January 11, 2022

ON THE STREET | JANUARY

The Downtown class of 2021 is in the books, and we are impressed with the freshman class that included 14 new retail shops and 22 new restaurants and bars. We applaud these merchant’s chutzpah! We too are bullish on the downtown economy: the downtown residential community will double by 2025 and employers are growing and relocating to downtown. The momentum continues, we count another dozen businesses opening soon in 2022… including:

Bourbon House Group is delighting us once again with the announcement that Edison, a petite street packed with potential, will be the newest addition to their storied collection of restaurants. Across from Brick & Mortar, The Warhol, a renovated warehouse offering luxury rentals, will house the new concept on the ground floor. With the new liquor store expected to break ground soon, and the existing ROCTACO, Copper Common, Diabolical Records, and Mortar & Pestle, this lusty little lane is going to get even more loads of love from us.

Congratulazioni to Salt and Olive, opening between Under Current and Gourmandise. One roof, two concepts: a cafe/bodega opens every day from 8am-8pm, and a restaurant open 11:30am-11:30pm. Don't you just love consistency? Stop in for an espresso and croissant in the morning; return for a leisure lunch over chianti and a hand-tossed margherita pizza; swing in later and say, "Ciao!" with bucatini and linger longer with a semifreddo affogato! Bellissima!

We’ve been sitting on this for a few months, so we’re delighted to share that Salt Lake’s second food hall is under construction at the Avia on 300 East 400 South. The Local Market & Bar will bring seven concepts and one bar with Chef Akhtar Nawab at the helm. This guy is kind of a big deal and it says a lot about SLC that we nabbed him. A Kentucky-born chef who was a protege of Tom Colicchio and mentor to David Chang, he has an Indian heritage and embraces Mexican cuisine… You can imagine his flavors are complex and innovative. He’s consulted around the world, opened restaurants around the world, and his next is in your backyard.

We love dark wood paneled walls with white table cloths, so we’ll be first to make those rezys at the long awaited The Capital Grille when it opens in the next four months. Another top secret high-end steak restaurant is expected in this same neighborhood later this year, that is in addition to Scott Evans' new meat-centric creation coming to Hope Gallery… this area is quickly becoming Carnivore Country.

Looking to open a restaurant? Hines, the owner of the historic, handsome and newly renovated Kearns Building is looking for a restauranteur for the ground floor that once was home to Jos. A. Banks. This soaring sanctuary would be a sublime shrine for a supreme star– with sweeping views of SLC’s Main Streets and literally seconds from the Eccles. Going once, going twice?

Another available retail space is opening up at 272 South 200 East, Misc Boutique, the well-edited vintage clothing boutique on Broadway is adjusting their business model and owner Missy Baber reports the landlord is great to work with. 

Got a tip about coming retail or restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City? Drop me a line:  

Published in Downtown News and Blog
December 01, 2021

ON THE STREET | DECEMBER

Christmas is several weeks away, but a few anticipated presents will be unveiled this week! A diverse pipeline of restaurants are set to open--from quick fare to classic French--there is a concept for every taste. Savor the holidays and head downtown to experience something magical.  

Ryan Lowder’s Copper Common reopens December 1 after a renovation of the interior and with a new menu. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher as we keep asking ourselves what was wrong with the old space. However, knowing Lowder and his desire to frequently revitalize his enterprises, we know he won’t let us down. Just keep that C.O. Burger, please! (@coppercommon)

As reported, Tamarind, the bright and colorful Vietnamese restaurant owned by two downtown lawyers, is set to open December 2 across from the Eccles Theater. They’re offering healthy, quick and flavorful Pho from a family recipe. There have been some special preview nights, we know because we walked by like Charlie Brown, having not been invited. Not jilted, just excited-- Pho-real. (@tamarindslc)

Laurel opens December 4 and is set to be the most expensive restaurant ever built in Utah--yes, more than The Mayan (bonus points for remembering). Grand America has gutted their restaurant and imagined a modern brasserie. This stunning space is on a scale rarely accomplished in Utah and an outdoor patio is expected in the spring. (@laurelslc) 

On December 8 you’ll find us at the opening of Flanker Kitchen and Sporting Club at The Gateway. We’ve been teasing this location for a couple months and are excited for the Miss Piggy, Tiki-Pena, and Rendez Vous--cocktails created by the world-renowned mixologist Francesco Lafranconi. This guy hangs with everyone from Ferran Adria to Lionel Richie. So, we’ll consider ourselves in good company next week. (@flankerslc)

Shades Brewing expanded to downtown (actually on the same block as our office, so watch out). This boho chic location is a little hard to find unless you’re looking for it above Himalayan Kitchen at 366 South State Street. Shades Tap Room offers beer to go and is open daily 11am to 1 am. Have you tried the Plum? It’s the best sour made in Utah. (@shadestaproom) 

With a face made-for-tv, Bambara re-introduces us to Chef Jerry Pacheco. He’s ignited some of the most notable restaurants downtown, including Copper Onion, Pallet, and Avenues Bistro. While the blue cheese potato chips stay--thank God--expect a well-deserved overhaul of the menu as Pacheco leans-in to his Mexican heritage. (@bambaraslc)

Finally, Carson Kitchen unveiled a mouthwatering winter menu that we will be savoring soon. The 10 new dishes from chef/owner Cory Harwell, including a savory pork meatloaf and foie butter and jelly sound delightful. Our recommendation from past visits is to find yourself at the bar or exhibition kitchen and ask the mixologist or chefs to plie you with their talents. They’ll make you a believer. (@carsonkitchen)

Published in Downtown News and Blog

We’re not playing favorites, really, but we’re over the moon for Martine’s plan to reopen. Once thought lost forever, they are revamping the menu and looking for a triumphant return in mid-November. Just around the corner, another beloved restaurant, Tin Angel at the Eccles Theater is now open before performances. 

At The Gateway, Italian Graffiti, a new high-end Italian dining concept from the partners at HallPass, are in build-out of the CPK space, eyeing a spring opening. This is the second ‘get’ for The Gateway after the announcement that Vegas nightlife impresario Sean Christie will open his first concept in the nation (under his newly-formed Carver Road brand) on the north end of the property. Expect a star-studded event when Flanker opens next month in the space that formerly housed Punch Bowl Social.  

Two lawyers are pho-filling their dreams (no groaning allowed). North of Beerhive, Tamarind will begin serving Vietnamese cuisine in the next couple weeks. Perfect timing for a big warm bowl of Pho, made with a secret family recipe. On deadline, we also noticed Poke & Sushi Hut has a banner out, south of Plieku. (Anyone know what happened to LemonShark Poke? A year and a half later, a lonely sign still beckons, ‘coming soon.’ Time is relative, we suppose).

Speaking of the lonely ‘coming soon’ sign… A long--long--time ago the space next to Undercurrent was supposed to be Oddfellows Food Hall. For months you could peer into the space and see slow to no progress. Then, over a year ago, a striking modernist sign announced that Niccoli’s would be ‘opening soon.’ The folks behind the now-shuttered Sea Salt never produced. Now, according to Stuart at Gastronomic, the space has a third operator and concept called Salt and Olive. We hope to see it ‘soon.’

Brick & Mortar has softly opened in the Campos space on Edison Street, we’re glad this airy, bright space has been activated with a youthful, energetic feel. (Oddly, Brick & Mortar is not related to Mortar & Pestle 200 feet diagonally across the street.)  

Up in City Creek Center, CoreLife Eatery across from Cheesecake Factory closed quietly sometime in the last few months, replaced by Utah’s favorite smothered pork burrito: Cafe Rio

We ran into Governor Cox at the grand opening of Fenice on Regent. Wonderful ambiance with a side of duck confit carbonara was perfectly rich for a rainy day. Pro Tip: sit at the counter and learn all about the food from the chefs. Downtown luminaries also attended Pago on Main’s opening and treated to boar meatballs and amazing beef tartare. Two takeaways: Fenice is 21 and over and Pago is serving until midnight on the weekends.

Here are two tropes that operators are elevating and echoing--lack of liquor licenses are slowing the opening of exciting concepts in Salt Lake City. Fourteen restaurateurs crouched at the last DABC meeting ready to pounce on just three licenses. However, perhaps a more urgent roadblock to new and existing restaurants is the labor shortage. There are a couple new concepts downtown that have not opened  their doors yet because no one is applying. And, some restaurants are shortening their hours due to this labor crisis. 

Attn: Restaurateurs! C.W. Urban, the developer of under-construction the RANDI at 200 East and 200 South, is actively looking for an operator for their prime, ground floor, corner space with giant windows. With nearly a thousand new apartments under development within a  block of this location, this spot seems like a winner.

Published in Downtown News and Blog

Denver has LoDo. In Austin, it’s Sixth Street. L.A. boasts Culver Boulevard. And here, one of downtown Salt Lake City’s hippest locales is a block bordered by 200 South, 200 East, East Broadway (300 South) and State Street, known simply by the alley that bisects it from north to south, Edison.

You probably already know about Edison’s dense concentration of murals, an ever-changing, open-air gallery of local and international street art and graffiti lending this block its unique aesthetic. (El Mac & Retna’s Ave Maria—arguably Salt Lake City’s most-photographed public art piece—is there high on the east side wall of the Fice Gallery & Boutique building.) Pairs of old shoes hanging from overhead cables and fire escapes add to Edison’s distinctly urban vibe. But it’s Edison’s mostly independent shops, restaurants and bars that give this area artistically gritty soul.    

A handful of proprietors, like Gallenson’s Gun Shop, Diabolical Records and Fice, have called Edison home for a decade or more. Several new businesses have taken up residence there recently, adding to an eclectic vibe not found elsewhere in Utah’s capital city. 

Restaurants

What began as a food truck in the San Francisco area, is now the country’s fasted growing Indian-inspired fast-casual restaurant chain, Curry Up Now (152 E. 200 South). (Utah locations include another in Midvale.) Approachable Indian street food is the rule here. Think slightly Americanized versions of pani puri, samosas, vada pav, daha puri and much more.  

When you’re craving a wide slice of pizza, made with a characteristically thin, hand-tossed crust and dripping with gooey mozzarella—a la New York City—make a beeline to the locally owned Este Pizzeria (156 E. 200 South). Note: the wings, Stromboli and calzones there are as good as the slices.   

One of SLC’s friendliest, most inclusive coffee shops—The People’s Coffee (200 E. 200 South)— relocated to Edison in May. Walk into this inviting and airy space—with high ceilings and whimsical green-stained chevron-pattern hardwood flooring—any time of the day, and you’ll likely find hours have passed when you finally tear yourself away to leave. 

Made-to-order guacamole; creative, seasonally-inspired tacos; and tasty cocktails made with fresh ingredients is what you can expect at Taqueria 27 (149 E. 200 South). Dine inside this modern, minimalist space or outside on the umbrella-shaded patio.   

Proving that everything tastes better when wrapped in a tortilla, the ingredients used within Roc Taco’s (248 S. Edison) “freestyle” tacos—defined as having “zero restrictions in the flavors and techniques employed”—run the gamut from Korean short ribs, Daikon radish and chicken tikka masala to Cuban carnitas, grilled Mahi Mahi and citrus tabbouleh. When you go, be sure to try one of Roc’s deliciously creamy batidas—the citrus avocado is a local fave.

The time is now to get a final fix of the expertly roasted beans, café eats and friendly ethos at Campos Coffee (228 S. Edison). The owners announced they are closing all of Campos’ North American operations July 15, 2021, including the charming café on Edison. Campos very quickly became a popular destination for locals and visitors. Numerous other craft restaurant operators are considering what they could bring to this unique location. Stay tuned for what’s next for this lovely downtown space.

Bars

From the moment you pass beneath the old-timey, light-bulb façade into Bar X (155 E. 200 South), the focus of this hip, speakeasy-esque watering hole is crystal clear: relaxing with an expertly made cocktail. Rows and rows of illuminated bottles serve as a backdrop against which a team of  pro mixologists create anything your palate is desiring. 

Hard booze not your jam? No worries. You’ll find 30 beers are on tap and hundreds more in cans and bottles next door to Bar X at the Beer Bar (155 E. 200 South), dubbed by its owners as “a love letter to the beer of the world.”

The third in Edison’s Second South tavern trifecta is Johnny’s on Second (165 E. 200 South), a gratefully divey, come-as-you-are bar where you can get a beer and a shot for $4. Just the place to spend an afternoon sitting on the sidewalk patio sipping a cold one or inside watching the game and shooting pool.  

Though the dinner offerings are fantastic, where Copper Common (corner of Broadway and Edison) shines is as one of downtown’s most inviting places to meet up with friends. Cozy up in one of the intimate booths inside or sit outside on the patio, verdantly festooned with potted herbs, flowers and lush plants. Not-to-be-missed events at Copper Common include Taco Tuesdays ($6 margaritas) and the no-cover Copper C’mon patio concert series on Friday and Saturday nights.  

It’s hard to grasp the character and sense of place that little, hole-in-wall bars bring to a locale. But that indescribable appeal is just what you’ll find inside the chic and cozy Mortar & Pestle (152 E. 200 South). With the same ownership as Curry Up Now, much of the signature cocktails menu is Indian-inspired and all are made with fresh ingredients and housemade syrups. 

Shops

In a world where digital music is king and record stores are an endangered species, somehow  Diabolical Records (238 S. Edison) has managed to thrive, thanks in large part to its curated selection of indie music on vinyl and tape. Watch for the store’s free weekly concerts with local and touring bands to return in September 2021.

Anchoring the edgy street ambiance endemic on Edison is Fice Gallery & Boutique (160 E. 200 South), stockists of a huge selection of hard-to-find sneakers and artist-driven t-shirts and hoodies. Fice has also built a brand on hosting community-building events, like the monthlong art sale it held in February to mark Black History month and benefit Hoods in the Woods.

Russian immigrant William Gallenson founded Gallenson’s Gun Shop (166 E. 200 South) as a tailor shop on the nearby Regent Street in 1916. Nine years later he changed his business model from men’s clothing to guns and ammo. After a series of moves throughout the downtown area, Gallenson’s landed on Edison in 1990, where it remains Utah oldest firearms dealer.       

Tattoo Parlors

Named for the term of endearment owner Taylor Millet’s mother gave him as a child, Sailor Taylor Tattoo (215 S. Edison St) has been a defining presence on Edison since it opened in 2015. In addition to one of Salt Lake’s most revered sources for fine art-quality tattoos, Sailor Taylor also offers original jewelry, art pieces and piercing within its rococo-style parlor. (Fun fact: The red light next to Sailor Taylor’s door is an artifact from the year Millet ran a speakeasy out of his tattoo parlor—open, when the light was on, from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.)    

Formerly Cathedral Tattoo, Edison’s Mercy Tattoo (180 S. 200 East), is a definitively hip tattoo parlor employing a staff or young and up-and-coming artists who specialize in American traditional, Japanese Traditional and fine-line tattooing. 

Living

Though many of the buildings on Edison and its environs house living spaces above the street-level businesses, theRandi (218 S. 200 East), when completed later this year, will be Edison’s first luxury-level apartment building. The 61 for-rent condos there range from one to three bedrooms within 478 to 2,208 square feet.

Published in Downtown News and Blog

It’s starting to feel like we’re in the home stretch of the pandemic with vaccine distribution finally underway. We are looking forward to the summer months when the impacts from the vaccine start to take hold and outdoor dining becomes an option again. Until then, our retail businesses need customers as much as ever. Let’s be sure to support our shops and restaurants to make sure they make it through for us to enjoy after the pandemic!

Recently Opened:

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The Ivy | 55 West 100 South
This cocktail bar-restaurant has been in the works for a little while now and was finally able to open its doors recently. It considers itself a modern American bar offering a contemporary, ingredient-led menu. Personally, I’m hoping the falafel waffle tastes as good as it is fun to say, but there are plenty of mouthwatering options available. Look forward to patio season as they are reinvigorating the old Caffé Molise patio, and they’re working on a secluded outdoor space for private events.


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Janela Bay | At City Creek Center
Based in Orem, Janela Bay designs stylish but modest swimsuits for all body types. You’ll find a selection of one-piece suits and tankinis, and they even have maternity designs and kids’ suits.

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Paper Source | At City Creek Center
This stationary chain opened just in time for Valentine’s Day! Visit to get your hands on custom cards and gift supplies to send to all of your valentines even if you won’t be able to see them in person this year. Of course, you can visit year-round to get everything from custom stationary and calendars to craft kits and party supplies.

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Varley | 63 West 100 South
Sister concept to The Ivy, Varley is located right next door. They even share a kitchen so you can order from a selection of the food menu in addition to one of the signature cocktails. The space is outfitted with custom wood tables and other elegant finishes. Varley is brought to you by the folks behind Soundwell, so we expect to see some great live music over time.

Opening Soon:

Ascoli Espresso | 30 East Broadway
Its flagship store is at Pike Place Market in Seattle, but Ascoli Espresso is preparing to open a location in the center of Downtown SLC. You can expect a true Seattle coffee experience as they bring their signature blends and pastries. The coffee shop is expected to open for business next month.

Cotton On Kids | At City Creek Center
Hailing from Australia, Cotton On has proven to be a popular fashion outlet among hip Salt Lakers. City Creek Center is preparing to add a version geared specifically toward an even younger audience.

Edison Street Brewery | 229 South Edison Street
We’ve been hearing rumors for a while about a brewery going in on the east side of Edison. While we still don’t know much about it, we did receive confirmation just last week. You know we’ll share details as soon as we know more!

Karma | 122 West Pierpont Avenue
We recently noticed the signs change on the spot that most recently featured Button Down. It is set to be another nightclub, maintaining the growing nightlife in the area. 

Niccoli’s I 270 South 300 East
I shared this one with you a few months ago, but have since learned more details that it only felt right to provide an update. Behind the Italian market featuring high-quality local and imported goods, Niccoli’s will include a fine-dining space featuring special chef tasting menus. They are planning 3 private suites that will be utilized for special events and available for private functions. There also some unique amenities in the works, like a water sommelier as is trending in many major cities. Niccoli’s is expected to open next month.

Regent Street Restaurant | 126 Regent Street
The team behind Silver Star Café in Park City is coming down the canyon to develop a new restaurant concept in SLC. The space was formerly occupied by Fireside has sat vacant for a while now, but is sure to see new life with this activation anticipated to open by early summer.

Roctaco | 248 South Edison Street
This storefront on Edison has been a work in progress for quite some time. Its Instagram feed features some gourmet-looking taco concoctions. If nothing else, we can appreciate the enormous octopus mural made by local artist Chris Peterson on the exterior! Did I mention there’s a walk-up window?

TruFusion | At The Gateway
The Gateway will soon be home to a 13,000 square foot gym. This will be the first location for TruFusion, a national boutique gym chain with an innovative focus on group fitness and yoga. Situated on the corner of 100 South and Rio Grande, the gym will prove to be a valuable amenity on the west side of downtown as workers start to return to their offices and residential density continues to increase. Keep an eye on The Gateway as we hear there are some other new concepts in the works!

Uniquely Utah Souvenir Co. | 122 South Main Street
Tourism may not be at its peak right now, but Uniquely Utah will be ready for visitors as early as next month. They are working with local artists and businesses to curate a selection of unique merchandise for anyone to bring home memories of Salt Lake City. The store is perfectly situated on Main Street just south of City Creek Center.

Why Kiki | 67 West 100 South
Drive down 100 South and you’ll notice a new pink facade just in front of the Salt Palace. Downtown Salt Lake City will soon be home to a tiki bar called Why Kiki. Their Facebook page features a recently-posted video touring the space, which looks ready to open very soon. It also previewed some tiki glasses, so get excited for some tropical drinks!

Do you know of a new business I missed? Got a tip of one getting ready to open? Let me know at !

Published in Downtown News and Blog

Shop, eat and gift local this holiday season with Downtown Dollars! Featuring dozens of downtown bars, restaurants and retailers. This electronic gift card can be spent at many of your favorite downtown merchants and is a great gift for your besties (including you!). Simply show your eGift Card on your mobile device at participating retailers to use.

Bonus Bucks are funded by a Shop In Utah grant and can be spent just like Downtown Dollars at all participating businesses. Click the button below to purchase your Downtown Dollars and browse participating businesses. 

*The Bonus Bucks offer expires 12/31/2020, or when available funds run out. Purchased Downtown Dollars do not expire, but the extra Bonus Bucks must be spent by 5/31/2021.

Don’t see your favorite downtown business listed? Have them contact to enroll as a participating business!

Buy Downtown Dollars!

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FAQ

How can I purchase Downtown Dollars and receive Bonus Bucks?
Click on the "Buy Downtown Dollars" button above. When you purchase your Downtown Dollars in eligible amounts, you will automatically receive Bonus Bucks to spend at your favorite merchants.

How does the Bonus Bucks pricing structure work?
Purchase $50 or more in Downtown Dollars, get $10 in Bonus Bucks!

Where can I spend Downtown Dollars?
Downtown Dollars can be spent at any participating downtown business. You can view the list and map HERE. More businesses are being added all the time! Click here to add your business.

How can I purchase Downtown Dollars and Bonus Bucks for someone else or give them as a gift?
When purchasing Downtown Dollars, you enter the recipient’s name and email address to send directly to them to redeem, or you can send the eGift Card to yourself and forward the information to them. You have the option to send your original Downtown Dollars purchase and the extra Bonus Bucks to separate recipients.

Do Downtown Dollars and Bonus Bucks expire?
The purchased value of your Downtown Dollars do not expire. Bonus Bucks must be used by 05/31/2021 After 12 months of inactivity, a $3 fee will occur monthly.

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