Who is ready for Water Witch Bar 2.0? The trio behind the 900 south, James Beard-nominated location are expanding downtown. A remarkable location, the hidden and historic Cramer House, part of the recently opened Aster project. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the House was built in 1890 by Christopher Cramer, a Danish immigrant who ran a floral shop. There will be significant upgrades before they’re slinging their spirits. In the meantime, you can anticipate several other developments at The Aster, including a sushi restaurant. 

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Comfortable and cosmopolitan, Cupla Coffee has opened on 200 South next to Homecoming Southern Kitchen–and it is gorgeous! We wandered over on opening day and were greeted like a long-time friend. Cozy furniture, a library wall, great coffee, and genuine, friendly service. What more can you ask for? Yes, we’ll tell you: the two gooey eggs, melty cheese, and smokey bacon on a croissant. 

Doha, Dubai, and Ibiza. Coming soon to Salt Lake, STK, the international celebrity-endorsed steakhouse was teased at the ribbon cutting of phase one of The West Quarter. A clarion call of what Salt Lake residents are thirsty for, The West Quarter opens with Van Ryder, the sexy amber-lit rooftop bar and is complemented by French-themed Adalaide (don’t miss the oysters). 

The “coming soon” sign for LemonShark Poké taunted us for months, then years. We almost gave up hope for the restaurant in The Judge Building, but happy to report the wait is over and reviews are in. The Downtown Ambassadors in the yellow jackets have named it one of their favorite lunch spots and a 4.8 rating on Google Reviews adds to the good publicity. If you’re at Gallivan Plaza, the path to poke is puny. In close proximity is Poke & Sushi Hut, Fresh Fin, and Uncle Shark!

Speaking of The Judge Building, we reported Robin’s Nest had flown the coop at their longtime roost. Thankfully, as the crow flies, they have cracked open in the DP Cheesesteak location on Broadway. People are raven about the new refuge. Don’t miss the turkey and smoked gouda.

Just barely percolating, someone is investing in the Ginger Street location at 324 South State. (Oh, how we miss those chicken tendies). Well-placed sources say it will be an elegant modern Japanese fusion restaurant. Intriguing–we will keep digging. 

Mayor Voss has opened on Edison Street. We’ve loved this airy, light-filled urban gem since Campos Coffee renovated it to rave reviews. Don’t miss the pork belly bao with cucumber and hoisin, hoisted on a soft heated bun.

Speaking of Edison Street and warm buns, HOT BUNS is expected to open in the next month. Ryan Lowder adds to his culinary empire with this walk-up hamburger concept. It is enticing since Copper Onion’s burger is widely regarded as the best in the state. 

Long time readers will surely note this writer’s interest in tiki. (Our previous installment broke the news of Neptune’s Palace coming to The Gateway in June). So, we are delighted to introduce you to Paradise Parlour, a tiki pop-up at Flanker. Renowned, globetrotting mixologist Francesco Lafranconi was commissioned to create the delicate Polynesian libations. These drinks are fun to imbibe, beautiful to look at, and incredibly sophisticated. Stuart at Gastronomic declares, “From the moment you walk through the door, it’s one of the most unique sensory experiences in Utah right now.” High praise!

Published in Downtown News and Blog

A couple of years ago I wrote a piece celebrating the arrival of coffee’s third wave to downtown
Salt Lake City. At the risk of making quite possibly the biggest understatement eva, a lot has
transpired since then. Thankfully, most of those coffee shops I mentioned then have not only
lived on, but have been joined by a whole new crop of cafes. Many of the coffee houses listed
below roast their own beans, make their own pastries and source everything they serve locally.
And all are fiercely independent, offering just the cup of what you need to chase away the
midwinter blahs.

Ascoli Espresso
One of downtown’s newer coffee purveyors is Ascoli, which opened in April 2021. This Italian-
style coffee bar is where to go when you want to geek out on the nuances and terroir of
espresso. Dobrin, the owner, learned the biz in the U.S. coffee capitol, Seattle, where he
worked with growers from around the world to develop many of the tasty and complex bean
blends he and his talented barista brew at Ascoli on the regular. 30 E. Broadway, Ste 104, open
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Café Juniper
From the cheery pink “hello, lovely” neon sign and industrial-chic rusted ceiling tiles to how the
pottery coffee mugs feel when held in your hand, Café Juniper just feels like home—or at least
a cooler, more stylish version of home. This cozy café sources most of what it serves from local
purveyors like Blue Copper Coffee and Ruby Snap Cookies. They also make many of their own
pastries. And for anyone who loves a good toast, Cafe Juniper’s Ricotta version is just what a
pour-over cup of coffee is begging for. 29 E. 400 South, open Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m.
to 3 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Caffe D’Bolla
Coffee is indeed high art at Caffe D’Bolla, an unassuming coffee shop and single-origin, small-
batch roastery where you can get enjoy a cup of coffee or espresso that’s as delicious as what
you’d find in any of the world’s most revered coffee houses. Owner John Piquet creates original
roasts on a weekly basis to both serve in the café and to fulfill Caffe D’Bolla’s subscription
orders. But if you can venture downtown for a cup or to pick up a bag of beans, then by all
means, you should. Then you can sample one of John’s wife, Yiching’s, amazing pastries. 249 E.
400 South, Ste 100, open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Cupla Coffee
What began (and remains) as a cozy coffee bar tucked into the lower level of downtown’s Axis
building, has now grown into a caffeinated mini-empire with locations in Cottonwood Heights
and Park City. Despite co-owners and twin sisters, Abigail Purdie and Bethany Heath,
entrepreneurial aspirations, Cupla remains true to its beginnings: roasting their own
beans—which are all organic, fair trade and shade grown—and baking all their own gluten-free,
low carb, keto-friendly and low-sugar pastries. And don’t limit yourself to visiting Cupla in the

morning hours: their burritos and sandwiches are just as tasty as their brews and sweets. 175 E.
200 South, basement level of the Axis Building, open daily, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Daily
While the hot beverages are certainly reason enough to pop into this airy and modern coffee
house—either to take to go or to sit on the bench by the inviting see-through fireplace and
sip—what we’re entirely smitten with is The Daily’s food menu. The grab-and-go case there is
full of fresh and creative salads, sandwiches made on housemade baguettes, overnight oats and
cold-press juices. But if you are in the mood for something truly decadent, The Daily is the place
downtown to treat yourself to one of their housemade croissants. With layers so ethereally
light and buttery, after just one bite you’ll think you are on the Champs-Élysées rather than
downtown Salt Lake’s Main Street. 222 S. Main St, open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3

La Barba
While you’re down at The Gateway to browse Urban Arts Gallery, catch a movie or hit the
Winter Farmers Market, make sure your itinerary includes a stop at La Barba. This small,
intimate space packs a mighty punch by serving up ethically sourced and expertly roasted
coffee for espressos, pour-overs, lattes and on and on. There you can sample multiple roasts
and quiz the knowledgeable barista on the latest in coffee culture before signing up for a
monthly subscription, too. Or simply just come in for a cup and a cozy sit-down. But don’t worry
about not being a connoisseur; La Barba’s staff members are unfailingly pleasant, even if you
order a skinny peppermint mocha with whipped cream. 9 S. Rio Grande Street; open daily from
8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The People's Coffee
Though we were head over heels for its old digs on 300 South—where the walls were hung with
artsy photos and the tables were strewn with books that invited settling in—we’re even more
smitten with The People’s Coffee’s bright, stylish and airy new location at 200 East and 200
South. Against a backdrop of bright white walls and cool teal chevron flooring, this coffee shop
has stayed true to its roots by serving only locally sourced products including coffee from Caffe
Ibis and Publik roasters, baked fresh daily pastries and cold-pressed juice from LumaJuice. Best
all, The People’s Coffee welcomes well-behaved pooches. On the Corner of 200 East and 200
South; weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Nostalgia Cafe
‘Come for the coffee, stay for the food’ would be an apt marketing tagline for the charming
Nostalgia Café. Open much later in the day than any of the other coffee shops on our list,
Nostalgia Café’s relaxed vibe, comfy sofas and yummy crepes, sandwiches, soups, salads,
pastries and empanadas scratch much more than the caffeine itch. Need another reason to visit
this downtown gem? Open Mic Night is held on the third Friday of every month from 6 to 8:30
p.m. 248 E. 100 South; weekdays,7:30 a.m.-midnight; Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.-midnight.

Three Pines
What began in Utah as coffee-cart outside of a small grocery in Salt Lake’s swanky Harvard-Yale
neighborhood, is now a mainstay of downtown’s bustling Main Street thoroughfare. Patrons to
Three Pines’ airy and oh-so-charming 500-square-foot space range from the midweek business
crowd and bike messengers to students and downtown’s burgeoning transplant population.
Smaller beverage sizes meant for savoring—and made from single-origin beans—is, generally,
the rule here. The attention to quality extends to the milk varieties used in Three Pines’
beverages; all their dairy is sourced from the Hyrum, Utah-based Rosehill Dairy. And, for vegans
and the dairy adverse, the just-sweet-enough almond milk served at Three Pines is made in
house. 165 S. Main Street; Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.,

The Rose Establishment
As a distinct sign that better times are on the horizon, downtown’s beloved Rose Establishment
has reopened and is now even more inviting than it was in the before times. With an expanded
kitchen and dining room (accomplished by taking over the space formerly occupied by Pallet
Bistro) and a liquor license, The Rose has broadened both its menu and, certainly, it’s fan base.
The expansive coffee and tea drinks menu has been broadened to include mimosas, craft
cocktails, local beers and 10 wines by the glass. Tartines and housemade pastries are the stars
of the brunch menu, along with a slew of vegan and gluten free options. Tip: make the most of
your weekend brunch or weekday business lunch by calling ahead for a reservation. 235 S. 400
West; Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Published in Downtown News and Blog

It’s a universal truth that anytime is sandwich time. But as the heat of this fiery summer
gratefully softens into fall, we submit that these are the best days for grabbing a sandwich and
having a seat on a bench in Gallivan Plaza, Pioneer Park or your favorite urban oasis for a little
midday nosh away from your computer. Following are a baker’s dozen of scrumptious
downtown sammies sure to satisfy your most intense meat-and/or-veggies-between-two-slices-
of-bread cravings.

You really can go wrong with any sandwiches at Bocata (28 S. State Street, inside the City Creek
Center food court). Like its sister restaurant, Settebello Pizzeria Nepoletana, everything is made
by hand with high quality, fresh ingredients. If we had to pick just one Bocata sandwich,
however, it would be the BLT, made with applewood-smoked bacon, arugula, fresh tomatoes
and then topped with a perfectly jammy, fried organic egg.

At Caputo’s Market & Deli (314 W. Broadway)—a bona fide Salt Lake City institution—the king
of the sandwich menu is The Caputo, a toothsome combo of prosciutto, mortadella, salami,
provolone, lettuce, tomato and imported olive oil and balsamic vinegar, layered on fresh
Tuscan baguette from Stoneground Bakery.

With autumn’s brisk days just around the corner we’re regularly daydreaming about Eva’s
Bakery’s (155 S. Main) heavenly grilled cheese sandwich: Gruyere and bechamel sauce placed
between two slices of fresh, housemade country bread which is then grilled panini-style to
perfection and served with a creamy tomato basil soup. In other words, comfort on a plate.

The mustardy, oh-so-tender braised brisket sandwich at From Scratch (62 E. Gallivan Avenue)
is a meat-eater’s delight. Its slow-braised brisket, aged cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce,
pickled shallots and homemade sourdough are brought together in a delectable symphony with
a healthy slathering of perfectly balanced mustard aioli.

For a tasty riff on a classic French dip, head up to the rooftop patio at Gracie’s (326 S. West
Temple) for the turkey dip, a toasted baguette layered with house-roasted turkey and red
peppers, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and chipotle mayo. Served, of course, with a side of
flavor-packed chipotle au jus.

There’s not much that pairs as well with a cold draft beer than Green Pig Pub’s (31 E. 400
South) Pig-A-Delphia cheesesteak sandwich: thinly sliced top round and sauteed Anaheim
Peppers and onions are piled high on a toasted ambassador roll and then covered with
Monterey Jack cheese. A trip under the broiler right before delivery to your table gives this
sandwich its ooey-gooey appeal—along with the side of jalapeno ranch for dipping.

When you’re craving a sammie, but are trying to cut down on carbs, the Mediterranean Doner
wrap at Spitz (35 Broadway) is an alternative that doesn’t feel like one. Tucked within a thin,
lavash-style wrap is hummus, kalamata olives, feta, Romaine lettuce, cabbage, tomato, onion,
green pepper and cucumber—all drizzled with Spitz’s zesty tzatziki sauce. (Be sure to ask for
extra for dipping.) Spitz’s Mediterranean Doner wrap is fabo as is, or add beef and lamb,
chicken, mixed meat or falafel for an extra-hearty nosh.

Warning: you may need a spare shirt after tucking into a fried chicken sandwich from Pretty
Bird (146 Regent Street). This amazing slider hits all of the most satisfying flavor and texture
notes: a crispy-on-the-outside, moist on the inside fried chicken breast is piled with crunchy,
slightly sweet cider slaw; vinegary pickles; and the creamy, lemony-bright Pretty Bird sauce. All
served on a pillowy roll from Eva’s Bakery.

Pretty Bird ain’t the only fried chicken sandwich show in this town, however. Ginger Street’s
(324 S. State Street), spicy crispy chicken sandwich is an Asian-Americana celebration served
on a brioche bun, made with green papaya slaw, tomato, jalapeno and custardy kewpie mayo.
Stop in to Ginger Street to get one for lunch on Wednesdays, when it’s on special for just $5.

The fresh fish sandwich at Red Rock Brewery (254 S. 200 West) changes weekly and is a
consistent hit. A recent iteration featured grilled salmon slathered with coconut-curry mayo
and stacked with peppery arugula, vine-ripened tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and caramelized
onions, served within a pita pocket.

Celebrating 50 years in business downtown this year—and celebrated for its authentic German
fare—is Siegfried’s Deli (20 W. 200 South). There, second in popularity only to the wiener
schnitzel, is Siegfried’s Rueben, made with house-made corned beef and sauerkraut, pickles,
mayo, mustard and Swiss cheese, all served on made-fresh-daily rye bread (with caraway seeds
or without).

A second downtown Reuben worth sampling is Squatter’s (147 Broadway) Pub Rueben, made
with Niman ranch peppered pastrami, house-brined sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a generous
slather of Cajun remoulade on a fresh marbled rye. The perfect accompaniment to a pint of
Squatter’s Juicy IPA.

The sandwich that put the center of downtown Salt Lake City’s sandwichdom—The Robin’s
Nest (311 S. Main St)—on the map is the Rooster Call: classic chicken salad with cashews and
red grapes served on a ciabatta bun smeared with honey Dijon mustard. Yummo!

Published in Downtown News and Blog