Dead Goat Comes Alive

Salt Lake City- So much for an “upscale burlesque” show at the Dead Goat Saloon.
Saloon owner Daniel Darger said this week after a Salt Lake City board confirmed he could obtain a sexually oriented business (SOB) license that the performances probably will be more like the run-of-the-mill strip shows seen at Southern Exposure — pole dances included.

In fact, the owner of that Murray strip club is set to become the Dead Goat’s manager and will become a part owner of the building at 165 S. West Temple at Arrow Press Square, Darger said.

Darger said he wanted to bring cabaret to Salt Lake City to revive his failing blues club. According to a statement by the Burlesque Historical Society provided by Darger, such dancers don’t perform lap dances or gyrate on poles. But Darger said the city requires him to build a “pole-dancing . . . stripper stage” to get an SOB license.

“Given the economics of a music venue and the ordinance forcing me to be nothing but [a stripper venue], then that’s probably what I’m going to do if it makes money,” Darger said.

He said he hopes to continue booking music bands at the Dead Goat through December. He has no timeline for when Kent Bangerter, Southern Exposure owner, will take over. Darger said he also hopes to change the city’s SOB ordinances so he can provide burlesque.

John Paul Brophy, one of the Dead Goat’s partners who brought in the blues acts, said he is unhappy with the saloon’s new direction and he expects the blues music that made the club famous will no longer be played there. He and his partner Mike Ricks may create Dead Goat Productions to bring blues bands to other clubs.

Darger applied for an SOB license and was initially denied approval in July. After the city attorney stepped in to clarify zoning interpretations, the license was preliminarily approved. SOBs cannot be within 165 feet of a gateway corridor or within 330 feet of a landmark site.

In the end, the zoning administrator found the Dead Goat was more than 165 feet from West Temple Street. Since the Dead Goat is in the interior of a block, the zoning administrator said it doesn’t have to be located 330 feet from Zions Bank, a historic structure.

But owners of The Souvenir Stop in the ZCMI Center appealed the approval. The Board of Adjustment denied their appeal Monday.


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