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New Utah restaurants for a new year – all the latest restaurant openings

Tsunami - spicy masa roll

It looks like the new year is starting with a bang folks. Here are three dozen names that recently opened, or intend to soon serve the Utah food and drink scene. As a reminder, if you’re still trying to catch up on 2023, here’s a look back over everything notable that opened last year. Featured picture, Tsunami maki sushi roll, scroll down for more info,

Alhambra

Taylorsville. Following on from the launch of a food truck in November last year, Alhambra’s promise of “the best shawarma in Utah” is also now available at this new brick-and-mortar location (3965 W 5400 S). Shawarma on offer come in a variety of styles including falafel, beef, chicken, and mixed meat. Loaded fries round out the mix.

Bartolo’s

Farmington. This Station Park opening (895 W E Promontory) makes it three for Alex Barolo’s Italian eatery. You might recall that the Park City location came first, followed by an outlet in the greater Sugar Hood some years later. The new Davis County opening follows a similar blueprint, a menu centered around pasta bolstered by entrees such as cioppino and trout almondine.

BASTA Pasteria

Murray. Speaking of pasta here’s one more (6151 S State) to add to the bubblin’ pot for carb lovers. “House-made pasta and champagne at a casual price” is the headline item, brought to you here at the Fashion Place Mall by the folks behind the Sicilia Mia group of businesses. Surprisingly this isn’t the first quick service concept to serve up bubbles – a timely reminder for you that Pretty Bird offers Dom Perignon too. Do invite me should you tap the option at check out.

Bistro Carbon

West Valley City. Bistro Carbon opened as last year came to an end, so here’s another reminder in case you missed it in the Christmas mix. The new WVC Mexican restaurant (3952 W 3500 S) comes from some of the folks behind the popular La Casa Del Tamal, according to Axios. Dishes include tacos, and enchiladas, which both feature popular proteins birria and pastor. Also on offer, a lineup of burgers that genre fans should note includes a pastrami burger too. Hands up who just idly dreamt about a birria-strami bruger…

Crunch

West Valley City. This primarily Japanese-inspired effort should now be open, with an official grand opening imminent any day. The menu leads with an extensive collection of maki, some of which spin-off into decidedly unexpected territory. This menu is perhaps the first time I’ve seen a caprese roll for example. No judgement here, fuse away folks. In a similar vein dishes such as sushi bowls and burritos riff on familiar flavors, while entrees hop and skip around the joint with dishes such as paella, seafood linguine, and a surf and turf ribeye. The location (2856 S 5600th W) appears to be once home to Banzai Teppan Yaki.

Morty’s Cafe

Logan. The end of last year saw Morty’s grow to a roster of three locations with this latest opening joining stores in Providence and St. George. Sadly a store in SLC’s Central 9th is no longer with us. The restaurant are as well known for its line-up of solid burgers, as they are for the wallet-friendly pricing; it’s hard to find anything here that dares breach the $10 barrier.

Dirty Bird Fried Chxx

Sandy. Another location for the would-be fried chicken empire, this time coming to the Southern end of the SL valley. Initially founded by the McHenry Group (Ginger Street, Sunday’s Best) the brand is now owned by Wags Capital – who in turn manage quite a few other names you might know locally.

Kafe Mamai

Downtown SLC. One of the most interesting new concepts to open in the past six months is this blend of Caribbean and African cuisine. To my mind, that’s a completely unique menu spin in the state right now. Opening in the former Ascen Kitchen space (49 E Gallivan Ave), Abudujannah Soud’s restaurant features everything from jerk burgers and chicken to a whole fried fish that’s served with sides of yuca/plantain mash, and pan-blistered collards. And, I’ve been asked for this countless times, yes, you can get fufu here.

Kompas Taqueria

Draper. Hat tip to Mile High Food Fairy to alerting to me to this relatively new South Valley spot, which had eluded my radar. The bright new space (726 12200th S) is home to a slew of tacos that roughly run around the $5 mark. As well as the more recognizably routine pastor and “k”arnitas, you will also find a few surprises lurking on the menu – Inian tikka chicken, Korean style steak and BBQ pulled pork tacos to name three.

Gaetano’s

Murray. Now open in the former Fat Boy Phillies location (5823 S State Street) the second location for this popular sub shop. More than a dozen hot sandwiches anchor a menu that runs the gamut of popular handhelds – the likes of meatballs and phillies and more. For those planning a party, especially one for me, do note that the restaurant offers 3-foot long party subs.

Happy Lamb Hot Pot

Murray. Based on the search traffic of eager hot potters looking for info on this one, I’d say there was quite the demand for the opening (6562 S State St). To confirm, this is one of the latest hot pot spots in the city and it’s now officially open for business, and earning quite a few glowing reviews in the process. There’s little official info out there on this one, but I believe HLHP is part of a larger national group.

Jade’s Corner Deli

Taylorsville. I spied this one over on the city’s social media feeds, this new deli (2991 W 4700 S) opening at the start of the year. The post promises a deli worth a visit with, “fresh spring rolls, crispy pork belly and rice, fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, smoothies, Vietnamese puddings and pastries and much more.”

Laan Thai

Logan. Replacing the old Dickey’s up North (55 E 1400 N) is this Thai spot. According to the company’s posts online, dine-in is ready with delivery coming in time. The opening makes for a brace for the brand who originally began life over in Ogden.

Long An Market

Midvale. I first heard news on this new Vietnamese market late last year over in this Facebook group. What really caught my eye though were the huge, stuffed banh mi sandwiches. The price? A meager $6.50. Based on the comments and interest in that post, I am guessing my interest wasn’t the only one piqued.

Mozz Pizza

South Jordan. Joining existing Mozz outposts in Provo and SLC is this third Daybreak spot (10420 Rubicon Rd). The well-rated Mozz focus on wood-fired pizza that the restaurant proudly states, “feature a preference for locally sourced ingredients, house-made mozzarella, naturally leavened sourdough crust and a 100% scratch menu from chef Brett Ramuno.”

Scelto

Sandy. Now seating guests is this brand new Italian restaurant that was formerly Chin-Wah (849 E 9400 S). Opened by Waleska Iglesias and Scott Dilley the menu hits all the notes you’d expect, pasta through pizza and hearty protein-driven entrees.

Sol Agave

Downtown SLC. After what seemed like an eternity, this new higher-end Mexican eatery is now open (660 S Main). The story mirrors that of El Cholo that opened in Sugar House last year, a Californian staple spreading their wings and choosing the Beehive as the landing point. Unlike EC, Sol Agave has established skin in the Utah game, operating an always well-regarded American Fork location for quite some time.

STK

Downtown SLC. This glitzy global steakhouse flung open its doors during the Christmas period and makes for another landmark spot in the quickly developing West Quarter of downtown. The ONE Group Hospitality owned brand operates around the world in locations such as London, Miami, Dubaio – and now – little old Utah (111 S 300 W). Driven by their prominent “vibe dining” concept the opening makes for one more high-end steak option in the city. Speaking of which it’s also one of the more premium priced on the market; fish and chips clocks in at $66 with a range of ultra-premium steaks including Japanese A5.

Top Pot & K BBQ

South Salt Lake. One more hot pot spot for you to try ( 3540 S State St) and one that also offeers guests both traditional Chinese hot pot alongside all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ. The opening is one of more than 10 locations nationwide for the company that started life in 2010.

Violet

Sugar House. Opening at the very end of last year, Violet is the name to take over the reins of the now-defunct Stratford Proper (1588 E Straford Ave). The new owners are taking a similar tack conceptually, that of a neighborhood spot fit for a variety of purposes. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, the owners Myra and Troy Petersen tell me the menu approach is “elevated casual”, and features home-cooked, quality food in a cozy, inviting environment.

The Vintage Room

Deer Valley. Back for a third Winter is this seasonal acres-ski option at St Regis. Here’s the presser from the business on the 2024 return:

. . .

The extraordinarily popular and always thrumming après destination, The Vintage Room in Park City, officially opened for its third season.  Located at The St. Regis Deer Valley, the 1600 SF crystal clear heated Vintage Room is situated along Deer Hollow Run and can be easily accessed via skis or from the Resort’s Main Building via wooden walkway.  The Vintage Room can also be reached from the Resort’s funicular, the only at a North American ski resort.   

The Vintage Room beckons with its shimmering modern chandeliers that reflect the pristine powder outside.  Oysters are shucked behind a 30-foot wooden bar as expert mixologists serve signature cocktails and chefs prepare orders.  Lounge and table seating are available, as are two raised VIP areas for a birds-eye view and great people watching.  Food and libations can also be enjoyed at the outdoor deck and fire pit under the typically cornflower blue skies of Park City.  Enjoy lunch, après pre or post Sundance screenings, or as a respite from alpine endeavors! 

The Vintage Room serves lunch and Après daily with an elevated menu by Executive Chef Pierson Shields.  DJs are featured most afternoons and attire is typically ski wear or après ski chic. 

The menu includes Caviar Chips Crème Fraîche; Pepper Seared Yellowfin Tuna Rice and Chili Bread Bowl; and the always popular Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Toast.  Enjoy Champagne or libations from the Resort’s Winter Cocktail Menu such as the Belafonte, made with Ron Zacapa 23 and St. George Spiced Pear; the St. Regis Martinez using the just-released St. Regis Barrel Select Gin, Amaro Nonino and Carpano Antica; or the legendary 7452 Bloody Mary, named for the altitude of the Resort.  The Resort’s Signature Beers include Cousin Jack and Main Street Mexican Lager and the Resort’s most popular cocktail, the 7452 Bloody Mary, named for the elevation of the Resort, are available.   

Coming soon

ChefDance Social

Headed to Park City soon, here’s a few bites of info from the companies press release

. . .

After two decades of captivating the palates of the elite at the Sundance Film Festival, ChefDance founders Kenny Griswold and Mimi Kim are thrilled to announce the opening of ChefDance Social, a permanent culinary haven at 427 Main Street, Park City – where food meets culture. Nested beneath the iconic Marquis Park City – a recently renovated cornerstone of Utah’s live music scene – this 200-seat upscale restaurant integrates Italian finesse with global culinary wonders, offering a truly unparalleled dining experience in the market.

Building on the success of a 20-year run of ChefDance during the Sundance Film Festival, and having hosted over 150 chefs from around the world, the permanent installation of ChefDance Social is set to redefine Park City’s fine dining landscape. Mimi Griswold tapped good friend and James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain to curate an Italian-inspired opening menu and brought on Executive Chef Jordan Harvey – who studied at Johnson & Wales and worked under esteemed chef Paul Anders in Vail before relocating to Utah to work at Sundance Mountain Resort and Montage Hotels – to oversee the kitchen. 

Staying true to its origins, ChefDance Social will feature a rotating lineup of world-renowned guest chefs, including Michelin-starred, James Beard nominated, and emerging up-and-coming chefs, ensuring a diverse and dynamic culinary experience season after season. While the list of past participating guest chefs is extensive, notable culinary luminaries have included: The legendary Michael Chow (MR CHOW, locations in London, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Las Vegas), James Beard Chef Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, and Chi Spacca, Los Angeles), Michelin Star Chef Melissa Perello (Octavia and Frances, San Francisco), Iron Chef Judge Donatella Arpaia (davidburke&donatella and Anthos, New York), Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon, Boston), Top Chef Brian Malarkey (Puffer Malarkey Collective, San Diego, Hawkeye & Huckleberry Lounge, Bend, OR), James Beard and Michelin Star Chef Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Chicago), Michelin Star Chef Luigi Fineo (Landmarks Restaurant Group, N10, Tatel and more, Los Angeles), Top Chef Hung Huynh (CATCH, Los Angeles & New York), and countless others.

Diners at ChefDance Social can expect a world-class food and beverage program with an emphasis on delivering premiere guest experiences. The vision for ChefDance extends beyond the plate; it’s a venue for curated prix fixe dinners, exclusive food-forward events, intimate social gatherings, and unique after-dinner musical performances that blend gastronomy with some of the biggest names entertainment for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Cosmica

Granary District. In case you missed this one mentioned in my look at the dining year ahead here’s the full rundown on what to expect about this new exciting project:

This one should be at the top of your list to keep tabs on in 2024. Several talented toques are involved, not least local restaurateur Ryan Lowder (Copper Onion, Copper Common). While chewing the fat with Lowder about the upcoming Cosmica (945 S 300 W), he was keen to underplay his own involvement, instead preferring to giddily gab about the skills of the project’s partners.

Zak Pelaccio is a key figure behind Cosmica, notably a James Beard best chef winner (2016) for the much lauded Fish & Game in Hudson, NY. The restaurant eventually went on to be named one of the most influential restaurants of the decade by Esquire in 2020. Pelaccio’s CV is stacked with hits, not least the Malaysian-fueled Fatty Crab that wowed New Yorkers for years.

The chef on site at Cosmica will be Zach Wade, who has previous tenure alongside Pelaccio back in New York – most recently at Lola. The menu? I’m going to hold onto that last little secret a while longer – count on a full preview as we get into the year proper. Expect a restaurant resplendent in 70’s mustards and greens, one that pays homage to SLC history while flashing with Italian flair. “I miss the feel of the iconic American diner”, teases Lowder as we wrap.

Huckleberry Grill

SLC. Confirming their upcoming plans in this video the owners of food truck Huckleberry Grill are set to make the move to a brick-and-mortar setup. The location (335 W 1830 S) opposite Salt Lake’s Costco appears to be another former Dickeys BBQ spot.

Kuchu Shabu

Sugar House. It looks likely that this Park City based Japesne eatery will complete their move down the mountain soon. This video teases an end-of-January opening, in the heart of Sugar House along McLelland at 2121 S.

Les BBQ

Draper. Draperites will want to sit up straight and take notice of this one. The city is the first location for Les Rhodes Jr. latest BBQ outing. Rhodes’ output was previously found at his Tooele-based food truck, selling out at incredible speeds on a daily basis. Part of the reason I’ve yet to actually sample some myself beyond spotting Les BBQ sporadically at events like the Utah Arts Festival.

In the past twelve months, Rhodes reputation has exploded on social media, the Texan seeing huge national interest, especially around his unique smoked oxtails. In the linked IG post above Rhodes also teased the next opening, “Oxtail Shack Location Coming soon”. Can’t wait.

Little Saigon

Kearns. Announced by the brand a few weeks back, expect a new Westerly location (4655 W 5415 S) for the popular Vietnamese restaurant sometime this year.

Melancholy Wine And Cocktail Lounge

Post District. This one came out of the blue with the following announcement this week. Melancholy should be another addition to the Post Distcit build which currently is home to Urban Hill, Level Crossing and Urban Sailor Coffee. Sunday’s Best/School (see below) and Mensho should also come in time. The press release from Mountain West Commercial Real Estate reads as follows for this one:

. . .

Melancholy Wine and Cocktail Lounge, an affiliate of Good Grammar, is thrilled to announce its new bar concept in the vibrant Post District of Salt Lake City. This exciting new venture will bring a curated selection of premium beverages to connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

“We are thrilled to bring Melancholy to life in the heart of Salt Lake City’s Post District. This new venture is not just a bar; it’s a canvas where we paint a palette of excitement. We can’t wait to welcome you,” said a Melancholy Wine and Cocktail Lounge representative. 

Mountain West Commercial Real Estate (MWCRE) agents Stephanie Buranek, Russ Harris, and JR Moore represented Melancholy. They worked closely with the Post District representatives MWCRE Andy Moffit, Scott Brady, and Garett Blomquist to finalize the details of this exciting venture. The collaboration underscores the commitment to creating a seamless integration of Melancholy Wine and Cocktail Lounge within the unique character of the Post District.

In a pivotal move for the project, MWCRE’s Senior Director of Capital Markets, Irwin Laroza, successfully secured a loan to cover startup costs. This funding will be allocated towards essential aspects of the new location, including tenant improvements and state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring a world-class experience for patrons.

“We are delighted to help bring Melancholy Wine and Cocktail Lounge to the heart of the Post District in Salt Lake City,” said MWCRE agent Stephanie Buranek. “We are confident that the Post District will embrace Melancholy Wine and Cocktail Lounge’s unique charm and sophistication.” Melancholy is set to open its doors in the coming months.

Pepper Lunch

News broke today over on QSR Magazine that this franchise operation has inked a deal to open five units in Utah over the next three years. The first is planned for late 2024 according to QSR. Pepper Lunch first opened way back in 1994 in Tokyo with the Japanese concept currently operating 500 locations in 15 countries; as I mentioned in this prior piece, Utah remains a highly attractive destination for brands looking to expand.

Red Fort Cuisine of India

Ogden. The Standard-Exmainer has the complete lowdown on this one, with a third Utah location of the Indian restaurant to open in the former home of El Matador Mexican (2564 Ogden Ave).

Seven Brothers Burgers

Pleasant Grove. This Hawaii-borne brand’s latest location (1427 W. State) should join two existing Utah locations on January 29th.

Sunday School

Post District. Intriguing news from the team over at Building Salt Lake, who report the ongoing construction of the second Sunday’s Best location could now include a new bar concept. Located above the brunch spot the bar (505 S Gale St) would operate as a separate entity. Head over to BSL for all the details.

Tsunami

Sugar House. For a short while it looked like the SH location of Tsunami might be a thing of the past. Not so. The restaurant will be making a full comeback as of the start of February. Before that, a party to celebrate the return, not least raise funds for a good cause. Here’s the info I received by email.

. . .

We are super excited to announce the reopening of our original Sugarhouse location. You’re invited to join us for a celebratory charitable event with all proceeds benefitting Girls on the Run Utah Wednesday, January 31, 2024
6:30 – 9:30 pm $200/person – Tickets are limited Enjoy an open bar & a selection of Tsunami Favorites
at this 21+ fundraising event. We will open to the general public on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 5:00 pm

Wayback Burgers

Pleasant Grove. ABC4 today report that a third location of this burger business will be coming to the state this Spring.

Permit watch

The following names popped up on public permit sites over the last few weeks. Details are usually a little scarce on these, but keep an eye out for these names. Thanks as ever to Building Salt Lake for help with easy access to permit filings.

Dangerous Pretzel – 346 W 600 S, permit details.

Blue Boba And Tea Shop – 1749 S State, permit details.

Handosake – 232 S Main, permit details.

Koko Kitchen – 702 S 300 E, permit details.

TOSA donuts – 760 S Redwood, permit details.

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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3 thoughts on “New Utah restaurants for a new year – all the latest restaurant openings”

  1. wondering if you guys get at us to this list we will be opening a new location in Cedar City Utah in about a month or so.

    and we’ve been in American Fork for 18 and a half years.

    let me know please!

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