The Hog Wallow Pub sits at the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon, nestled amongst the trees, the Old Mill, and some housing developments. It was there long before the houses, in many forms.

First opened by a WWII Veteran in 1947, it was converted from an abandoned Civilian Corps bunkhouse into a mountain bar called the Branding Iron. It's had many different names since then, but it's been the Hog Wallow since 1997. It's the oldest and the most notorious bar in the Cottonwood Heights area.

The Hogs as it sits today is a great bar for live music, après skiing, and BBQ. It draws the locals out, bikers, skiers, hippies, music lovers, you know the drill. And it's a great place for visitors to get a taste of our local scene. I play the Hogs two times a month and it's my favorite live-music bar in town—actually, it's most musicians’ favorite place to play. There's live music Wednesday through Saturday, and the lineup is extremely eclectic. You can get blues, funk, rock, folk, acoustic, electric, reggae, bluegrass, and more. You can stay in Cottonwood Heights or nearby in Sandy, hit up a show, leave around midnight, and still get 8 hours of sleep for skiing the next day!

The Hog Wallow has really good food, especially with the triumphant return of Tornado Tom’s BBQ! Locally made, Tom’s BBQ is a favorite among regulars. You can get a ½ Rack of Ribs with One Side for $14, Smoked Chicken Wings for $12, Full Rack with 2 Sides for $26. They also have regular pub fare, sandwiches, pizzas, and nachos. To help wash down the meats, there are cans of Epic for $5, ciders for $5, tallboy PBRs for $3, or pitchers of local beer for $10. The kitchen opens at 3 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m., Mon-Thu, and opens at 1 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. on the weekends.

The décor adds to the special ambience of the bar. Local paintings by Ray McCarty hang on the walls, giving the bar an old-time western feel. The bar back is carved wood and reminds me of an old pirate ship. In fact, carved wood sculptures can be found everywhere. The patio is one of the best in town, with wooden faces in the trees and plenty of tables to relax. Don’t forget to spend some time by the fire place for a romantic spot, or play pool on one of their two tables.

Just 20 minutes from Salt Lake City and 15 minutes from the top of Big Cottonwood, Hog Wallow is well worth the excursion. You won't be disappointed. The service, the staff, the sounds, the skiers, the drinks, and the food are all awesome!

Words: Talia Keys
Photos: Melahn Atkinson