* Lead Photo Credit: Visit Park City
Long before Park City, Utah became a venue for the Sundance Film Festival, the 2002 Olympic games and subsequently a bustling destination for skiers and snowboarders, it was a very famous silver mining town. Silver was first discovered in the area that came to be known as Park City in 1868. Then, thanks to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1870, miners came in waves in the hopes of finding their fortune.
Times have changed significantly since then. Today visitors come in waves, not searching for their fortune in silver but rather in deep pow. With two famous ski resorts, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley nestled not far from the historic Main Street where it all began, Park City attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. However, Winter’s Favorite Town is more than just your average ski destination, it’s also an après skier’s dream come true.
From the time of the silver mining era when George Wanning’s Saloon first attracted miners for their post-excavation après spirits until now, Park City’s Main Street has been the place to be. Back then, miners were hoping to wind down from digging under the mountain. Now mountain riders are looking to lift their spirits after playing in the snow on it.
The après-ski scene is as much a part of Park City’s culture as the skiing and snowboarding itself. Any visit there is not complete without a trip down Main Street. Choices abound, deciphering where to begin and end can be daunting. To put your mind at ease, here’s an après skier’s guide to the hottest spots from start to finish.
Photo Credit: High West Distillery and Saloon
Although technically not on Main Street, (it’s a block off on Park Ave.) High West Distillery is by far the most accessible from the slopes. It is, after all, the world’s only ski-in gastro-distillery. Just hop on Park City Mountain Resort’s Quittin’ Time run and follow that all the way down to the town. There you’ll find one of the most famous locations in all of the après-ski world, High West Distillery & Saloon.
When you walk in, you’re instantly transported to a time where saloons were THE spots for social gatherings. Housed in an old livery stable, you’ll be captivated by the exposed beams and old wood that offers patrons a glimpse of the wild west.
Photo Credit: High West Distillery and Saloon
The food at High West is as good as they come and is prepared to pair with their array of award-winning whiskeys. Order a sampling of their core four or perhaps one of their famous cocktails like The Comanche. Light and refreshing it will quench the thirst you worked up while on the mountain. Be sure to pair whatever you choose to drink with their amazing food. You simply cannot go wrong but an order of chicken wings (some of the best in the high country) and “The Burger” are popular for a reason.
Stirring up Cocktails With a Side of Pie
Photo Credit: Alpine Distilling
Pie at après-ski? Yes, it’s a thing. At least it is at The Alpine Pie Bar. Arguably the most unique bar concept around, The Alpine Pie Bar is a hidden gem among many of the après-ski giants on Main Street. There you can enjoy craft cocktails and fresh-baked pie in a swanky, yet comfortable speakeasy setting.
The masterminds behind this distinctive concept are Rob and Sara Sergent. Owners and operators of nearby Alpine Distilling whose Alpine Gin was just named #1 Gin in the world and whose whiskey has a few awards of its own, they saw a need for something different in the market and capitalized on it. Now you can taste their craft spirits on their own or in one of the amazing cocktails paired perfectly with an assortment of pies baked locally.
If you’re looking for something as unique as this bar concept itself, try The Hot Fuss. This creative cocktail came to fruition when owner Rob was hanging with The Killers’ Ronnie Vannucci Jr. at the distillery. A riff on a Whiskey sour, it is made with Alpine’s Lafayette Spiced Whiskey, sour mix and The Killers Hot Sauce. It also shares the name of The Killers popular debut album, Hot Fuss.
On top of that, the bourbon pecan pie is a must. Served with a slice of cheddar (it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does) it is the taste explosion you never thought you were looking for but are after a day on the slopes.
Pay them a visit at their new location in February 2022 (364 Main Street) around the corner from our current location.
Wine Down With the Official Wine of Apres
Photo Credit: @dancampbellphoto
There is no question that craft beer has become the bevvie of choice when it comes to après-ski in America. However, worldwide this has not always been the case. Après-ski has its roots in Europe. Therefore, it’s not hard to believe that in places like France, where the phrase après-ski was coined, wine is actually people’s go-to post-ski spirit.
Old Town Cellars is seeking to bring a bit of the old world to the old town with their winery on Main St., Park City. The Official Wine of Après will make you think twice before reaching for a beer at the end of your ski day. Stepping into Old Town Cellars is like being transported to a tasting room halfway around the world. The stone walls and live edge bar give off the rustic feeling you’d expect from a winery in the old country. These same walls are then adorned with artwork that, in contrast, reminds you that you are very much in a Western ski town. It’s the perfect ambiance for Park City’s ski and snowboard crowd looking to drink wine without any pretensions.
Old Town Cellars’ wines are as approachable as the venue itself. Using grapes from the west coast, they craft wines made to fit the palate of skiers and snowboarders wanting something a little bit different at the end of the day. Choose from a menu of six varietals that are manufactured and poured on-site. And if you really don’t want wine, Old Town Cellars also offers an assortment of local craft beer and cocktails at their bar too.
I’ve Been Down Main Street to a Bar With No Name
Photo Credit: Dan Campbell Photography
This après-ski hot spot is so popular, it really needs no name or no introduction. The No Name Saloon is Park City’s rowdiest bar for a reason. It’s where legends are made. Whether you’re going there right after a day on the mountain or hitting it up late at night, you will not be disappointed. That is unless you don’t like having fun.
When you walk in, you’ll be immediately captivated by the amount of “stuff” they have hanging from everywhere…literally everywhere. There is taxidermy, lights, a motorcycle, you name it, it’s probably up on a wall or the ceiling or somewhere in this multi-story bar. There are even toilet bowls hanging around! Talk about abstract art.
The stuff on the walls isn’t the only thing that will draw your attention. So too will the people. Order up their famous Buffalo Burger, a whiskey and a beer, and sit back as your eyes wander from corner to corner taking in all that the No Name Saloon has to offer.
Kick Off Your Night With The Spur
Photo Credit: The Spur Bar & Grill
If live music is your thing, then The Spur Bar & Grill is the place to be. The Spur is live 365. That’s right, whether it’s local musicians or national artists, there are live performances at The Spur daily. In many cases, it’s usually two at one time. With three rooms (two down, one up) The Spur has the ability to have multiple acts playing at one time without interfering with the other. Take your pick or wander between all three and see them all. Either way, the crowd is sure to be fired up post-pow.
That’s exactly what you are looking for, right? That and their variety of house-made pizzas like The Wasatch Elk Sausage. You’ll be salivating just ordering it. Control your menu-induced drool with a local beer from their extensive tap list or even a glass of their collaboration whiskey that they did with the aforementioned Alpine Distilling. One will lead to two and maybe three or four as you are certain to get sucked into the vortex of fun that is The Spur.
End Your Night at Back The Cabin
There is a reason The Cabin is one of Park City’s most popular haunts. Actually, there are a few reasons: food, drinks, music and atmosphere. You can certainly go there for dinner and you wouldn’t be disappointed if you did. The Cabin is as a good ski cabin should be. It’s all about comfort. The remodeled dining area has a relaxed yet slightly swanky feel to it and the menu is straight-up comfort food at its finest. It’s exactly what you need to replenish your stores after a day of shredding.
Dinner is great but where the Cabin really kicks into high gear is in the evening. This is when the two floors come to life and the real people watching begins. Head downstairs into the cavernous basement and there, you’ll characteristically be greeted by a band that is sure to rock. Upstairs, the tables clear out to make room for a crowd that’s looking to dance the night away. Whether it’s a DJ laying down house pumping beats or a musician stroking the guitar, visitors looking to party can really get into it until the early morning.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après, and the co-host of the Beyond the Après podcast. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres
Nicholas, D. (2021, December 28). Park City Historic Timeline. Park City Museum. Retrieved January 6, 2022, from https://parkcityhistory.org/park-city-historic-timeline