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Recapping the latest restaurant closures in Utah

Noemi's Cafe counter ordering

Noemi’s Cafe

Originally making the leap from food truck to brick and mortar in the Fall of 2022, Noemi’s Cafe (pictured top) this week announced the closure of their Fort Union spot (home to Ganesh Indian Cuisine before that). The Chilean restaurant was the work of Noemi Bustamante and her son Anthony Vega; their glittering menu was headed up by a constellation of excellent empanadas, deep-fried and baked. I was a huge fan, as was Alex Springer in this write-up for the Weekly.

The news of the Midvale closure at the end of the month follows on from this piece KSL published at the end of last year – the businesses admitting increasing inflation was causing pressure. It isn’t completely disastrous news for fans mind you (count me a huge one), as the announcement was also delivered alonsgide plans to return to the mobile format. The business wrote:

“Thank you for your love and support. We have made the difficult decision to close Noemi’s Cafe on June 29. We are seeking a smaller location that better suits our needs. Our Food Truck will continue to operate, and we will keep you updated on our progress. We invite you to celebrate the start of a new chapter with us, rather than saying goodbye.”

Good Grammar

After nearly a decade of slinging drinks on Gallivan Ave, this downtown bar took to Instagram to confirm its impending closure. The post states, “We have some bittersweet news to share. Good Grammar is officially closing its doors after 8 wonderful years of being open. But not before an amazing final act!

Come visit us over the next two weeks and say goodbye before we close. As we have grown from the inside, we feel it’s now time for the space to evolve as well. Something new is brewing, so stay tuned for updates! Thank you for your support and patronage over the years.”

Good Grammar was one of the first bars to make waves in the current cocktail renaissance in the state. Indeed last year, Grammar’s Morgan Michel snagged the judge’s choice award in the SL Mag cocktail contest. Her clever use of a seed-based orgeat combined sunflower, hemp, wildflower, and an infused Thai basil with sage olive oil – was a multifaceted masterpiece. Per the bar’s posts though, it looks like something new might be in the works here.


Opened by Louisiananan Jason Davis in 20116, this Logan restaurant confirmed on Facebook that June 21st was to be their last day in business. The post explained, “Maymoes Nation it’s with a heavy heart that due to unforeseen circumstances we are closing the doors. Today will be our last day open. We are so blessed that y’all have supported us all these years. So come and have your favorite meal one last time. We will be open until 8 p.m. tonight.” The Herald-Journal penned this story quickly after the news broke.

Papito Moe’s

Facebook was again the mode of announcement for the shuttering of this West Jordan Puerto Rican eatery. The online post reads, “After almost a decade in business, Papito Moe’s will be closing our doors. We are grateful to God for giving us the strength to accomplish all that we have, truly we give Him all the Glory. We are thankful to all of you for your support through the years, and everyone who helped us along this beautiful journey. It means the world to us! Seasons change and now it’s time for us to move back home to be closer to family.

Our last day was Thursday, June 20! (We sold out earlier than expected) We will be open for our normal business hours, 11am-8pm!! Come grub with us before than Gracias mi gente. Thank you Utah”. Papito’s Carribean menu was first offered via food truck in 2015, ultimately culminating in the West Jordan perma-digs. An arugable peak for the business was a prized feature on Guy Fieri’s popular Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives.

Meat Hook BBQ - ribs and sausage
Meat Hook BBQ – ribs and sausage

Meat Hook BBQ

This one closed several months back now, but the original closure eluded me at the time; that is until a reader dropped me a line to enquire if I knew more. Sadly, I didn’t, and still don’t. I’m including the closure note here now for completeness’ sake. The BBQ business attached to the South end of WVC’s Westerner bar seemed to shutter rather abruptly and without notice best I can tell.

Dirty Bird

Another business that dropped off the map in recent months, and again with little to no announcement far as I can tell. The first I heard was this discussion on the local Reddit. Indeed Yelp and Google now report various locations closed, with the business website also offline. The business was originally launched by the McHenry Group (Sunday’s Best) before being acquired by Wags Capital in 2021. NRN reported on the transition at the time, detailing a $20 million investment plan to rapidly scale the chicken sandwich chain. Ted Scheffler in Utah Stories reviewed the Nashville-inspired offerings in this story a little over a year ago.

Annie’s Diner

Valerie Phillips has all the details on the closure of this Kaysville stalwart in this detailed piece. The restaurant was already known to be facing difficulties after the Trib ran this story performing a deep dive into the numbers behind the business. The bottom line? “The family-owned Kaysville diner lost more than $93,000 last year.”, according to Trib reporter Andy Larsen’s analysis. The closure sees the spot end a run of nearly three decades under various guises.

Seasons Plant Based Kitchen - exterior
Seasons Plant Based Kitchen – exterior

Seasons Plant Based Bistro

May saw this Central 9th name explain a change of course on their Facebook page. The posted information explained the situation as follows:

“I opened Seasons in 2017 to offer something special to our community. Ever since Covid, the restaurant industry has been a tornado and has never been the same. If you don’t know, we are a very small business, currently there are 2 of us doing everything for Seasons. We have and will always strive to offer our community the best product and service we can.

As you all know we have been making many changes over the last months. We are transitioning into more packaged foods. After much back and forth, I feel this is the most sustainable way we can contribute to our community and build longevity for ourselves. With that being said, we are going to be temporarily closing the restaurant. We do plan to re-open our doors as soon as possible, but for now we have to go a different direction.
Stay tuned for lots of exciting new products coming your way! I truly appreciate all the support over the years. We will be around the community at markets, sampling and doing events. Come by and say hi! One love Salt Lake, see you on the other side.”

Salt City Brew Supply

Not a restaurant per se, but a familiar name on the local food and drink scene. April saw the veteran brew supply company sign off via social. In recent years (2019) owners Ross Metzger and Cody McKendrick teamed up again and used their sudsy smarts to deliver Bewilder Brewing to downtown SLC. SLCBS’s farewell post reads as follows:

With heavy hearts, we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Salt City Brew Supply. We started this journey almost exactly 13 years ago with the intent to provide the highest level of products and service we could to the growing home-brew community here in Utah. Since then we’ve made dozens of lifelong friends, watched great customers turn their own dreams into breweries of their own, and watched countless other’s make innumerable gallons of beer, wine, and cider (and maybe some other stuff 😉 ) to share with their family and friends.

In some ways SCBS was meant to be a stepping stone of sorts, a way to get out of the 9-5 grind and into something of our own, and to be able to take advantage of opportunities that may come later. With the support of the home-brewing community, we were then able to take an even larger leap of faith and open Bewilder Brewing Company in January of 2019. Boy, what a journey that has been! Salt City has done its part to prop up the brewery through a global pandemic, and there is ZERO chance Bewilder would have made it this far without that support. The shop, and it’s amazing employees (Marshall, Wendell, Eric, Dan, Jared, Ben and all the others) have stayed the course and done the best they could no matter what was thrown at them.

We’ve faced the same challenges as most other businesses in these last five years; rising costs of goods, rising cost of labor, freight costs (and delays) and an acceleration of consumer dependency on online shopping brought on by COVID. Unfortunately, these things don’t seem to be changing in the foreseeable future, and instead of burying ourselves in even more debt just to “hope” things change, this is the only path we see forward. Part of owning a business is making tough decisions.

We’ll take the next month to wind down our operations, sell through our remaining inventory, and liquidate our fixtures with the intent to be finished by the end of May. We hope everyone comes down one last time to say hello, talk about beer, buy some stuff, and give a high five.

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant - interior tables (Gastronomic SLC)
Tanabata Japanese Restaurant – interior tables (Gastronomic SLC)

Tanabata (update)

You may recall that this South Salt Lake Japanese spot closed its doors in December last year. At the time, signs went up announcing their return under a new buffet format. That plan now seems to have permanently stalled as a new temporary sign has been lofted. It looks like El Barril – the Sandy-based Mexican eatery – appears to be the name coming to the space.

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