New gay-themed club opens in Salt Lake

A new “gayborhood” or “fruit-loop” is emerging in Salt Lake City. With the opening of The MIXX, a queer-inclusive center, coupled with the staples – of  Trapp, Metro Bar and PÜRE at Club Sound on Friday nights, the area of 600 West and 200 South has become the one-stop shop for gay nightlife.

The MIXX, which opened on Feb. 24, is not technically a bar. But you might not notice that. There’s dancing, cheap drinks, a fun vibe and an eclectic mix of sexy at the new reception center that replaced Studio 27. Located next to Trapp, 102 S. 600 W., the new venue will be open on Friday and Saturday nights, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with other events and special engagements throughout the week.

While it’s not billing itself as a bar for gay men specifically, they are certainly represented and welcome – as is just about every other demographic. From lesbians to drag queens and twinks to muscle bears, there’s just a little of everything.

“We wanted it to have something for everyone. That’s why it’s called, The MIXX,” said owner RB Edgar. “We have redesigned the sound system and layout and we’ve got something for everyone; pool tables in the back, a lounge area and great, cheap drinks.”

With $6 shots of Patron and $5 Jager Bombs, the competitive pricing is just one of the draws for this new space. The large club, which is open to people at least 21 years old, still has a stage, disc jockey booth, large chandeliers and a goth-chic vibe. Although there is an occasional cover of $5, the cheap drinks and terrific space make up for it.

“The space is designed to have a high-energy dance floor with the music focused on that area and quieter areas with tables and a patio for hanging out and getting to know your date,” Edgar said.  “We will have an eclectic crowd that focuses not so much on sexuality, but having a great time. Gay, straight, bi, whatever. Everyone is going to be here.”

The Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, Utah’s oldest queer charity, is already booking events and the buzz about the place is growing. With almost no difference for patrons than other clubs, the licensing agreement is just more red tape and bureaucracy for Edgar, who licensed his location as a reception center because there were no available club licenses. Despite some small changes, such as drinks must be served from mobile bar units, there’s no reason to not enjoy the club.

The other edition to Salt Lake City nightlife is a semi-Latin night on Saturdays at The MIXX, which is also designed for men and women alike. In place of traditional Latin music, hip-hop and chart-toppers will be played with an occasional Latin twist, said Manuel Arano, the club promoter. After being involved with Latin nights at Trapp, Club Edge and Club Karamaba, Arano is a veteran club producer and knows how to attract crowds.

“Since we started promoting, people are very excited about it,” he said. “There was a need for something different – something new, and this is it.”

The club will not have a cover for the first month of operation but will occasionally sponsor different Latin nonprofits, such as resources for homeless Utahns, and will ask for donations.

People can park their cars and, on Friday nights, visit Trapp, The MIXX and PÜRE. On Saturdays Metro Bar is added to the mix. With the recent and sudden changes, Salt Lake City’s burgeoning “gayborhood” could help all the area bars attract more patrons and become the heart of the city’s nightlife.

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Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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