The first DABS meeting of the year was another brisk one, thanks as ever to a much-streamlined process than years past. Of the few notable discussions that occurred, talk about this item was center stage. Commissioners noted that no ink has yet to dry on legislative papers – so what we might expect to read by the close of play is currently up in the ether.
Per the previous commentary – it’s possible we *might* just *might* see a relaxation of Utah’s liquor licensing quotas. As well as positive murmurings relating to substantial changes in our quota numbers, commissioners commented that Governor Cox is behind the idea of aligning the Beehive’s policies closer to other control states. March 1st is still some ways off before this year’s legislative session wraps – so let’s wait and see.
One other notable item was a cursory mention of the ongoing work on the new downtown liquor store. The location will be a first-of-a-kind in Utah – sprawling across two luxurious floors. Located along Broadway and Edison, the meeting highlighted construction should be finalized around May to June. No exact word on how that translates to an opening date – but stay tuned. Following last Summer’s grand new Sandy store opening – expect this to be the biggest and best yet.
Onto new liquor licenses then…
The following two bars were granted a license to open:
- The La Sabre Club, American Fork
- Ontop Lounge & Grill, Salt Lake City
Moving ahead we should see an inventory of ten available bar licenses come February’s meeting – this is a little more than onlookers might expect; the figure adjusted upward due to a mix of population increase, and a licensee switching out their license type. Seven bars are currently on the docket for the months ahead:
- Felt Bar & Eatery, Salt Lake City, February
- Aker Restaurant and Lounge, Salt Lake City, February
- El Moab Hotel, Moab, February
- Thieves Guild, Salt Lake City, April
- Neptune’s Palace, Salt Lake City, May
- Repeal, Salt Lake City, August
- Bout Time Pub & Grub, Saratoga Springs, August
Full service restaurant licenses (beer, wine, liquor)
Seven new full service restaurants were duly minted as follows:
- Tacos El Guero, Heber City
- Taqueria 27, Eagle Mountain
- Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Salt Lake
- Courtyard Orem University Place, Orem
- Tia’s Restaurant, St. George
- Kimi’s Chop & Oyster House, Holladay
- Toro Steak and Cocktails, South Jordan
While the first two were deemed ready to open at the meeting, the other five all indicated opening dates that fell between the January and February meetings. The move reflects a slight tempering to the prior ‘ready to open’ approach. Commissioners continued to debate the current inventory total, throwing out several ideas for a possible threshold for when scarcity might see them bring the approach back. Expect conversations on this to continue. For now, 39 full-service licenses remain available, with the following expected to arrive in the respective months ahead:
- Roux, Salt Lake, February
- Tita’s Restaurant, Taylorsville, March
- Piko Mexican Grill, Salt Lake City, May
- Clear Sky Resorts, Cannonville, June
- LongHorn Steakhouse #5687, Spanish Fork, December
Limited service restaurant licenses (beer, wine)
Six restaurants gained this more limited license type:
- Dangerous Pretzel Co, Salt Lake City
- Slackwater, South Jordan
- Millcreek Pizza House, Millcreek
- So Delicious Japanese Wasabi, Roy
- Hotel Park City, Park City
- Bhutan House Restaurant, Sandy
Lastly Scooters Pizza & Grub (Vernal) was awarded a beer-only restaurant license with Base Camp Retail awarded a type 1 package agency license. 2 Row Brewing (Midvale) was awarded a type 5 – this now allows the location to sell products made on-site to go.
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Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have written in myopic detail about the Salt Lake City dining scene for the better part of seventeen years.
I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV. Pause those credits, yep, that’s me! I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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