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What happened at the March DABS meeting

Scovilles (Salt Plate City)

Bar licenses

After February’s meeting and the eye-opening 180 on the storied ready-to-operate policy, all eyes turned to this month’s get-together. Six applicants appeared on the docket with only four bar licenses available to hand out. Math experts will note the obvious issue. With the newfound (read – legislatively mandated) approach to license allocation, commissioners asked applicants to clarify “why you should get this bar license today” and “what differentiates you, what sets you apart”. The six hopeful bar operators included:

  • Blue Katz Rock N Roll Grill, St. George
  • Scovilles, Salt Lake City (pictured top courtesy Salt Plate City)
  • Home Range Brewing, Logan
  • Rooted Vine, Moab
  • Spritz!, Salt Lake City
  • The Manor F&B, Coalville

What ensued was a return to lengthier DABS meetings of old as commissioners sought to distill the merits of each applicant. How exactly do you pick a favorite child from a multi-million dollar community over that of an intimate three dozen seater city-center bar? Unsurprisingly then, commissioners floated various motions to settle the debate, several of which fell flat.

The ultimate winners were Spritz!, Scovilles, Rooted Vine, and Home Range Brewing. Spritz! was a completely new one to me, a bar space for the Peery Hotel in downtown SLC, the concept aims to be a cozier and calmer option, with 35-50 seats imagined. Scovilles is the spicy newcomer for Sugar House, mentioned in our latest new restaurant roundup. News that the end corner unit plans to be a 21+ option was a new update.

Blue Katz and The Manor ultimately failed to win over sufficient commissioners as a majority voting block, to proceed this month. Echoing meetings of old one commissioner noted that the Coalville planned community of Wohali (where The Manor is planned as the central food and bev space), has invested millions upon millions with no sign of licensing certainty.

Two more bar licenses are expected to become available before July 2024. As a reminder for those musing about opening a bar in 2024 – get your name on the list now. Today. The new approach to handing out licenses means that once the expected legislative changes come into force, the newly changed quotas and increased licenses will be handed out as fast as capable licensees appear in line.

Full-service restaurants (beer, wine, liquor)

Thirty-eight licenses were available in Utah coming into the March meeting. The following six businesses left the meeting equipped with a brand new full-service license:

  • Ahis Fresh Wok & Bar, St. George
  • Taqueria La Unica, Smithfield
  • All About Tacos, Ogden
  • Birdy’s, Moab
  • Boondocks Food & Fun, Draper
  • Sunday’s Best, Salt Lake City

Limited service restaurant license (beer, wine)

Also approved under this type, five more names:

  • Sukihana, South Jordan
  • Cattleman’s Steakhouse, Panguitch
  • Red Fort Cuisine of India, Ogden
  • Root’s Place, American Fork
  • Red Rock Taco, Huntsville

Restaurant beer only license

Finally, now able to pour sudsy sides to food, this quartet:

  • House of Corn Mexican Cuisine, Salt Lake City
  • Puro Peru, Sandy
  • The Flying Pig BBQ, Torrey
  • High Voltage BBQ, Parowan

Want to stay on top of the SLC food scene, minute by minute, dish by dish? Here are a few other places you should follow along:

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