It's difficult to believe that a full year has gone by since Sara Lund (owner) opened the doors to SLCs coolest speakeasy, The Rest (see NYTimes Review). Starting with that concept, Bodega was originally designed to be an unassuming storefront to a dark and cozy cocktail bar. It was portioned off as a small tavern on one side, and wall of conveniences on the other. Inspired by the Bodega's of NYC, Sara brought that big city flavor to our own with Loteria inspired branding, vintage Playboy decor, and a variety of religious memorabilia. 

Bodega did its job well and helped make The Rest the success it is today. But Bodega didn't want to stay in the shadows. It wanted to do its own thang to bring something more accessible to the streets of our salty city. So, Sara and her team of creative cohorts rolled up their sleeves and decided to turn expand the small tavern into a full bar serving cheap beer, shots, cocktails and food!  

The doors opened last Tuesday and I decided to step in and try it on for size. Here's what I found; The space has been opened up and rebuilt to allow a larger amount of people to come and socialize. They've repurposed their famous vintage Playboy countertop into the main table to gather around with a few games to keep everyone entertained (Cards Against Humanity, Dice, Cards, etc). There are bar stools and counters along the walls and windows, providing plenty of seating for you and your friends. Keeping with the Playboy theme, they've somehow found an old Playboy pinball machine (the predecessor to video games... so badass) that lets you roll with the Hef! 

The menu is impressive (see photo) and being a big fan of fish tacos and beer, I decided to give those a try. Goddamnit if I didn't fall in love. The fish tacos come in a pair; simple breaded fillets of fish, shredded lettuce and carrots, diced onions, spicy cream sauce and a lime wrapped in a soft flour taco shell. Es muy delicioso!

The beer cocktails were good too! And if you've never had a beer cocktail, you're in for a treat. The Bodegita is basically a beer and a shot of tequila (I went with the reposado rather than the blanco, they offer both) dressed with a slice of lime. The Michelada is their Fiesta draft with muddled limes and spicy salt rim. Both of these are especially refreshing on a hot summer day. 

In short, Bodega has finally grown into its own and we're happy to see it. Stop in M-S between 5pm-1am and tell 'em Ugly sentcha'.  Olé!  

Bodega is located at 331 Main Street in Salt Lake City
Instagram: @bodegaslc

Shadna Aum