DTA Staff

DTA Staff

“I grew up in the restaurant business,” says Bourbon Group (bourbongroup.com) Executive Chef Matt Crandall of his years in hospitality. His great-grandparents owned and operated downtown neighborhood staple Hale’s Market, and grandfather Don Hale founded Salt Lake City institutions Hires Big H and Litzas Pizza. Crandall’s first job was parking lot picker-upper starting in fourth grade. Says Crandall with a laugh, “It was a big deal when I got promoted to dishwasher,” as a teenager.

He’s come a long way since those seminal years in the family shops’ parking lot. Crandall attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland and worked at Aspen, Colorado’s prestigious Caribou Club. “It was great,” he says of the experience, “but my intention was always to come back to Utah.” He did so in anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games restaurant build-up, leading kitchens at some of Salt Lake City and Park City’s top spots including a five-year stint at Spencer's for Steaks and Chops.  

Crandall also credits good timing with joining the Bourbon Group. “[Managing partner] Jason LeCates approached me right after he opened Bourbon House (19 E. 200 South, bourbonhouseslc.com). And then we opened Whiskey Street (323 S. Main St, whiskeystreet.com) together,” bringing the group’s concept of great food, top-shelf spirits and craft cocktails to Main Street six years ago. Shortly thereafter, the team opened White Horse Spirits and Kitchen (325 Main St, whitehorseslc.com) with an upscale American brasserie vibe. Says Crandall of overseeing three distinct concepts, “We had to have each spot stand on its own,” for both the menu and ambiance. “You can’t compete with yourself,” and still make all three successful, he says.  
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Beyond the walls of Crandall’s three kitchens, however, the competitive gloves come off. He won multiple “Taste of Utah” events while at Spencer’s, has had recipes featured in national competitions (such as his cherry and kirsch-soaked lava cake, which won the national Cherry Institute top prize) and was the winner of the inaugural Downtown Alliance Chef Showdown in 2017. “That one really challenged me as a chef,” says Crandall of the live throwdown starring kohlrabi as the mystery ingredient. “I’d never even seen it before, so it really made me think outside the box.” His Southern-inspired first course of kohlrabi prepared in the spirit of fried green tomatoes with a vibrant smear of pimento cheese was a crowd favorite. Most recently, the Bourbon Group received a much-coveted spot in the Salt Lake City airport terminal expansion, set to open September 2020.     
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The key to keeping innovative? “Travel,” says Crandall definitively. “You’ve got keep trying new things to stay on top of your game.” As Bourbon Group Food and Beverage Director, he says pulling inspiration from great food cities like Chicago, Portland, Nashville and Seattle is a crucial and on-going part of his job. He also credits his wife (who also has a background in the restaurant biz) and four children with keeping him grounded. “Maintaining a balance of work and family life is key,” he says of the industry’s notorious time sacrifices. “Getting outside makes for great family days,” spending most of his summer hours off boating and wakeboarding with the Crandall crew.  

But Crandall’s earliest family foundations remain the core of his success. “My grandfather was all about having the best quality ingredients,” he says of his youth spent in kitchens: “Everything was made from scratch in-house.” Each Bourbon Group restaurant shows the same attention to detail, from house-made ketchup to his superlative smoked Tasso ham. “It’s a commitment to quality that I learned early,” Crandall says with a smile.

August 22, 2019

Ready, Sweat, Go!

Wellness is having a moment, and the fitness world is riding the wave—just look to the rise in athleisure, Instagram “fitfluencers” and boutique fitness studios for proof. From cycling to boxing and yoga to barre, niche workouts and specialized classes held in modern, stylish studios (some with swanky amenities like juice bars and day spas) are trending across the country. These studios offer more than just a way to break a sweat—they dish-out a high energy dose of positivity, motivation and a sense of belonging among their clientele. Ahead, check out four boutique studios in downtown Salt Lake City where you can get your fitness fix and maybe even make a few new friends.

Rebel House

The Workout: Rebel House (320 W. 200 South, rebel-house.com) offers a trifecta of classes: RIDE, a rhythm-based cycling class; RIOT, a beat-based boxing/HIIT class; and REHAB, a beat-based yoga class. 

The Backstory: Utah locals and husband and wife duo Devin and Nina Pearson opened Rebel House in August 2017. Prior to Rebel House, the couple owned a trucking company and mobile bar business. Nina also worked for Delta, and amidst their travels, they discovered fitness studios similar to Rebel House, but realized there was nowhere in Salt Lake City to enjoy the same type of workouts. So they decided to create their own.

The Vibe: Classes are held in dark rooms so clients can focus on being present and their own personal practice without distractions. “Rebel House is a place for all skill levels,” says Nina. “You will never hear us talk about weight because we want people to focus on what growth looks like to them. Our clientele is friendly, optimistic and treats everyone with respect.” 


The Workout: Peak45 (250 Broadway, peak-45.com) offers high-intensity, low-impact Pilates. “Think of Pilates mixed with cardio, upbeat music and fast-paced transitions that is safe on your joints,” says Kristen Kenney, a co-owner and instructor.

The Backstory: Kenney has been around sports her entire life—she played D1 soccer at the University of Miami and currently works as the team sideline reporter for the Utah Jazz. She moved to Salt Lake from Los Angeles, land of the tanned and toned, and home of the Megaformer and Lagree fitness method. “The method didn’t exist in Salt Lake and I desperately missed it,” says Kenney, who partnered with Salt Lake Power Yoga to open Peak45 in the fall of 2017.

The Vibe: Students workout on Megaformer machines in small class settings, which allow instructors to be hands-on and helpful. “We cater to people of all fitness levels,” says Kenney. “There are modifications and options for everyone.”

Salt Lake Power Yoga
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The Workout: Salt Lake Power Yoga (250 E. Broadway, saltlakepoweryoga.com) offers heated power yoga, yoga sculpt, restorative yoga, kid’s yoga and meditation.

The Backstory: Greg Galloway, Jen Reuben and Marc Weinreich opened Salt Lake Power Yoga in the fall of 2012. “Each of us come from a different background, but the one thing that ties us together is the power of our style of yoga practice and the community that has developed over the years,” says Galloway.

The Vibe: Classes are held in a variety of studios, including a large sun-filled space with panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains. “From athletes to professionals and students to mothers, our community is a collective of like-minded individuals who seek a mind-body connection,” says Galloway. “For some, this community is a family since many are transplants to Salt Lake City.”

Torrent Cycle
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The Workout: Torrent Cycle (252 Broadway, torrentcycle.com) is a rhythm-based indoor cycling studio. “Clients can expect a 45-minute, full-body workout with high-intensity intervals, upper body strength training and lots of dancing on a bike!” says co-founder Dan Cooney.

The Backstory: Cooney and Mike Barney opened Torrent Cycle in December 2018. Barney previously worked in New York City in the hedge fund industry, while Cooney was the director of product development for a clothing retailer. They met in 2013 and discovered their mutual passion for fitness while living in the city—both are NASM Certified Personal Trainers. They were inspired by the close-knit fitness communities in big cities and wanted to bring the same type of fitness experience to Salt Lake.

The Vibe: Torrent Cycle is a true boutique fitness studio with professionally trained instructors and full-service amenities including showers, towel service and Malin + Goetz bath products. “Top-tier amenities and facilities make the whole experience fun and luxurious,” says Cooney. “Many of our clients look forward to getting ready in our locker rooms after class.”

The Downtown Farmers Market kicked off its 28th season in Pioneer Park on June 8. Once again, farmers, food purveyors artists and crafters line the park with local wares and tens of thousands of patrons from near and far shop, eat and enjoy the best Utah has to offer. 
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Pioneer Park has undergone a significant transformation, with the removal of the restroom building in the center of the park to make way for the installation of a multi-use grass field ringed by trees, a pathway and new lighting. These changes will help to activate the park with new and different activities and invite local residents to toss a frisbee, kick around a soccer ball or just take a stroll in this friendly green space downtown. It will also increase the safety and security in the park with clear sightlines and added visibility throughout the park. Combined with the efforts of Operation Rio Grande, a multi-agency effort to improve public safety in the neighborhood, the changes in the park will see reduced crime and drug-related activity in the area, assisting those in need of services for homelessness or health issues.

Salt Lake City Parks and Recreation leaders worked closely with the Downtown Farmers Market team to make sure these changes accommodated and even enhanced the market experience. 
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The market experience, such that it is, does not feel dramatically different for patrons, with the exception of the newly configured “Food Fairway,” the ultimate place to grab a coffee or lemonade and try food from around the world. From Pad Thai to Sudanese lentils to authentic Sicilian pizza, hungry market-goers can explore delicious cuisine while people-watching at the picnic tables. 

The Market operates under a vigorous “Waste Wise” mission, with the end goal of putting as little waste as possible in the landfill. Single-use plastic bags are not allowed, so folks are encouraged to bring their reusable bags (or pick one up for $1 at the Market Info booth if you forget). People are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle and fill up for free at one of our many water stations throughout the park and to walk, bike or take public transit to the market. Load up! 

There are multiple Waste Wise stations throughout the park, where you can recycle your plastic, paper and glass. This year we’ll be collecting organic waste (such as fruit, vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, fats, liquids, raw food, prepared food, etc.) which will be delivered to the new Wasatch Resource Recovery anaerobic digester. Waste in the digester is heated to aid the growth of microbes which break down the organic matter, without the use of oxygen, resulting in biogas production. The gas is then captured and purified before it is converted into biomethane (renewable natural gas) and fed into the nearby gas pipeline and sold into the market as renewable “green” power. 
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Of course, the Downtown Farmers Market is really all about the food - the freshest and most diverse selection of locally grown produce in the state, sourced from a roughly 250-mile radius. Farmers run the gamut, from large legacy farms to start-up urban farms, offering everything from Bear Lake raspberries to Santaquin cherries to mizuna greens grown in Millcreek. Many growers specialize in unique varieties of heirloom tomatoes, greens, peppers, houseplants, cut flowers and herbs. While you’ll find your favorite vendors returning every year, there are always a handful of new vendors just getting their start, making the Downtown Farmers Market ground zero for discovering new foods and products that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re in the market for locally brewed kombucha or grass-fed beef, you’ll find it all, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City!

We’ve been experiencing a bit of a heatwave in SLC lately, and the retail scene is just as hot. We may have only seen a couple of openings during the holiday-heavy month of July, but watch for more throughout the rest of summer. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for some of the new public art going up downtown, like this one at The Gateway.

Recently Opened

Chedda Burger | At The Gateway
The local-favorite burger joint has finally opened up at its new home on Restaurant Row at The Gateway. This location replaces the former one on 600 South, making it easier than ever to access on your lunch break. The decadent creations make for a deliciously sloppy meal, and you can substitute your burger for fried chicken if that suits your fancy. Make sure you come hungry because you don’t want to skip out on sides, ranging from the renowned chedda tots to a variation on poutine.

Roolee | At City Creek Center
Based in Logan, Roolee is expanding into Salt Lake City. The clothing brand specially curates an assortment of apparel and accessories to appeal to any Utah woman. You’ll also find a variety of kids clothing and home decor.

Opening Soon 

Arempa’s Venezuelan Cuisine | 350 South State Street
If you aren’t already familiar with arepas, prepare to fall in love. The South American street food is like a cornmeal sandwich stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, such as meats, beans, avocado, and of course, melty cheese. I expect Arempa’s will also serve up empanadas and other Venezuelan favorites.

Louis Vuitton | At City Creek Center
The luxury French fashion house is opening its first Utah outpost at City Creek Center. Expect to see the designer, bags, accessories, and fragrances for both men and women.

Mac’s Place | 308 West Broadway
The social club is making a comeback in Downtown SLC. The members-only lounge, slated to open later this summer, will feature classic amenities such as an in-house barber and tailor. With plenty of vintage furniture and other decor, this could well be the next hot spot for your business meeting. Be sure to sign up early as memberships are limited!

Mr. Shabu | At The Gateway
Another concept joining the growing restaurant scene over at The Gateway, Mr. Shabu will offer modern Asian hot pot dining. Set to open in fall this year, you’ll be able to choose from meats and vegetables to cook in different broths at your table in your very own hot pots. Did I mention it’s all-you-can-eat? Better start practicing your chop stick skills!

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

Whether you are looking for guacamole or ghost stories, you can find it all at one of Salt Lake City’s oldest and most popular restaurants – the Rio Grande Café (270 S. Rio Grande St). Nestled in the historic Rio Grande Train Depot (300 S. Rio Grande St), the café combines the best of early 20th century architecture with a hip, young vibe. The vintage surroundings take you back to an earlier time when train passengers rushed in for a “blue plate special” before catching the cross-country California Zephyr.

Locally-made neon signs beckon you into the café with promises of “trackside dining” and “air conditioning.” A circular oak counter stands in the center of the restaurant, just as it stood when the café opened more than 100 years ago. Only now, it has a toy train hovering overhead on a specially-mounted track. When you take a seat at the bar, you will notice the original oak stools, each stenciled on the back with the name of a long-time patron.
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“These are just the names of some of the café’s most loyal regulars,” explains Abby, a server who enjoys the camaraderie of the familiar lunch crowd. The sound of the antique jukebox echoes against the high ceiling while customers linger over their chips and signature salsa.
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The Rio Grande Café – originally known as the Rio Grande Coffee Shop – opened the same year as the massive train depot in 1910 and was operated by the train company at first. But during World War II, the wartime crowds grew too big and in 1944 the café was leased out to locals Dale Moss and George and Nelda Busby.
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“It was busy,” Nelda told an interviewer in 1982. “The train company couldn’t handle the constant traffic of the troop trains. We were open twenty-four hours a day and the place was constantly full. The troop trains would come in, and because the diner cars hadn’t been able to accommodate all of them, the soldiers would spill into the café. When we couldn’t move them through fast enough, the soldiers would bus the tables and wash the dishes so everyone got a chance to eat.”

Over the kitchen door still hangs an old-fashioned numbers board that used to light up when each order was ready for pick-up, a reminder of long ago. Moss and his partners operated the restaurant for more than 35 years, during which time it remained popular even when train traffic waned.

In 1979, the entire train depot was purchased by the Utah Historical Society and the Rio Grande Coffee Shop closed with the retirement of Moss and his partners. It was soon reincarnated as the Rio Grande Café serving Mexican food with its trademark salsas and specialty margaritas. Fortunately, the historic décor was saved and, even today, the original oak paneling, antique oak chairs and linoleum-topped tables add rich atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the old train tracks where diners awaited their train arrivals. The last trains stopped running in the 1980s but the clock on the café wall still glows “Zephyr’ in bright turquoise neon.

Behind the counter sit timeless wooden refrigerators with glass doors and an authentic phone booth is down the hall. Tasty enchiladas are served on old-fashioned plates; watch for one of the original “blue plates” still circulating at the café. Just when you feel you might actually be back in the 1950s you will catch sight of the giant papier-mache taco hanging from the ceiling! This fascinating art sculpture (done by a University of Utah student in the 1980s) is entitled “Chick-In-Taco” – pun intended!
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Beyond the delicious food and vintage vibe, you can also visit the café in search of the famous ghost of the Purple Lady. Abby, the server, tells me there are many versions of the tragic tale, all involving love and death. “In the one I heard, the lady dressed in purple sends her lover off to war on the train right out there – I think it is during World War I – and she waits for him to return. Instead of seeing him get off the train at the end of the war, she finds out he was killed and she throws herself on the tracks in her uncontrollable grief. They carried her body to the ladies’ restroom and people still see her ghost wandering through there today!”

Pete Henderson and his family ran the café from the 1980s until recently, when it was sold to local restaurateurs Byron Lovell, Matt Bourgeois and Bryan O’Meara. They are known for fabulous restorations of other historic buildings, most recently bringing their Porcupine Pub and Grille to the old fire station by the University of Utah. The Rio Grande Café’s storied past and evocative décor keep this excellent restaurant thriving today as a community icon.

June 24, 2019

The Other Utah Jazz

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – “But there’s no Jazz in Utah! They should give that name back to New Orleans.” For years, fans of our Utah Jazz basketball team have had to defend our squad’s name with little backup. Fortunately for basketball and music fans alike, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. While we may not quite have the same jazz scene that New Orleans has, downtown Salt Lake City features world-class jazz talent in our bars and cultural venues on a weekly basis. Fans of our beloved basketball team can finally silence their critics thanks to several organizations and individuals working to showcase our rich local jazz scene.

Jazz at the Rabbit Hole 
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Located in the basement of Lake Effect (155 W. 200 South), it’s all about the music with Jazz at the Rabbit Hole. Serving as Salt Lake’s only jazz listening room, talking is not permitted during performances. “Some people don’t quite get it yet but this is meant for listening to these fabulous jazz players,” says Kelly Salmans who was inspired to open a jazz listening room in Salt Lake after traveling to clubs in cities like New York and Chicago. Once you grab a cold drink and take a seat, you’re sure to appreciate the listening room format as you’ll have a courtside seat to some of the most talented jazz musicians in the country. 

Jazz at the Rabbit hole runs every Wednesday night from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. and is free of charge! View upcoming performances by following Jazz at the Rabbit hole on facebook.

Excellence in the Community Concert Series
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“Based on 40 years of attending jazz gigs and concerts, in my opinion, I have never heard better music anywhere,” says jazz musician and Excellence Concert goer Bert H. High praise from a former resident of notable jazz cities - New York and Paris. Excellence in the Community (excellenceconcerts.org) offers a variety of jazz genres from Latin to swing and bossa-nova to avant-garde and even big band dance nights in the summer. Hosted in the heart of downtown at the Gallivan Center (239 S. Main St), Excellence showcases Utah’s best musicians to the tune of 120 free jazz concerts in 2018 alone. 

JazzSLC & The GAM Foundation
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What started simply as a fun idea between two friends in 1994, is now entering its 25th year of successful concerts. It’s safe to say that Gordon Hanks and Michael T. Mackay have helped put jazz music on the map in Salt Lake by featuring over 500 of the worlds finest jazz artists throughout the years. In addition to putting on killer shows throughout the year, JazzSLC/GAM have made it their mission to educate and advocate on behalf of jazz music by working with local schools and offering discounted tickets to students. 

Get your tickets to JazzSLC’s silver anniversary season at jazzslc.com

Now that we’ve successfully disproved the idea behind the lack of jazz music in SLC, I pose the question: How many lakes are there in Los Angeles? We should probably give that name back to Minnesota. 

Need More Jazz?!  

Jazz Vespers @ Gracies:
Find David Halliday and the Jazz Vespers Quartet every night at Gracie’s (326 S. West Temple) from 7 - 10 p.m.  

Utah Jazz & Roots Festival: 
Swing down to the Gallivan Center this September 5-7 for a free Jazz & Roots Festival featuring a blend of local and national acts.

The sun is shining and the streets are buzzing with plenty of summer activity. Walk around downtown during the lunch hour and you’ll find patios filled up with happy diners. Some might say they feel like they’re in a different city, but I say this is the new normal for Salt Lakers. This vibrancy will only continue to grow with many new stores, restaurants, and bars joining the scene throughout the summer.

Of course, be sure to check out previous posts for even more upcoming downtown businesses!

Recently Opened

Böhme | At City Creek Center
The Sandy-based boutique has made its return to Downtown SLC. The Böhme sisters, originally from Brazil, curate a specialized collection of trendy women’s apparel for. Look no further for some unique looks to add to your wardrobe.
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Ginger Street | 324 South State Street
After much ado, Ginger Street has finally opened its doors! The sophisticated, fast-casual restaurant offers “Southeast Asian Hawker Styler Street Food.” In case it isn’t totally clear what that means, think pad thai, orange chicken, dumplings, and steamed buns. Keep in mind they’ve got some unique ice cream offerings as well. A “wok up” window is coming soon to satisfy you even when you’re on the go!
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Grow Kratom | 219 East Broadway
It’s always a surprise to see what pops up on the always-quirky Broadway. This kratom shop is your go-to destination to find all things to do with the Southeast Asian herbal supplement.
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Ibiza Ultra Lounge | 180 West 400 South
Nightlife goers have a new party destination downtown. Ibiza opened last month in the location previously occupied by Moose Lounge. Don’t miss out on your chance to party away in the island party club!

Kendra Scott | At City Creek Center
The new addition at City Creek Center makes it easier than ever to accessorize your life. You’ll find selections of jewelry and home decor to match any personality, and you can even visit the Color Bar to design your own unique pieces!
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MAIZE | On Regent Street
Taco truck turned taco shop, MAIZE is a prime option for authentic Mexican food. Watch the tortillas made fresh and the al pastor carved right in front of you. In addition to the tacos ranging from shrimp to veggie, you can choose from classics like quesadillas, Mexican street corn, grilled cactus, and fruit paletas.
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Steyk Center | 207 East Broadway
Tavernacle fans may have noticed the construction next door, and you can finally visit its sister restaurant. The just-as-punny Steyk Center offers an assortment of experimental pub fare, including the namesake steyk stick. This is an ideal spot if you’re looking for a full meal to start your night before dueling pianos.
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Turmeric | On Regent Street
The team at Turmeric specializes in real Indian cuisine, traveling to the country every few years to hone their craft. Visit in the evening for your choice of street food or more sophisticated options. If you’re looking to sample it all, the lunch buffet is a can’t-miss option for your day!
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Opening Soon

Hot Buns | 111 East Broadway
Serving out of the window on the east side of Copper Common, Hot Buns will feature a menu of Asian street food. As the name implies, the literal hole in the wall will serve hot buns along with noodles and other favorites. We’re definitely excited to see some more life coming around Edison Street!
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Do you know of a new business I missed? Got a tip of one getting ready to open? Let me know at

Temperatures are not the only thing rising in downtown this summer. With a slew of new projects on the horizon, downtown Salt Lake’s skyline continues to rise with these high profile buildings.

Convention Center Hotel
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One of downtown’s most highly anticipated projects, the Convention Center Hotel (200 S. West Temple), is slated to break ground later this year and will add to the city skyline when it opens in 2022. “The 27-story hotel will feature over 700 rooms, approximately 62,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, lobby bar and lounge, fitness and pool deck with event terrace,” according to Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Erin Litvack. A hotel operator will be announced later this year.

With a direct connection from the hotel lobby to the Salt Palace Convention Center pre-function and exhibit hall spaces, the combination of the hotel and the Salt Palace public spaces will create an opportunity for synergistic relationships. This new activated shared space at the ground level is intended to be an extension of the urban environment and a place to meet and interact. “A hotel at the convention center has been something the area has needed for a long time,” said Litvack. “We believe and know from our convention and meeting planners that we’ve been marketing to for years that this has been one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for them to choose our destination for their convention.”

The hotel will be a boon to local businesses, bars, restaurants and contribute to the overall vibrancy of our city. With the addition of this hotel and other planned full-service hotels in the vicinity, downtown is poised to attract more high-spend meetings and convention visitors. “This project strengthens the Salt Lake product offering for meetings, conventions and tourism,” says Downtown Alliance Executive Director Dee Brewer. “The hotel investment will continue to ripple through the city encouraging additional investment in hospitality and other businesses that are an amenity to all and that will enhance the local property and sales tax base.”

Salt Lake County officials are working with Atlanta based Portman Holdings (portmanholdings.com) to design and develop the hotel in partnership with St. George based development firm DDRM (ddrmcompanies.com). The proposed site is located at the southeast plaza corner of the Salt Palace Convention Center.

95 State at City Creek
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Downtown’s next office tower, 95 State at City Creek (95 S State St) is gearing up to be the third-tallest building in Utah. Towering at 393 feet, 95 State will occupy the northeast corner of the intersection of 100 S. and State Street, directly west of Harmons grocery store.

City Creek Reserve Inc., the downtown Salt Lake City real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is responsible for several of Salt Lake’s largest real estate projects, including this new 25-story, high-rise tower. 95 State has been part of the plans for the three city blocks that make up the City Creek redevelopment project since it was still in the design phase. “It has been anticipated since day one of the master plan,” says Matt Baldwin, Director of Real Estate Development for City Creek Reserve, Inc. “It was just about finding the right building at the right time.”

The sweeping, curved and glassy design for 95 State has its roots in another City Creek Reserve building: 111 Main, which was designed by the same architectural firm, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (www.som.com). “Looking to differentiate from the mostly rectangular downtown skyline, 95 State has an organic shape, with rounded corners and slightly curved curtain walls,” adds Baldwin. “We are able to do this without compromising the efficiency of space for tenants.”

The project will use existing parking built previously in anticipation of the tower but will add an additional two levels of subgrade parking under the building. An airy, open lobby at ground level will greet guests with a 92-foot-long media wall, displaying Utah scenery and artwork. The fifth level houses an outdoor deck on the north side of the building where building occupants can eat lunch, hold meetings and enjoy some downtime. Large conference rooms supported by a catering kitchen and audio and video technology will provide tenants with a convenient space to meet when their own conference rooms are not large enough to handle meetings. A full fitness center rounds out the level-five floorplan.

“More and more office buildings, domestic and international, are being built with amenities similar to luxury multi-family housing,” says Baldwin. “The market is demanding that we take it to the next level at 95 State.”

In addition to the tower construction, a 39,000-square-foot meeting house will be built on the north side of the building and will be independently operated and accessed. A new pavilion will replace the current Social Hall Avenue entry to the existing east-west tunnel under State St that connects to City Creek. The tunnel will be redone as well, with an innovative design that will include a restaurant along with specialty retail stores. “3,500 people will be utilizing the tower, so we need resources to support them,” Baldwin explains. With businesses anticipating the new building, we have commitments to deliver the project by the fall of 2021.”

Liberty Sky
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Liberty Sky (151 S. State St) a high-rise luxury rental lifestyle, is making its debut in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Located steps from shopping at City Creek Center and an easy walk to Harmons grocery store, the Eccles Theater and all of the best of downtown, Liberty Sky provides the views and the lifestyle of an amenity-rich high-rise with the convenience and flexibility of a luxury rental.

“This is an irreplaceable location to build Salt Lake’s first high-rise rental product,” said Dan Lofgren, president and CEO of Cowboy Partners (cowboyproperties.com) which has partnered with The Boyer Company (boyercompany.com) to develop this first-in-class community. With its soaring roof-line and bold and modern glass-and-concrete architecture, Liberty Sky will be 21 stories with 272 residential units, ranging from studios to large and open two-bedroom apartments. Each apartment offers a full menu of smart home features, open floor plans, modern kitchens, luxury baths and breathtaking 10-foot-tall floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Amenities offered at Liberty Sky are as expansive as the views. The ground floor will include an impressive lobby, conference room, Wi-Fi café and guest hosting areas. Roof-top amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, high-end fitness center, barbecue stations, viewing decks, entertainment room and E-gaming studio. Pet-friendly and bicycle-friendly amenities are part of the offerings, as well as on-site dry cleaning drop off and pick up and controlled building access. In every sense, Liberty Sky is establishing a whole new level of living in downtown Salt Lake City.

Upward Momentum:

Check out these developments that are on track to join downtown Salt Lake City’s skyline.

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Union Station Hotel
400 W. South Temple
4-star Lifestyle Boutique Hotel
8 stories
Developer: The Athens Group (athensdevco.com)

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Block 67

100 S. 300 West
Mixed-Use Residential/Hotel
Two 11-story buildings
Developer: The Ritchie Group (theritchiegroup.com)

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255 S. State

Address: 255 S. State Street
Mixed-Use Residential
14 stories
Developer: Brinshore Development (brinshore.com)

The rain may be keeping us all from getting out as much the past few weeks, but there are a few new places downtown worth the trek! Along with the inevitable summer sunshine, watch for even more retail businesses coming our way very soon.

Recently Opened

Crumbl | 45 West South Temple (At City Creek Center)
Amidst a statewide cookie craze, Crumbl has emerged as one of the crowd favorites. The bakery’s rapid expansion has finally reached downtown with a new store open inside the renovated Deseret Book at City Creek Center. It’s a convenient stop if you’re in need of a cookie fix during your workday, or you can order delivery online.
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Seabird | 7 South Rio Grande Street (At The Gateway)
We’ve been looking forward to the opening of this new vinyl lounge at The Gateway. It is one of several developments being planned as part of the reimagined center focused on nightlife and entertainment. The cozy little spot located just above the Olympic Legacy Plaza is a great option to grab some post-work drinks.
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Utah Sports Hall of Fame Museum | 99 West South Temple (At City Creek Center)
After more than 50 years, the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation finally has a permanent home. The museum is a celebration of Utah sports history, with interactive features recognizing the many great athletes in our state. You can find the museum in a hidden corner on the ground level of the 99 West condos, just north of Nordstrom. It is free to visitors, so bring the whole family to check it out!
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Opening Soon

Curry Up Now | 152 East 200 South
This Bay Area chain will be the second location in Utah. While the menu features Indian classics like samosas, naan, and masala, the addition of burritos and fried ravioli demonstrates a true fusion concept. Seeing as it is will be taking over the space currently occupied by Cedars of Lebanon -- which will be closing in just a few weeks as the owners retire -- we can only hope the fast-growing franchise will satisfy the demand for international cuisine in SLC.

Grow Kratom | 219 East Broadway
For the many of us unfamiliar with kratom, it is an herbal supplement from Southeast Asia quickly gaining popularity in the US. Believed to act as a pain reliever and energy booster, you can find it as a tea, capsule, or other forms. 

Wiseguys Lounge | At The Gateway
We don’t know much about this one yet, but Wiseguys is set to open a restaurant this summer adjacent to its comedy club at The Gateway. This will be an awesome space to host some of the comedians coming into town and to enjoy the Wiseguys experience even when you don’t have tickets to a show. The official name and menu are still being determined, but keep an eye out for an opening this summer!

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

The Downtown Alliance can learn from the successes of other neighborhoods and downtowns throughout the country. The Urban Exploration program brings public and private sector leaders together to learn about the best practices of other cities. This is the sixth in a series of annual trips sponsored by the Downtown Alliance to build relationships and learn from the success of other communities.

The Urban Exploration program is a working trip focused on building relationships and inspiring innovation in downtown Salt Lake City. This year's urban exploration participants will learn about downtown Austin's recently completed developments, nightlife economy, the visitor economy, public arts, parks and much more. 

This is the sixth in a series of annual trips sponsored by the Downtown Alliance to build relationships and learn from the success of other communities: we visited New York in 2014, Chicago in 2015, San Francisco in 2016, Boston in 2017 and Minneapolis in 2018. 

Austin: Business & Cultural Districts

Our group spoke with Nicole Klepadlo, Austin City's Economic Development, Redevelopment Project Manager, Cody Cowan from the Red River Cultural District and Brandon Hodge with the South Congress District about Austin's cultural and business districts. Some districts have developed successfully in Salt Lake City, such as 9th & 9thGranary, and Central Ninth, and efforts could be focused on concentrated areas of downtown. The Broadway and Depot Districts as outlined in Salt Lake City's Downtown Community Plan could both benefit from more cohesive district shaping efforts. Additional opportunity areas include Gallivan, Pierpont, and the emerging dining & nightlife corridor along Main Street between 300 and 400 South, among others. Collective branding, promotion, and placemaking would effectively develop district destinations rather than isolated destinations as is largely experienced now -- people would come downtown for one thing, but then stay downtown for others.

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Austin's Visitor Economy

Each year 27.4 million visitors (like us!) choose Austin for conventions, meetings and leisure tourism, generating $8 billion in annual economic impact. During a stop at the Austin Convention Center, we learned from local leaders Tom Noonan of Visit Austin, Mark Tester, of the Austin Convention Center about how they are growing their visitor economy. We also heard from Visit Salt Lake's Scott Beck to get a feel for the convention and tourism industry here in Salt Lake. 

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Lunch @ Google Fiber | Smart Infrastructure in Downtown Development

Before sitting down for lunch, our group had the opportunity to tour the Google Fiber Space. Our lunch panel will focused on the role of technology and smart infrastructure in developing a vibrant downtown. The discussion emphasized the role of improved communications and information capacity, the significance of developing smart innovation and interactivity in neighborhoods, and the work that cities and government can play in understanding and adopting modern infrastructure. We heard from thought leaders such as Mini Kahlon with the Dell Medical School, Kathie Tovo - Austin Councilmember who represents downtown, SLC Councilmember Charlie Luke and Danny Lucio with Google Fiber.
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Afternoon Tours:

Our lunch at Stubbs was followed by several optional activities that were strategically selected projects and initiatives that correlate to emerging initiatives and trends in downtown Salt Lake City – with a little bit of fun mixed in for good measure!

Street Ambassador Orientation & Affordable Housing Approach

Our group visited Capital Studios to learn about Foundation Communities' innovative approach to affordable housing with built-in health and other supportive services for residents. On our way to Capital Studios, we experienced the Downtown Austin Alliance Downtown Austin Ambassadors in action as they escorted us along the way to share information and metrics for their safety, maintenance and hospitality services.
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Mobility in Downtown Austin

This roundtable discussed the successes, challenges and new concepts in mobility solutions for Austin residents, commuters and employers alike. We reviewed the Downtown Austin Parking Strategy and heard from representatives from the Downtown Austin AllianceNelson\NygaardMovability AustinCity of Austin Smart Mobility, and Bike Share of Austin

Economic Impact of Festivals & Community Events

Austin's culture is world-renowned for its vibrancy, in no small part thanks to the number of festival and community events. Some of the primary among these are SXSW and Austin City Limits. These festivals also generate an enormous economic impact and international recognition. These organizers shared how these events have grown to attract millions of visitors and how they continue to scale within the limits of an urban center. We also looked at some of the other festivals in Austin to see an economic impact analysis for these types of events. Speakers included Omar Lozano | Visit Austin, Director of Music Marketing, Catlin Whitington | SXSW, Manager - Planning,  Emmett Beliveau | ACL, COO and Angelos Angelou | AngelouEconomics, CEO/Chief Strategist. 

Closing Reception and Lesson Learned @ La Condesa

The 2019 Urban Exploration trip formally concluded at La Condesa where attendees discussed lessons learned and enjoyed one last night in Austin, Texas.
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