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Spanish tapas and Tokyo styled bar – highlights among new openings in SLC

Aranya Thai - khao soi (fig.eats)

It’s that time again, another look at what’s opened in the past few weeks, and what we might expect in the weeks and months ahead.

Aranya Thai

This downtown adjacent Thai spot recently open up in the space previously home to Sara Thai. According to the always in the know fig.eats, the restaurant remains a family operation; Aranya being operated by the sister of the owner of Sara (who in turn are headed to a new spot in Sugar House). The restaurant looks brand new with little online info to glean at this point, though their Instagram account sports an intriguing looking crab fried rice enshrouded in egg. Pictured top, Aranya’s khao soi courtesy of fig.eats.

Antica Roma

The grand opening for this new downtown Italian was July 22nd, taking over the reins at a location once home to Michelangelo’s, and Frody Volger’s Vienna Bistro prior to that. The restaurant posted on social media that “chef Roberto Deni, [is] a master in the art of Italian cuisine with over 45 years of experience in Italian food.” Pasta dishes at Antica Roma run $19-$26, while meat and seafood plates are offered in the $24-$39 range.

Brad’s Corndogs

This one from Sean Mean’s weekly food newsletter at the Trib, writing “about this ll new food truck. According to the Trib team the truck, “serves premium, quarter-pound all-beef hot dogs dipped in thick batter and deep-fried.” Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for tipoffs from their team.

Caffeine Station

One that missed my radar in weeks past – a new spot for Sandyites hoping for a quick bite and caffeinated pick me up. Caffeine Station is open seven days a week, 7.00 a.m. through 3.00 p.m. The breakfast menu comprises a collection of bagels and toasts, before lunch moves onto sandwiches and salads. There’s also a solid range of crepes too. Based on the info supplied by the business themselves, it looks like this might be an under the radar must visit coffee spot:

. . .

“Caffeine Station is a local business operated by a small family. The owner has been in the coffee industry for more than 10 years since living in Sydney, Australia until coming to USA. He has been working in many states, until settled in Utah. He is so obsessed with Coffee which is considered as a part of his life. He decided to establish coffeeshop in the name of “Caffeine Station”. The inspiration is to be a stopover for coffee lovers with unique food and beverage service to all customers. He deliberately selects coffee beans from the Local roasting company that offers varieties of coffee beans from.”

Finca Pintxos Bar

The latest outing from Scott Evans’ Pago Restaurant Group is Finca Pintxos Bar, now open in downtown. Fingers crossed it’s third time’s the charm for the spot; recently home to the relatively shortlived Fenice, and Fireside On Regent before that. The 21+ only space (licensed as a bar) still sports the Fireside emblazoned wood fired oven which powers several of the dishes on the menu. Speaking of which, I posted some snaps of the menu over on SLC Menu.

Phelix Gardner is part of the kitchen-brains at work, with Pete Hines is listed as executive chef. Spain’s love of Gin and GinTonic are a central star on the liquor side of things, with Evans’ expert wine knowledge also making a strong showing.

Evans tells me that the restaurant layout is “perfect for a Pintxos display that you would see in San Sebastian as well as Finca 15th’s tapas menu.” Evans also added, “our desire with the space is to create a destination restaurant and bar that is also a perfect option pre-theatre, pre-show for attending a show at the Eccles theatre.

Jet’s Pizza

Another hat tip to the Tribune’s Sean Means who confirmed the opening of the first location of a Jet’s Pizza in Utah. The restaurant can be found at 817 W. Antelope Drive in Syracuse.

Kumo Cafe

Mochi waffles plus sweet and savory crepes support a range of drinks at this new South Salt Lake Japanese cafe.

Sayonara - hand painted wall art (Sayonara)
Sayonara – hand painted wall art (Sayonara)


Promising “Tokyo nights in SLC” this brand new 21+ bar in downtown SLC recently took the wraps off their renovation of the former Ginger Street space. Sayonara is open every day of the week, five through 1.00 a.m. Japanese whiskies naturally star on the menu. Hand painted Japanese artwork litters the space as do numerous imported Japanese decorations. The launch drinks menu includes a range of appropriately themed cocktails ($11-$14) featuring ingredients such as yuzu, wasabai and pickled plum.

The opening follows June’s DABS meeting, where the business was awarded one of the state’s few bar licenses. At that time, I wrote about co-owner Ashton Aragon who speaking to the commission explained that, “Sayanora is a project 4-5 yeas in the making, with the business hoping to replicate the feel of a back alley Tokyo bar. The downtown SLC bar (3rd and State) features imported Japanese decor with Aragon stating it’s going to be completely unique and different for the city. Also notable, Aragon is co-owner of the Liberty Park facing Tradition restaurant.”

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant
Tanabata Japanese Restaurant

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant

This South Salt Lake City restaurant recently opneed after the long running EJO Korean BBQ closed their doors. Information on the newcomer is sparse at this time, beyond initial online reviews which appear overwhelmingly positive. As well as a range of sushi preparations, Tanabata offers many cooked dishes too, such as oyakodon, agedashi tofu, sukiyaki, and yosenabe.

Update: I ended up stopping by for lunch myself today, here’s some menu snaps.

Vegan Daddy Meats

Now open in the Marmalade, this plant based “butcher”. At the new Vegan Daddy spot you’ll be able to pick up a range of their house made vegan proteins as well as dishes such as a beaf n cheddar sandwich, wings, buckets of fried chikn, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, steak sandwiches, Phillys, and and more.

The White House

Now open in Old Town Park City. Here’s an excerpt of what to expect from a much bigger story by TownLift: “O’Shucks is set to open in Old Town this summer at 628 Park Avenue, the former brief location of Church Public House on the corner of Park Avenue and Heber Avenue. The O’Shucks Restaurant Group is expanding beyond its long-standing Main Street location and offering a unique blend of breakfast, sushi, and bar food.”

Coming soon

2 Row Brewing

Midvale will be the the next port of call for this local brewer. 7200 S. was confirmed in April as the new location, with the brand writing on Facebook, “Exciting news! We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve signed a lease for a new location at 7200 S. State Street that will include a tap room! As we continue to expand and grow our business, it’s important to create a space where our customers can come and enjoy our delicious craft beers and grab a bite to eat while also getting a behind-the-scenes look at our brewing process. Things appear to be coming to fruition with this recent update post highlighting all the work coming together.

Burly Burger

West Haven is the next destination for Burly burger, announcing this week the signing of a new lease in Weber County. The new restaurant will open in the West Haven Salt Point Development.

The Great Greek Greek Mediterranean Grill

I stumbled across this one on the Utah Restaurant Reviews Facebook group – solid confirmation that Greek chain The Great Greek is headed our way – at least to Draper and Pleasant Grove.

Matteo’s Artisan Pizza

Mapleton (15 N 1600 W) will soon welcome a new pizza restaurant based on this Facebook post. In discussing the opening the company also inferred they’re additionally seeking expansion into SLC too.

Ocean Mart food court

Ogden’s Ocean Mart grocery store is set to feature an all new food court, sporting a vareity of cuisines. In this Facebook post, the group teased the upcoming addition touting several new food options including: Little Thai Kitchen, Kitty’s Family Dumplings, Okan Japanese Treats, Pinky’s Food Hauz, and La Cabanita Salvadorean Cuisine

Teriyaki Madness

Three new Teriyaki Madness outlets are planned for Utah – possibly more. Writing on behalf of the upcoming openings a representative for the new owners sent me the following intro info:

. . .

Noi and Ti Dyphibane, a dynamic husband-and-wife team, are the newest owners of Teriyaki Madness, the largest Asian fast-casual delivery concept. They are ready to introduce the brand’s flavorful and healthy dining experience to Northern Utah. The Dyphibanes are no strangers to business ventures. Ti has been working as the finance director at the NBA star Karl Malone’s Toyota dealership since 1998, an experience that gave him valuable insights into the franchise model. Alongside this, the duo has been growing their real estate portfolio together over the years. Noi is currently a real estate agent in the area and as the real estate market escalated in recent years, the Dyphibanes saw an opportunity to diversify their investments and decided to venture into franchising and restaurants

After researching numerous brands, they found Teriyaki Madness, which aligned perfectly with their lifestyle and passion for food. The Dyphibanes were drawn to Teriyaki Madness because of the brand’s impressive growth; popularity among the younger, health-conscious generation; and the versatility of its menu. Believing in the brand’s potential to flourish in their community, the Dyphibanes are excited to introduce more people to this Asian cuisine concept. Having signed up for their first three stores, which will be located in Northern Utah County and Southern Salt Lake, the couple aspires to open 15 to 20 units throughout Northern Utah in the years to come.

Permit watch

As ever, thanks to Building Salt Lake for access to their Salt Lake County permit tool, that helps shed some initial light on upcoming openings. Since our last new restaurant roundup, I came across the following filings.

Eight Settlers Distillery – A possible additional outlet for this Cottonwood Heights distiller seems in the works. Listing 44 E Exchange in downtown SLC as the address, the filing seems to indicate a substantial interior reworking of the space. Link.

Cubby’s Sugar House – This one seems to list the old Sugar House Pizza Hut space as a new location for local chain Cubby’s. With the brand already operating an outpost a few minutes away on Highland Drive, maybe this one is a move? Link.

Dave’s Hot Chicken – a second Utah location looks set to be arriving for this celeb backed fried chicken franchise. Link and link.

Senor Pollo – The prominent ground floor space of the US Bank building at 170 S Main should see a new location from this Mexican grill group. The company already operate seven locations in the state with both a downtown and Rose Park (1628 W 700) location in the works for expansion. Link.

Previously mentioned with no further update

We’ve previously written about the following restaurants in posts tracking new restaurants around Utah. We’ve heard no further news on these at this time – but that’s not to say they didn’t open! If you know of any business opening that eluded our gaze, please do get in touch.

Opening a new restaurant in Utah? Be sure to read our restaurant resource section which includes info on everything from marketing through POS systems.

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