Local restaurateur opens new, first-of-its-kind experiential restaurant

The owner of Este Pizza wants to take your dining experience to a new level, which prompted him to open The Dispensary, a unique dining establishment. The new eatery utilizes 986 square feet of space at 54 W. 1700 South (same building as Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade).

Owner David Heiblim explains the concept behind the restaurant is like a pharmacy, where food is medicine. Diners, therefore, experience similarities to a pharmacy in how the restaurant is structured: order and pay at one window, pick up food at the second window and return your dishes at the third (rewarded with a treat).

In addition to the structural uniqueness is an idea, Heiblim calls “conscious entrepreneurism,” which parallels social entrepreneurism models of other restaurants like Even Stevens. “We’re trying to give people a place where they can expand themselves,” Heiblim said. “We want people to leave intrinsically happier than when they came in.”

Other unique aspects customers can enjoy:
  • Design and aesthetics inspired by Utah and spiritual traditions of the land
    • Utilizes Ute imagery in color pallet
    • Hexagon imagery in design
    • Sourcing most ingredients from local farmers
  • Communal seating
  • Interactive art and games
  • Unique staff interaction

These restaurant elements intend to help customers step outside their comfort zone and expand their confidence and self-esteem.

“Salt Lake City has such incredible potential to be a unique food destination in the country and a business like The Dispensary helps move the needle on this effort,” says Lara Fritts, Salt Lake City’s economic development director. “This restaurant is a perfect example of a business going outside the box in every way — creative, entrepreneurial, engaging, and something you’ll find only in Salt Lake City.”

The Dispensary uses many good-for-you Utah produced ingredients, like organic meats, seasonal fruits and vegetables, eggs, jams, and baked goods.

Additionally, they offer four pot pie options: chicken, vegetable, a seasonal offering and a pie made with the help of another Utah restaurant. The pot pies are served in ramekins and topped with puff pastry or a fried egg. (A non-gluten option also is available.) Sides dishes include sautéed greens, taro chips, and fennel slaw, as well as cookies, brownies, and other sweet edibles made by local bakeries.

The restaurant is open Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m., and closes when the food runs out, so as to avoid food waste by limiting the amount made each day.

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