Bars feeling the squeeze
With current turbulence showing zero signs of abating, Utahs bars are experiencing some of the biggest disruptions to their businesses. I mean, hands up (carefully at six feet distance please) who’s been to a bar recently. No, me neither.
A few options exist to recreate the bar experience from home right now, minus the surly bar tender, overly friendly drunks and sticky floor (hey, don’t judge my choice of bars). Seabird Bar are offering mixers to go from their Gateway and Draper locations and new startup The Bartenders Box, delivers hand crafted syrups, bitters and fresh ingredients right to your door.
Meanwhile the local USBG chapter currently has a petition underway, asking the state for more assistance during these times, you might want to sign it. The Change.org site has full details but in essence the group are asking for:
- Allow the sale of cocktails for togo and delivery
- Finally allow happy hours in Utah
- Allow businesses to buy product from the state at wholesale pricing
- Increase the supply of liquor licenses
- Cap fees levied by food delivery businesses
- Create a rent-relief program
The first couple of items seem like pipe dreams to me; stranger things have happened of course – I still don’t understand drive thru soda and never will. Me, I’d love to get back to what seemed like the good old days, just being able to purchase beer online with groceries for simply contactless drive and load. Which means I have my fingers crossed for this one as well.
Arlo – Over in the Marmalade area of NSL, this new chef driven operation is open for business. Mary Malouf has some first thoughts over in the SL Mag. The business replaces the former Em’s / The Dayroom, and has a pretty as a picture patio you might want to check out for open air dining.
Chettinad House – It’s been a while coming but this new Indian eatery in downtown Salt Lake City is now seating guests. Chettinad opens in the spot where Lamb’s Grill left a few years back. Fans of the old Art Deco interior will instead want to head to Orem and Tru Religion mind you. The Utah County based business snapped up all the interior fixtures and fittings when Lamb’s went to pasture.
L&P Bakery – Previously available inside Sandy’s Ocean Mart supermarket, this Chinese bakery now has a second outlet located at 895E and 9400S.
Paik’s Noodle – Head over to Valley Fair Mall and you’ll find the Smashing of Burgers now replaced by this Korean noodle shop.
Squatters Craft Cafe – This tip off from a reader. Said eagle eyed chap spotted signage going up for this new opening at “56th West and Amelia Earhart”. It looks like the location will offer at least a modest kitchen space and a draft beer option. More info to follow as we get it.
Tappo – I don’t recall mentioning this one yet, but it took mere moments for someone new to take the mantle over from the short lived Elevo on 21st. The new billboard promises much of the same: “Coffee, wine, bites”.
Empanadas Express – Reports recently from our Facebook group that this popular South American spot was unable to weather the current business storms.
Dunkin Donuts Utah – Happening somewhat abruptly, the seeming overnight decampment of this national chain from Utah. It looks as if the entire corporation is having a rethink about their store placements and overall business model; and with that the closure of multiple Utah locations. The extent of the withdrawal is a little unclear. The SL Tribune reports seven stores locally have closed while a “Dunkin Donuts Utah” Facebook page states all local stores are now shuttered.
Mazza – Much reported and many tears for this one. The 9th and 9th edition of Ali Sabbah’s long lived Lebanese is to close up shop. Never fear, his cuisine will live on at the brand spanking new Sandy spot as well as the original 15th and 15th.
Mollie & Ollie – This downtown healthy eats spot recently announced via Facebook that their Covid-closure would become a permanent reality.
Sampan – July 26th is the last day of business for the Sugar House staple. As you might have read, leasing issues have put paid to this long lived eatery. Pretty Bird MKII will open up in the spot sometime later. Before then, Sampan is having a fire sale – everything must go! From the walk ins, to the wall art to the water pitchers…
Utah Black Pages
If you’re looking to spend a little extra cash at black owned businesses, check out this new site that just debuted. All the companies listed, across a variety of industries, are owned by people of color. Check out the site here:
Blue Plate Awards
It’s been a strange old year, so much so the Salt Lake Magazine has needed to pivot from their usual dining awards set up. Here’s Mary Malouf on the 2020 edition and a list of the winners:
Caputo’s Market – cause increased ecological awareness
Liberty Heights Fresh – sustainable ecological food business
Hell’s Backbone – protecting the land
Salt Lake Brewing Company – momentum recycling
Vertical Diner – reducing your animal footprint
Water Witch – serving the Servers
Spice Kitchen Incubator – world on a Plate
Culinary Crafts – keeping it local and taking out the trash
Pago Group – good neighbors
Mazza – bright Ideas
Flourish Baking – baking better
Harmon’s – good neighbors
Call for recipes for annual cocktail contest
This one via PR:
After the spring we’ve had, we could all use a drink. The Park City Area Restaurant Association (PCARA) invites bartenders and mixologists of any PCARA establishment to enter their own unique recipes in the annual summer cocktail contest. Cocktail professionals who submit their most inventive cocktails will have a chance to win a $500 cash prize, city-wide recognition, will be featured in PCARA marketing efforts following the contest and new this year we are teaming up with The Bar Tender box and will highlight the winning bar tender and establishment in a future box.
“It wouldn’t be summer without Park City’s most talented mixologists duking it out for best cocktail,” PCARA executive director Ginger Wicks said. “The cocktail contest is always a fun way to unite the community around some friendly competition and never-before-sipped craft cocktails sure to impress Park City locals and guests.”
Mixologist Trevor Brown from tupelo has won the contest the last two years, last summer for his La Vaquera cocktail. The summer favorite included High West Double Rye, Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry, house-made hibiscus grenadine, lemon juice and Bitters Lab habanero lime.
Cocktail contest applications are available at www.parkcityrestaurants.com for any mixologists interested in entering. Participants must submit their applications by Friday, July 24 to Ginger Wicks, email@example.com or by mail:
Park City Area Restaurant Association
Attn: Ginger Wicks
PO Box 3162
Park City, UT 84060
The official contest begins Aug. 1 when locals and visitors can visit participating PCARA bars and restaurants and start sampling contest entries. Online voting for favorite cocktails will run through Aug. 31 on the PCARA website, www.parkcityrestaurants.com. Participating PCARA entities will adhere to all recommended health, safety and social distancing guidelines to ensure sampling will be as safe as possible.
Want to discuss this post or the SLC food scene in general? Check out our Facebook group and come talk with other likeminded SLC foodies. Also follow along at Instagram for upto the minute local food news.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.