When Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club opened in The Gateway in winter of 2022, I described it as SLC’s newest “adult fun zone,” which it still is. Conceived by Las Vegas-based Carver Road Hospitality, Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club is a restaurant and bar first and foremost. Or, I should probably say bars, since there’s more than one.
But in addition to the restaurant and three bars, the 17,500-square-foot Flanker is an entertainment complex that features The Sporting Club for gameday viewing parties and nighttime socializing, private karaoke and sports simulator suites, and the speakeasy-style Parlor cocktail lounge complete with retro duckpin bowling lanes and throwback music. In addition, as the evening progresses, DJ’s spin tunes for guests, 21 and over, of course, turning the place into a high-energy nightly party. For the holiday season, however, the Flanker folks have decked the halls with an eye-popping array of holiday cheer.
Through the holiday season, Flanker Kitchen + Sporting club has transformed the Parlor cocktail lounge into an intimate Christmas Tiki Parlor showcasing innovative holiday cocktails from well-known mixologist and Carver Road Hospitality VP of Beverage, Francesco Lafranconi. Along with holiday cheer, The Christmas Tiki Parlor features Make Your Own S’mores, and bar snacks like Little Nero’s Pizza, All American Sliders & Fries, Tuna Tostadas, Seasonal Salad, Charcuterie Board, and Pretzels & Beer Cheese.
“Last year’s debut of our Christmas Parlor was hugely successful,” explained Bryan Bass, Chief Marketing Officer of Carver Road Hospitality, the company that operates Flanker. “We knew we would have to blow our guests away this year, with an expanded holiday-themed experience like none other, and that’s exactly what we have created.”
Santa Colada Cocktail
Signature holiday cocktails served in holiday themed vessels include the Nakatomi Office Party (Dewar’s white label, Rumchata Peppermint Bark, Whipping Cream, Candy Cane); Clark’s Holiday Shenanigans (Plantation 5 Year, Curacao, Eggnog, Maple Syrup); The Grinch (Wahaka Mezcal, Plantation Pineapple Rum, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer, Allspice Bitters); and my personal favorite, the Santa Colada made with Bacardi Rum, Malibu Black, Blue Curacao, Pineapple, and Coconut Cream, served up in a kitschy Santa Claus tiki mug.
Part of the Xmas makeover at Flanker is The North Pole Club, where Christmas movies play from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, the winter wonderland theater transforms into a nightlife experience with DJs starting at 10 p.m.
There is a charitable aspect of the holiday season at Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club, which is partnering with the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to collect warm clothing donations for those in need. Guests of Flanker are encouraged to bring donations of new or lightly worn hats, gloves, scarves and/or winter jackets.
For guests in the main area of the sparling Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club the kitchen dishes up a bevy of elevated bar fare running the gamut from my favorite Spicy Tuna Bites (tuna tartare, spicy jalapeño mayo on crispy rice) and pulled pork sliders, to lollipop chicken wings, bodacious burgers, salads, tacos, and dessert temptations such as the Banana Foster Sundae and Cinnamon Churros.
Photo courtesy of Jackelin Slack Photography
Jazz fans should keep in mind the recent launch of Flanker’s Slam Dunk Menu, a special prix fixe ($36) pre-game menu offering a choice of appetizer from Mac & Cheese Bites, Spicy Tuna Bites, Pulled Pork Sliders, Classic Caesar Salad, or Soft Pretzels; a choice of Main Course from an All-American Burger, Hot Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Wings, or Steak Sandwich, and then dessert cookies: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, and Macadamia White Chocolate.
Additional food fun at Flanker can be had on Taco Tuesdays with special pricing on tacos, select draft beers, tequila shots, Margaritas, chips & salsa, and Deleón Añejo cocktails and shots.
Keep in mind that Sunday brunch at Flanker Kitchen + Sport Club is far from average with menu items ranging from Avocado Toast, Louisiana Shrimp & Grits, and the Buttermilk Pancake Bonanza, to Steak & Eggs, Green Eggs & Ham Sammy, Breakfast Nachos, and Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich. There’s also an array of Signature Brunch Eye-Opener cocktails and Flanker’s Mimosopalooza, as well as a great wine, beer, and spirits selection.
Anytime of the year is a great time to visit Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club, but the holiday season is especially festive at Flanker and it’s the perfect place to really get into the holiday spirit.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week: “Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log.” – Ellen Degeneres