of each while you’re in town, as no ski day is complete without a little post-slope decompression. Don’t forget to tip your server, and save a barstool for us.
For those who want the most casual après-ski scene.
Collie's Sport s Bar & Grill (738 Main St) where the walls are lined with flat-screen televisions and sports memorabilia, is a guy’s-guy place often filled with patrons of the male persuasion watching the game while glugging cold drafts chased with luscious, stick-to-your-ribs bar food. Collie's has a decent beer selection, but on game days, the après crowds can get big, so don’t be in a hurry. The bar menu features the typical classics including wings, pulled pork nachos, several house-smoked barbecue selections, and yummy handmade burgers. This is an ideal place for dudes to hang out while their ladies head up Main Street to shop, gallery-hop, or have a glass of wine somewhere where grunting is not common vernacular.
One of Park City’s most notorious watering holes is O’Shuck’s Bar & Grill (427 Main St), a haven for 20-something skiers and snowboarders looking to extend the college party a few more years. This often elbow-to-elbow bar feels like a frat party. O’Shuck’s serves big schooners of beer—you’ll find 18 different brews on tap here—plays loud music, and features all-you-can-eat peanuts, the shells of which patrons chuck on the floor. If you’re looking for something more substantial to accompany those fish-bowl-size beers, try one of the renowned house burgers—the garlic burger is among the best—or a marinated chicken sandwich. On Tuesdays, PBR schooners and cheeseburgers are just $3 each.
Just try to resist the gravitational pull of the Corner Store (Park City Mountain Resort Town Base Plaza) as you clomp through the plaza at the end of a day at Park City Mountain Resort. You’ll definitely hear the place before you see it. Live bands play here four to six days a week, and the daily $3 PBRs and $3 tequila shots attract the kind of crowd you’d expect: 20-somethings looking for a quick and cheap buzz before heading up to Main Street for more serious partying. Seats on the outdoor patio are hard to come by after 3 p.m. on sunny days; heat lamps warm the faithful when it’s cloudy or snowing.
In the Well
When you’re ready for something a bit more upscale, but still “Park City casual.”
Tucked into the alley next to 350 Main is one of Park City’s most popular bars, the Spur Bar & Grill (352 Main St). Soft lighting, comfy seating, warm fireplaces, and knowledgeable bartenders make this an ideal locale to enjoy a low-key hot buttered rum or glass of pinot noir after a day outside. Return after 10 p.m., however, and you’ll see the place transformed. Respectable local and regional bands play here all winter long, creating long lines down the alley and crowds on the dance floor. Stay after midnight and watch the Spur’s alternate moniker, the “Cougar Den,” in action as single 30- and 40-something babes set their sights on the season’s fresh crop of ski instructors and lifties.
In its previous incarnation as the Alamo, the No Name Saloon (447 Main St) would have fit squarely into our On Tap category. New owners have managed to maintain the casual, local feel of this popular watering hole while bumping service and ambience up just enough to attract a more well-heeled customer. Pooches waiting patiently outside for their owners are still a common sight at No Name, but menu items like buffalo burgers and homemade soups, along with attentive service, have erased most of this bar’s former gritty gestalt. Mining and western memorabilia cover the walls here, giving this bar a very cool, “everyone knows your name” personality. When there’s a wait for a table—which is typical after about 9 p.m.—outdoor heated benches keep things cozy even when it’s snowing.
Come springtime in Park City, the place to see and be seen at the end of the ski day is at the Umbrella Bar (Park City Mountain Resort's Canyons Village), located strategically at the base between the Red Pine Gondola and the Beach. This round, all-glass, yurtlike bar has a distinctly Euro-party feel. On sunny days, crowds surround the Umbrella for burgers, hot dogs, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and 10 beers on tap. Be advised: when there’s high pressure, chairs on the nearby Ski Beach fill quickly. The key is to grab some lounges and then take turns with your buddies fetching critical après-ski sustenance from the Umbrella.
Christened after Deer Valley’s beloved founder Edgar Stern, Edgar’s Beer & Spirits Lounge (upper level of Deer Valley's Snow Park Lodge) is where locals and visitors not staying at a Deer Valley property go for an end-of-the-day libation either inside in the intimate bar or outside on the sun-washed deck. The archival photos of the resort’s roots are definitely enjoyable to scan, and EBS’s blueberry mojito and elderberry cocktail are both Park City Cocktail Contest award winners. And if you didn’t get to sample a bowl of Deer Valley’s famous turkey chili at lunchtime, the lounge’s appetizer menu includes a huge, dinner-spoiling plate of turkey chili nachos.
Pull out the Prada: these establishments are where to go when you’re ready to see and be seen.
The world’s well-heeled have been sipping hot toddies at Stein Eriksen Lodge’s Troll Hallen Lounge (7700 Stein Way) for the better part of 30 years. Both cozy and romantic, Stein’s has eschewed the big splash of Deer Valley’s newer luxury hotels in favor of a subtler, casual elegance. Think quiet conversation in front of a glowing fireplace while sipping a rich merlot or a single-malt scotch. Popping in for an afternoon drink is a great way to sneak a peek at this iconic property without paying a typical night’s five-star price tag.
If you’re looking for a quintessentially European après-ski experience, go directly to Deer Valley’s Goldener Hirsch Inn (7570 Royal St E). Though it’s tucked slightly behind the slope-facing lodges at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake area, once you make the five-minute walk off the snow to this rustically elegant oasis, you’ll be glad you did. In addition to a warm fire, cold beer, and decadent mulled wine, the GH serves some of the best après-ski fare in Park City, including classic fondue and raclette, silky French onion soup, a melt-in-your-mouth sourdough pretzel, and must-have apple strudel.
For a little more modern twist on the luxury ski lodge, pay a visit to the St. Regis Deer Valley (2300 Deer Valley Drive E) Ski in from the Navigator or Deer Hollow ski runs, or take the funicular up from the Snow Park Lodge area. The St. Regis bar’s hip vibe attracts a stylish clientele made up of both locals and visitors, making people-watching an added bonus here. Sit up at the bar or in comfy upholstered chairs near the fireplace. The bar’s signature cocktail is the 7452 Mary, concocted with a house-made Bloody Mary mix and Park City’s High West Distillery Vodka 7000, served with a touch of salt on the rim, and finished with wasabi-celery foam.
Not to be outdone, over at Canyons a luxury après experience can be had at the Waldorf Astoria (2100 Frostwood Dr). Where other luxury lodges encourage separate experiences for adults and kids, the Waldorf is all about a high-end, total family experience. Après-ski receptions are held in the front lobby before the enormous Italian marble fireplace on most afternoons of the winter season. Slightly later in the evening, the action moves outside to the fire pits where guests roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Of course, if you want adult time, nothing beats sitting at the bar overlooking the massive pool.