By now, you probably have all heard about the new watering hole in the middle of Sugarhouse called The Ruin. If you haven’t heard, I wonder where you have been over the past couple of weeks? I kid — kind of.
I have had the chance to make my way over there a few times and I am super impressed with so many things about this hip drinkery. It is obvious that some serious Salt Lake City movers and shakers were a part of this concept and opening, which really makes it feel familiar to locals, even if you have never walked in the door. The Ruin has five major players: Jon Kooley of L2 Outerwear, Cale Montrone of Revolv Magazine, Rheda Fouad of Super Top Secret, Michael McCaleb of Zuriick, and also Lance Saunders who has made SLC infinitely better with Kilby Court, Urban Lounge, and Rye Diner and Drinks.
There a lot of great things happening, obviously.
The Ruin has a dark, inviting, warm tone — while also being incredibly modern and clean (as in clean lines, clean angles). The wood work alone is something to note — The Ruin has some beautiful custom tables and bar stools. The set up is perfect, offering both cozy 2 top tables for an intimate date night, or multiple lounge spaces for larger groups. The bar even provides variety with the traditional barstool step up, as well as a lower diner bar, which really divides the space and creates an interesting layered atmosphere. The lighting is just enough. The space is perfectly moderately sized (large enough to fill full and exciting; small enough to feel cozy). The bartenders welcome you with a smile and professional demeanor. It’s kind of warm and fuzzy, without being clichéd or overdone.
But, then, there are also the cocktails. The drinks, my friends, are what make this spot a true cocktail lounge.
You have your classics, like the Toronto (rye, fernet, simple syrup, orange twist), but you also have finely crafted, unique cocktails (based off classics, but with a punch). For example, Arsenic and Old Lace (gin, dry vermouth, creme de violette, absinthe rinse, orange twist) which is like a fancy-dressed Aviation with some surprises. Or Vanessa’s Ex Pat (bourbon, grapefruit, lime, simple syrup, mint) – which is like the lovechild of a very sexy marriage between a Greyhound and Mint Julep.
Or, you can just order up the “Ruin Roulette” — which is bartender’s choice. And, with bartenders like Chase Worthen and Jon Long (and others whom I am sure as just as talented), you are pretty much guaranteed something classy and delicious.
The Ruin also doesn’t take themselves TOO seriously, because you can still get a can of Pabst, along with other bottles and cans, draft beer, and wine that you actually want to drink.
So, thank you to all of the great folks who have brought this fine
establishment to our little, wonderful city.
You are only making things better —
and this cocktail nerd certainly appreciates you!