Restaurant Reviews

Sneak peek to new and upcoming restaurants downtown

There is no snooze button for downtown Salt Lake.

A steady and exciting stream of restaurants is on the cusp of opening their doors, keeping food folks busy through the fall. Their main impediment is a lack of human resources and liquor licenses.

The universally beloved Martine’s is ramping up and excited to reopen, however a lack of applicants is currently keeping their doors shut.

As far as liquor licenses, as of this writing, dozens of bars and restaurants are vying for just three licenses.

A lot is happening on Main Street, including Tamarind, next to Beerhive, serving Vietnamese; and Poke & Sushi Hut next door to Plieku. Peering into the windows, both look to be close to opening.

We’re especially excited for Scott Evans’ expanding culinary empire. The savvy restaurateur put the SLC resto scene on the map in 2010 when The New York Times profiled Pago in the 9th and 9th District. The accolades and awards never stopped, and now he will open Pago on Main, his sixth restaurant, in the location formerly housing J. Dawgs. (Don’t worry, the 9th and 9th location is staying put).

We’ll miss Ollie and Mollie’s on Main — gone too soon — replaced by The RUIN, which will also keep their original swanky cocktail lounge on Wilmington in Sugarhouse.

Teaser: Just a few doors north, Hope Gallery has sold (goodbye Danish seascapes) and a very exciting concept is being planned for that regal space.

Lots of memories today as we recall Fireside behind Eccles Theater. Do you remember that roast quail, no? How about the sunchoke pizza, still no? You missed out. Don’t miss Lisa and Jeff Ward’s Mediterranean restaurant, Fenice Bistro. They’ve warmed up the space and are serving sophisticated Med and Italian cuisine. The couple owns Park City’s Silver Star Cafe which has been highly praised by WaPo, HuffPo, and New York Post.

The opening is imminent for Flanker at Gateway; the brainchild of Las Vegas impresario Sean Christie, former COO of Wynn Las Vegas and Corporate President for MGM Resorts International. This is the first concept from his new start-up Carver Road Hospitality (the second opening is inside the shiny new Resorts World Las Vegas). In short, this is quite the ‘get’ for Salt Lake City, and very exciting. Flanker enters the space formerly occupied by Punch Bowl Social, and we expect a similar sports-driven, entertainment vibe.

Our office is obsessed with Santo Taco in Rose Park and we are ecstatic for the owners to grow into the old Alamexo space with Monarca. It’s a stone’s throw from our office — with a new bar on the west side of the room, expect to find us there soon.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, —Tavernacle. Wait. I’m Still Standing, you say? That’s right, contrary to what you heard, the beloved dueling pianos lounge reopens in the Broadway Media building, and that tickles our keys. Get ready, you’ll be able to sing “Your Song” on October 29th. Q

Josh Jones

Joshua Jones is the director of communications and marketing at the Downtown Alliance at

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