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These are the latest Utah restaurants and bars to receive liquor licenses

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant - interior tables (Gastronomic SLC)

Bar licenses

Entering the November DABS meeting, eleven bar licenses remained available in the state of Utah. Remember this number is unlikely to materially change until the next legislative session closes in 2024. Three bars were deemed ready to operate this month, and issued licenses as follows:

  • Zion Brew Pub Beer Garden, Springdale
  • Kimi’s Chop & Oyster House/Wired Walrus, Salt Lake City
  • Etta Place Cidery, Torrey

This leaves Utah with eight remaining bar licenses in the inventory – with seven more bars expected to seek licensing as follows:

  • El Moab Hotel, Moab, December
  • Marquis, Park City, December
  • Aker Restaurant and Lounge, Salt Lake City, December
  • Felt Bar & Eatery, Salt Lake City, January 2024
  • Neptune’s Palace, Salt Lake City, January 2024
  • Thieves Guild, Salt Lake City, January 2024
  • Repeal, Salt Lake City, January 2024

Full Service (beer, wine, liquor)

As of today’s meeting forty nine full service licenses remained available. The following eight restaurants received one:

  • El Chubasco, Park City
  • Green Iguana, St. George
  • Gordo’s Tacos and Beer, Murray
  • Ramblin’ Roads, Midvale
  • Richie Lush’s Tennessee BBQ, Park City, December
  • Sol Agave, Salt Lake City, December
  • Basta Pasteria, Murray, December
  • ChefDance Social, Park City, December

Others expected to arrive soon include:

  • Tita’s Mexican Restaurant, Taylorsville, January 2024
  • Piko Mexican Grill, Salt Lake City, February 2024

Echoing sentiments from October’s meeting commissioner Thomas Jacobsen once again raised concerns over the change in stance regarding the issuance of full service licenses. October’s meeting saw a marked change in direction and Jacobsen once again pushed fellow commissioners to adopt a more consistent policy.

For most of 2023, under pressure from a limited license pool, the commission have been advising applicants that they must be “ready to open”. Restaurants that couldn’t meet a set of three clearly defined criteria at meeting time, were instructed to return again a month later. Not ready to open? No license for you today. That approach started to see rollback in October, with expired licenses modestly boosting the state’s inventory.

Limited Service (beer, wine)

Lastly, the following all received their licenses in this category:

  • Golden Ginger Asian Bistro, Clearfield
  • The Mercantile on 25th, Ogden
  • Pizza Hut, West Jordan
  • Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Herriman
  • Violet, Salt Lake City
  • Taste of Louisiana, Salt Lake City
  • 2nd East, Cedar City
  • Dining Room at Parry Lodge, Kanab
  • Koyote, Salt Lake City
  • New York Pizza Patrol, Draper
  • Tokyo Tower, Salt Lake City
  • Tanabata Japanese Restaurant, South Salt Lake (pictured top)
  • Kesari Indian Kitchen, Ogden
  • KOU Korean BBQ, Orem
  • Charlee’s Comfort Kitchen, Manti
  • Las Flores Mexican Restaurant, Cedar City

Other items

Beer only restaurant licenses went to Denny’s (Salina) and Sara Thai Kitchen (Salt Lake City) while Sandbar Lounge TV-16 (Grand County) are set to change from a full year tavern license to a Summer seasonal license.

DABS sends $236 million to state and local programs

Via press release

. . .

The Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Services (DABS) reports $579.05 million total sales in fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023). Of those sales, $236.13 million was sent to state and local programs including funds directed to public safety and alcohol education such as the underage drinking prevention campaign Parents Empowered. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services Executive Director Tiffany Clason says the data is detailed in the just published DABS Annual Report for fiscal year 2023.

“The annual report is a good opportunity to crunch the numbers to see how the hard work of DABS employees results in millions of dollars contributed to state and local communities for services that we all use such as roads and transportation, public safety, public health, and education,” said Clason. “With this report, we break down the numbers for a transparent look at how DABS operations result in tangible services that benefit all Utahns, whether or not they drink alcohol.”

Clason says that while the state liquor stores are the most visible part of the department’s work, that the agency also prioritizes its role in reducing underage drinking and other alcohol safety education. During FY 2023, the DABS contributed $9.93 million towards alcohol safety and education efforts. 

The department also supports Utah’s hospitality and tourism economies by overseeing the licensing and permitting of businesses and event organizers, says Clason. In this most recent fiscal year, the department processed over 4,000 license and permit renewals for businesses and others who legally and safely sell alcoholic products, plus 504 new licenses and permits.

Clason says the department is a partner to Utah businesses and entrepreneurs, including local distillers, brewers, wine and cider makers. According to the DABS Annual Report’s companion document, Year in Retail, local producers are top competitors in state liquor stores. Seven locally made beers are in the top 10 list of all beer sales in state stores. (State liquor stores only sell beer that is more than 5% ABV.) The Year in Retail also shows the highest selling state store, at $33 million in FY 2023, is the location dedicated to serving local restaurants and other hospitality entities that rely on the DABS for their business operations. 

“The DABS is focused on our service-first mission where we consider all Utahns that we serve, including store customers, local businesses, and Utah families. We take seriously our responsibility to make available alcoholic beverages for responsible consumption so we can give back to the community through financial contributions, support for hospitality business partners, and working towards improved health and safety through our alcohol education and underage drinking prevention efforts,” said Clason. “I look forward to our continued work on projects that will advance our mission, improve department efficiencies, and provide better service to Utahns.”

The DABS Annual Report and Year In Retail are available at abs.utah.gov.

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