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Draper welcomes new BBQ spot, plus other local Utah restaurant openings

Les Barbecue Sandwiches - Les Rhodes Jr in the heart of the action (Gastronomic SLC)

Another month, another swathe of new restaurant openings up and down the Wasatch. Here’s the latest dozen or so new names to check out, as well as a look at what’s coming up next. First, a new BBQ spot for those in the Southern end of the valley…

Les Barbecue Sandwiches - exterior (Gastronomic SLC)
Les Barbecue Sandwiches – exterior (Gastronomic SLC)
Les Barbecue Sandwiches - Brisket over baked potato (Gastronomic SLC)
Les Barbecue Sandwiches – Brisket over baked potato (Gastronomic SLC)
Les Barbecue Sandwiches - brisket sandwich (Gastronomic SLC)
Les Barbecue Sandwiches – brisket sandwich (Gastronomic SLC)

Les Barbecue Sandwiches

Pictured top is the titular Les Rhodes Jr. – in the heart of the kitchen action at the all-new Les Barbecue Sandwiches in Draper (12059 S State St, Draper). The restaurant has been eagerly anticipated by Rhodes’ legions of fans, with the pitmaster clocking up tens of millions of views on various social media platforms. That success ostensibly from his unique smoked oxtail prep, a cut that’s rarely seen on menus. I grew up on the stuff, and in capable hands, it’s supreme.

The Les BBQ menu is compact, offering a small selection of meats configured into sandwiches, nachos, or baked potatoes. There’s a drive-thru on the Eastern side of the building and a “we close when we’re sold out” approach.

When I stopped by to check out what was smoking on last week, the lunchtime line was healthily robust and in good mood; with many guests hitting up Texan Rhodes for a selfie or hello.

The 14 Peaks

Moving into the space once home to Asia Palace (1446 S State St, Salt Lake City) this new Indian and Nepalese option. Named after the expansive Himalayan mountain range, the menu is a familiar compendium of some of South Asia’s best.


South Towne Mall (10450 State St) makes for a quartet of locations for this Venezuelan restaurant. Those looking for pabellon, patacon, or arepas now have options all across the valley. With the opening Arempas now operates locations in SLC, Midvale, Orem – as well as this new Sandy location.

Bar a Vin

This brand-new wine bar is equally open to the “seasoned sommelier or a curious novice” alike, sporting a collection of 120 wines “by the splash or glass”. The bar apparently utilizes 15 Wine Emotion units to ensure each wine is dispensed at the ideal temperature. Light pairing bites of charcuterie and pizza also seem to be served.

Boba Guru - interior (Salt Plate City)
Boba Guru – interior (Salt Plate City)

Boba Guru

Hat tip to the excellent Salt Plate City that sent me this pic of a new boba spot in downtown SLC (55 E Broadway). Opening up alongside Kaze Sushi, the outpost is the second for the company that also operates a West Valley City spot.

The Bruce

This is the new name for the former Bout Time bar in The Gateway. The update follows the transition of four locations of the chain to new ownership. A previously released press release explains:

. . .

Bout Time Pub and Grub, a local favorite in casual dining and sports bars, announces a strategic business transition for the brand. This move represents a significant and positive change, marking a new chapter in the growth trajectory of Bout Time Pub and Grub and paving the way for new ventures and opportunities. This decision, reflecting the company’s commitment to excellence, involves transitioning several locations away from the Bout Time brand into private ownership.

As part of this agreement, Bout Time Pub and Grub will take ownership of the Ogden location. At the same time, Tali Bruce, a former franchisee, will retain ownership of the Cottonwood, Taylorsville, Gateway, and Maverik Center locations, rebranding them under a new banner. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunities this transition brings for the team and guests at Bout Time,” said Tim Ryan, CEO of Bout Time Pub and Grub. “We wish Tali and her team the very best in their new ventures.”

. . .

The Bruce revamps the concept for the downtown bar, leading with a new Scottish theme. Bangers and mash, fish and chips, and cottage pie all appear on a refreshed food menu.

While we’re talking Bout Time, expect a new Ogden location to debut on May 17th as well.

Chef D’s

Spotted over on the Logan Foodies Facebook Group is this new Northern Utah option.

Hong Kong Express

A new buffet for Taylorsville (5486 S 1900 W) and one that allows patrons to grab and go to boot; should you be looking to carry out a variety of HK’s two dozen dishes, the all-you-can-eat spot charges by the pound. It’s an ordering methodology I can get behind, “I’ll take three pounds of gyro please”.

Houston Hot Chicken

The fourth HHC is now open over in Murray (6161 State St), as the former Crack Shack locations transition to this new capsaicin-fuelled concept. Here’s the full presser from the company on their opening:

. . .

Houston TX Hot Chicken (HHC), the industry leader in serving high quality, organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free and never frozen hot chicken with a variety of spice levels ranging from No Spice to Mild to Houston We Have a Problem (waiver required).

Houston TX Hot Chicken is expanding in the state of Utah with the opening of its latest location in Murray on Saturday, April 6th. With a menu that includes hot chicken sandwiches, tenders and more, HHC offers fresh (never frozen), organic, halal, cage-free, antibiotic-free and hormone-free food alongside an exciting and elevated service standard. HHC will serve a full menu of delicious offerings, such as their House Favorite, Cheesy Hot Chicken Sandwich, Texas Caesar Salad, Fusion Fries, and Tenders with Slaw, among other dishes.


This burger bar in South Ogden (1706 East 5600 South) leans into the glitz and glamour of LA’s movie heartland to inform a variety of eye-popping burgers; an American patriot burger bun pops with a bright red flair for example, reminiscent of a certain Marvel hero’s emblematic shield design.

Little Saigon - curry chicken rice plate
Little Saigon – curry chicken rice plate

Little Saigon

Kearns is the second location for this casual Vietnamese restaurant, which made their name in the Sugar House area. The menu follows the original blueprint offering up banh mi, rice, noodles, pho, and more. While the days of three-dollar banh mi are now largely behind us (yes I lie awake at night remaining about that golden epoch) the menu remains competitive with much of the list hovering around the $10 mark.

Locals Brunch House

Bagels to bananas Foster, this Provo opening (296 N University Ave) is the latest local name to add to an ever-expanding roster of brunch-specific dining spots. The pricing is as eyebrow-raisingly affordable, as much as their Sunday opening hours.

Mak Mak Thai Cuisine

Bountiful’s main drag (353 S. Main Street) now has a new Thai spot. All the familiar favorites are here with the prices unfailingly fair, most dishes don’t creep much beyond the $10 mark.

Ortega’s Asada & Wings

Michael and Michael Junior Ortega’s wing shop recently celebrated its grand opening in the Com Com Kitchen facility (67 W. 1700 S.). Chicken wings and a variety of loaded fries comprise the core of the grab-and-go/delivery menu.

Senor Pollo Mexican Grill - Sugar House exterior (Gastronomic SLC)
Senor Pollo Mexican Grill – Sugar House exterior (Gastronomic SLC)

Señor Pollo Mexican Grill

The downtown SLC location (170 S Main) of this Mexican grilled chicken chain is now open. This makes it seven for the chain in Utah I believe.

Seoul Meat Co

The latest name to hit the Mountain View Village facility in Riverton – opening in February I believe; I know, I know, sometimes I don’t catch ’em’ the moment they open, but I’ll always recap! As you might expect from the menu, Korean cuisine is the star of the show, served up in the popular all-you-can-eat, table-side DIY BBQ format.

Tita’s Restaurant

Lobster-filled enchiladas smothered in green chile sauce anyone? Head on over to this new West Valley City Mexican eatery. Other interesting-looking dishes include an al pastor stuffed half pineapple, shrimp chile relleno, and what’s that, a stingray stuffed quesadilla?!

Coming soon

Blind Rabbit Kitchen

This name appeared out of nowhere, catching me a little off guard. BRK will be the next name to try their arm in the Sugar House space most recently vacated by PIzza Volta (1080 E 2100 S). The concept is one of a casual steakhouse, which in practice means prices closer to $25, than $50. Expected to open around the start of May, the business’s nascent website also touches on a cocktail program too.

Chengdu Hot Pot

I don’t believe this one is open yet, but please do correct me if wrong. The info comes by way of a reader tip-off who tells me they spied this name going up in South Salt LAke’s Chinatown development. From what I’ve heard there’s a few other new names in the mix too – let me know folks.

Paris Baguette

I spied this one over on a local Facebook group, a member snapping a pic of this national name writing, “coming soon to Ft. Union by Smith’s. It’s in the old Mattress Firm location.” The chain’s menu is one of sandwiches, salads, and a wide selection of desserts.

Tabasco Kitchen

Not too much info yet, expect permit filing which appears to suggest the old Loftes space is getting a new tenant.

Tous Les Jours

Another location for the national bakery name. From photos sent my way, this one looks set to take over the Bad Ass Coffee building on State Street (3530 S State St).

Red Fort

Our contributor Val Phillips has this enlightening piece on the details surrounding the latest location for this Indian restaurant. May 1st is the anticipated opening date for the new Ogden location.


Coming to downtown SLC (110 W Broadway) this new 21+ bar. Located in the Peery Hotel, the spot will offer a light bites menu that supports the beverage program which is built around a selection of spritz creations – a wine-based cocktail using prosecco, liqueur, and club soda.

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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