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Restaurant Closures Summer 2014

pipa asian tapas slc

For all the new restaurants we’re lucky to see opening around the valley, the past few weeks has seen a number of high profile closures. Here’s a quick recap of who has departed the SLC dining scene:


Reported by Ted Scheffler – the Gateway’s Z’Tejas closes up shop today. The national chain eatery seemed to be doing great business for several years but no doubt suffered from the departure of head chef Todd Gardiner (to Taqueria 27) and the increasing downtown at the Gateway overall.


Popular East side Italian eatery Lugano has now closed for good. Original owner and head chef Greg Neville handed over the reigns to his team members earlier this year, but it doesn’t appear the transition was enough to propel the business forward. The City Weekly reports a well known restaurant group will take over the space – but at this time there’s no indication of who, or if the restaurant will even remain Italian in focus.

Cucina Vanina

Actually, it was a bad month all around for Italian restaurants. This Thursday I received the following email update from Cucina Vanina:

I’m excited to share some news with you: I will be taking a new direction in my professional career. After spending a wonderful summer with my family, I have decided to focus my efforts on personal chef service. This will include private cooking classes, personal chef service and individual family meals for individuals who appreciate fine dining Italian cuisine. At this time, I’m closing the restaurant and hoping to find someone to take over the lease, someone who enjoys serving costumers as much I do.

I am immediately available for private cooking sessions and as personal chef in the comfort of your own kitchen. Please stay tuned for details of upcoming cooking classes, and individual meal availability. Thank you for all your love and support these past three years. I look forward to continue to serve you in these new ways. Sincerely, Vanina


Probably responsible for more SLC newspaper column inches this year than any other restaurant, Gusto has now shuttered. You might remember this business from the on-off row with both the DABC and local residents regarding the businesses battle for a liquor license. Gusto (formerly Brew Ha Ha) did succeed in gaining a coveted license just recently, but that doesn’t seem to have been enough to keep the business open. Word has it the business is looking for a new location.


Finally, gone but certainly not for good, is the West side’s ‘Asian tapas’ restaurant, Pipa. The location has now closed, but the business owners promise a new location in downtown SLC very soon. Stay tuned.

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