Julia Partain

Julia Partain

At lunchtime on a recent Friday, the line at Toasters (30 E. Broadway) snaked through the deli and out the door, enticing every passerby with savory aromas of gently toasted sandwiches and wraps. Diners were busy digging into their gourmet sandwiches, salads and specialty coffees, meanwhile attentive staff helped each customer to pick out the perfect mid-day meal.  

From the outside, this seems like your standard success story: Toasters is one of many fast-casual restaurants that have sprouted up downtown, with unique decor, friendly cashiers and food that is a cut above the quality of standard fast-food fare. But at Toasters, the story goes far beyond the food and ambiance. It’s an opportunity to experience the true American dream.

In March of 1996, Enes Huskic, owner of Toasters, left war-torn Bosnia and immigrated to America looking for a better life. With his city left in shambles, the broke 24-year-old ended up in Salt Lake City hoping to create a new prosperous path. He started with random jobs in the restaurant business. While working in the food industry, Enes had the opportunity to open his own deli. To make this happen, he took the next two years to polish his English skills and worked in construction to earn and save money. In June 2002, the first Toasters (151 W. and 200 South) opened.

Shortly after the first shop opened, he met his future wife Mubera. Using Enes’ sandwiches as the foundation of their business, they worked together to bring a European approach to the corner sandwich shop. Originally, the deli sold grilled, panini-type sandwiches made of locally baked bread, fresh vegetables and high-quality meats and cheeses. Over time, the menu has grown from just sandwiches to wraps, salads, bagels, locally roasted coffees and European candies and snacks. Enes felt at home with this new endeavor, since he grew up behind the counter working in his family business.

Just as the menu has grown and evolved, so has the business. Toasters has three downtown locations, one in Cottonwood Heights and a fifth shop opening in Millcreek later this year. It is not surprising that Enes and Mubera also built a loyal workforce of over 30 employees. They credit their staff for the restaurant’s popularity based on its reputation for outstanding food and customer service.

Downtown’s energy, diversity, workforce and growth provide the perfect hub for Toasters. Enes thrives on the hustle and bustle and enjoys greeting new and loyal customers. His enthusiasm for his employees and products is palpable. His quick wit and kindness make anyone feel welcome in his shop.

Utah’s vast mountains are another reason why Enes ended up here. The Wasatch reminds him of the area of Bosnia that he grew up in. When Enes and his family are not working, they love to ski, mountain bike, hike and fish. Utah is his paradise - whatever you want to do, Salt Lake is the place.

February 18, 2020

Upcycle your Style

Going green, saving dough and supporting local businesses has never been so rewarding!

In recent years the act of “thrifting” has become hugely popular. Thrifting is no longer just about saving money. The used items trend can be attributed to the vintage fashion craze, the influential green movement or the desire to simply support local businesses. Trends cycle in and out of style, which means secondhand and consignment stores are chock-full of treasures that are good for your wallet and the environment. When you buy used, you are making a positive impact on the environment by decreasing the amount of goods in landfills, reducing the number of resources used and wasted. Downtown Salt Lake is full of eclectic vintage fashion, furniture and book finds. Take a look at our roundup of resale spots we love, where we’ve found pieces that last beyond their past life and accentuate their new one. 

Fashion Forward

Atelier (341 W. Pierpont Ave) was started in 2017 by two friends Malinda Fisher of Desert Rose Jewelry and Olivia Henrie of Innerspacism, as a place where both could work and sell their handmade goods. It has now grown to a home for over 20 artists and has a beautifully curated selection of vintage clothing from numerous local vendors. Atelier empowers local creatives by providing a physical retail space where they can market their goods and ideas.

Located inside Atelier, Maeberry Vintage (a local vendor) offers a selection of vintage clothing from the 1920's to the 1990's. They buy, sell and trade a cornucopia of one-of-a-kind vintage treasures in the heart of downtown. From 1950’s gingham dream swimsuits to gorgeous high waisted 1970’s denim pants (and everything in between), the selection is fun and inventory is constantly changing.


When thrifting, a new store you must visit is Miss Misc. (pronounced mis*sy) Boutique (239 E. Broadway). This matchmaker and treasure hunter helps clients find the style and size that works best for their body, from the simplest items to the most ornate. She helps you build a fabulous wardrobe with ease, promoting sustainability by reducing waste and lessening the footprint of the clothing industry.

Furniture & Decor

The Green Ant (179 E. Broadway), offers up an eclectic selection of mid-century curios and furnishings from that bygone era when things were made to last. For investment-worthy wares with impressive craftsmanship, stop by this shop to check out their constantly refreshed items. Dress up your home with touches that pay homage to earlier times, which can come in the form of a simple coffee table or a whole new furniture set.

If you are looking for a real treasure hunt, check out the Indoor Winter Urban Flea Market (12 W. Rio Grande) at The Gateway. Held on the second Sunday of every month, November through April, this market provides a great opportunity for attendees to shop, browse and enjoy the experience of a Sunday in downtown Salt Lake. It also provides a great community outlet for vendors to sell items that will be treasures for others. Featuring over 80 vendors, this bazaar offers the best eclectic and unique vintage and antique finds. Local crafters will provide cool handcrafted and upcycled vintage items. 

Books & Collectibles

Bookworms looking to save a buck or find the diamond in the rough hit the jackpot at Ken Sanders Rare Books (268 S. 200 East). Specializing in Utah history and western Americana, the literary west is well-represented here. Additionally, they have a vast inventory of used and rare books and an ever-changing selection of art, maps, photographs and postcards. Looking to sell? Book purchasing and appraisal services are offered in this downtown staple.

For the past 104 years, Utah Book & Magazine (327 S. Main St) has made downtown home. As the third-generation owner, Peter Marshall has kept his grandfather’s legacy alive by keeping this unique used bookstore filled with the classics, out-of-print paperbacks, magazines and movies. When you stop by, make sure to ask about the bookshop ghosts!

Has the snow, cold weather and shorter winter days got you feeling down? Nothing beats the winter blues like eating something hot and spicy. Downtown Salt Lake’s spice trail of flavorful food finds range from hot chicken sandwiches and dim sum to molés and curries. With downtown’s ever-evolving culinary scene, there’s no shortage of eateries dishing up and delivering heat to warm your soul (and taste buds) during the winter months. Here are some of our fiery favorites.

Bird is the Word

Nashville-style hot chicken is sizzling at Pretty Bird https://prettybirdchicken.com/ (146 S. Regent St). The refreshingly simple menu consists of a fried chicken sandwich, a quarter bird (breast, wing, leg or thigh), a few sides and beverages. Their signature jumbo-sized sandwich starts with a juicy, boneless chicken thigh fried and seasoned to your preferred spice level (you get a choice of mild, medium, hot or "hot behind") and is topped with pickles, a cider slaw and a buttermilk-based PB sauce, all stuffed in a soft, buttery bun.

HallPass https://www.hallpassslc.com/ (153 S. Rio Grande St), Salt Lake's first food hall, just opened and brings the heat with the Blaze of Thunder menu. Crispy hot chicken is available as a sandwich or wings, tenders, breasts, thighs or legs. Choose your desired heat level from 0 m.p.h (no spice) to 500 m.p.h. (hotter than your ex). Southern sides of coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, frog eye salad and banana pudding help put out the flame.

Take the Spice Route

Bundle up and meet some friends at Hong Kong Tea House http://hongkongteahouse.yolasite.com/ (565 W. 200 South) to experience some of downtown’s best dim sum. Since dim sum is prepared in small-plate portions, diners are able to try and share a variety of authentic dishes, including rice noodle rolls and pan-fried dumplings. Make sure to try their famous steamed barbecue pork buns - three steaming, doughy spheres with a healthy amount of moist, juicy, barbecue-style pork chunks inside. Serving an extensive dim sum menu (only until 3 p.m.), they also have a lunch and dinner menu featuring traditional Chinese entrees and a diverse tea selection.

Southeast Asian fare, showcasing Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai flavors, is what sets apart Ginger Street https://www.gingerstreet.com/ (324 S. State St) from the rest. Identifying as a casual “Southeast Asian Hawker Style Street Food” restaurant, Ginger Street features a fresh and locally sourced, inventive menu in a hip and clean atmosphere. Don’t miss out on the popular crispy duck fresh rolls, loaded with fresh lettuce, basil and savory duck meat, all wrapped in rice paper, like a spring roll. Steamed pork buns, pad thai and orange chicken are other favorites served at this “fast-casual” dining entity. 

Scurry for Some Curry Bump up the spice level at Curry N’ Kabobs http://www.currynkabobsutah.com/  (268 S. Main St) for a burn so good that you won’t be able to stop. Specializing in authentic Indian and Afghan cuisine, this cozy eatery serves up made-from-scratch classics such as curries and kabobs, along with a variety of traditional dishes such as Beryani bowls and Mantu dumplings. Indian food can be prepared from mild to volcanic, so it would be wise to pair your meal with a refreshing mango lassi.

Himalayan Kitchen https://www.himalayankitchen.com/ (360 S. State St) is downtown’s award-winning Indian and Nepalese restaurant. Dedicated Nepali chefs use the freshest ingredients to prepare classics like saag paneer, vindaloo, tikka masala and aloo gobi in their sizzling Tandoori grills. Warm, hand-made naan accompanies any of those dishes, allowing you to soak up every last drop of savory sauce. Sip on organic Himalayan coffee while savoring Momos - a typical Nepali steamed dumpling stuffed with moderately spiced filling of minced chicken or vegetables.


Whether it’s Taco Tuesday or a frigid Friday in February, hungry diners gather at Taqueria 27 https://taqueria27.com/ (149 E. 200 South) for the popular, versatile culinary phenom known as the taco. The shell is a vessel for scrumptious fillings ranging from duck confit and pork belly to roasted seasonal veggies and carne asada. Salads, starters, enchiladas, mole platters and desserts round out the menu, along with an extensive tequila inventory. Fun fact: they have daily guacamole, taco and fish specials which has people coming back time and time again to sample the chef’s new creations. 

Named after the hot chile-tepin pepper, Chile-Tepin http://www.chile-tepin.com/home (307 W. 200 South) prepares classic dishes of Mexico from family recipes handed down for generations, using the freshest local ingredients. Their popular molcajete features a large heated lava rock bowl (called a molcajete) brimming with grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, nopales (cactus) and sticks of queso fresco simmering in green tomatillo sauce and topped with charred jalapeños and onion. Sides of rice, smoky beans and warm tortillas make this an easy dish to share with friends. Olé!

Well, it’s almost here...Robert Redford’s renowned Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner and movie enthusiasts are itching to get their hands on tickets and experience the annual 2-week event, held January 23 - February 2, 2020. While many cinephiles think that Park City is the spot to be for movie showings and celebrity sightings, downtown Salt Lake provides an unprecedented Sundance experience for locals and out-of-towners alike. The following tips are sure to help you make the most of your downtown Sundance experience.

Get Your Ticket

tixCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

Being a local has its advantages when it comes to getting a jump start on buying festival tickets. Individual ticket sales begin January 14 (for Sundance Institute Members), January 16 (for locals) and January 21 for the public (anyone who isn’t a local or a Sundance Institute Member). Purchase your tickets here. Individual tickets purchased in advance for all screenings at all venues are $25 and kids screenings are $10. Online ticket orders must be picked up at the main box office at Trolley Square (602 S. 700 East). Electronic ticket receipts will not be honored at the theater. See the full festival program for all of the films showing in Salt Lake during 2020 here

Download the App

rosewagnerCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

Did the movie you’ve been anxiously awaiting to see sell out before you could get tickets? No problem. The Sundance Film Festival 2020 app provides access to the online eWaitlist. All you need to do is log into the app two hours before a film will begin to receive an eWaitlist number. Each screening with open seats will sell tickets to the eWaitlist based on availability a half-hour before screening time. If you are lucky enough to snag a last-minute ticket, cash is the only form of payment accepted at the door. The free app also puts the program guide, schedules, maps and other information on your smartphone.

Where to Watch

seatingCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

The festival has scheduled 149 screenings at six Salt Lake venues: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 W. 300 South), Broadway Centre Cinemas 3 & 6 (111 E. Broadway), Salt Lake City Main Library Theatre (210 E. 400 South), Grand Theatre (1575 S. State St) and Tower Theatre (876 E. 900 South). Every movie on the Sundance slate will play in Salt Lake at least once. Filmmakers like the Salt Lake screenings because they provide a test audience that isn’t full of industry types, the way the Park City screenings are. No matter what venue you choose, make sure to get there 30 minutes before showtime.

Enjoy the Lounges


Most of the “hospitality lounges” that pop up during Sundance are invitation-only sites where companies can cater to celebrities. That’s not the case in downtown Salt Lake. Visit Salt Lake is opening three Festival Lounges near the Salt Lake screening venues. This year brings the new Queer Lounge at The Daily (222 S. Main St) to its annual line-up of popular Sundance Film Festival Lounges. Located in the heart of downtown, The Queer Lounge adds new live music choices, drag shows, performance poetry and trivia to the mix and joins the popular Festival Lounges at Copper Common (111 E. Broadway), next door to the Broadway Center Cinemas and East Liberty Tap House (850 E. 900 South), near the Tower Theatre. These Lounges are the perfect places to enjoy live music by local musicians, discuss film, art and theater both pre- and post-screenings, nightly. There are no entrance fees and they are open to the public, but seating is limited. Pop-up events and cabaret variety shows at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center are sure to spice up your festival experience.

From documentaries to drag shows, there’s no better place for the ultimate Sundance experience than downtown Salt Lake!

Close your eyes for a minute and picture your favorite café, where the sounds of grinding, tamping and the espresso machine's own natural music complement the background soundtrack. Your ears perk up to the barista who knows the simple power of a nice hello and takes the time to explain the characteristics of the house brew. It sends a message that coffee-making is handled with care here, one at a time, without the assembly-line approach. This is the scene that greets you at The People’s Coffee (221 E. Broadway Street).

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Co-owners Omar Jamhour and Allen Salazar are in the business of blending beans and beats. By day, they whip up a mean cup of joe at The People’s Coffee. By night, they are Z & Z: a high-octane EDM (electronic dance music) DJ/producer duo, bridging the gap between multiple electronic music genres.

In 2015, a mutual friend (who happened to be the original owner of The People’s Coffee that Jamhour visited daily) introduced the two. Jamhour (a DJ) and Salazar (a DJ/producer) started working together and realized that when they blended their different styles of music, the fusion was electric. They integrate music influence from their Middle Eastern and Latin backgrounds to create a wide variety of genres and tempos, from dubstep to house to future bass.

Looking to find more time to focus on their music, they left their jobs and purchased The People’s Coffee. Salazar had worked in various coffee shops and Jamhour brought his experience in business to the table. Owning a coffee shop gave a way to make money and pursue their careers in the music business. Three years later, they are still going as strong as the dark roast coffee they brew and performing at Salt Lake’s biggest nightclubs and music festivals.

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The People’s Coffee is literally all about people. They showcase businesses within the community. Local coffee roaster Caffe Ibis is the signature bean that your mocha, cold brew or latte is made of. If coffee is not on the agenda, fresh cold-pressed juices from the neighborhood Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen, Thai tea and rich hot cocoa quench the thirst of any guest.

Hungry? You will be when you see the variety of goodies behind the glass. Satisfy your sweet tooth with creations from Salt Lake’s own Fillings and Emulsions. Melt-in-your-mouth macarons are offered in a rainbow of colors and flavors, along with tarts, cakes and pastries. Want something more savory? The barista puts on another hat as a panini artist and crafts the perfect turkey or veggie sandwich.

Besides supporting local businesses, Jamhour and Salazar are all about showing off the artistic talent within the community. As you walk in, browse the west wall, which is peppered with artwork done by local artists, hoping to find a breakthrough. The shop gives a place to hang their art to be sold, without taking a penny of commission (which is practically unheard of at most coffee shops).

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An open mic night is another way The People’s Coffee likes to reach out. As artists themselves, Salazar and Jamhour like to host budding musicians, comedians and poets and give them a taste of what live performance is all about, in a fun, judgment-free zone. Stop by on the second Saturday of the month and check out some local entertainment.

The music and coffee worlds collide at The People’s Coffee. As DJs, they spend their time reading the crowd on the dance floor and they do the same thing when people come into the shop. They try and understand what customers like and don't like, by watching their reactions. Being aware of the audience and staying true to their product is where Jamhour and Salazar excel.

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Check them out!
221 E Broadway Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
(801) 906-8761