Recaping Utah’s Latest Restaurant Closings – Gastronomic Salt Lake City

Originally making the jump from food truck to brick-and-mortar in the fall of 2022, Noemi’s Cafe (pictured above) announced this week the closing of their Fort Union location (home to Ganesh Indian Cuisine before that). The Chilean restaurant was the work of Noemi Bustamante and her son Anthony Vega; their bright menu was led by a constellation of excellent empanadas, fried and baked. I was a big fan, as was Alex Springer in this article for the Weekly.

News of Midvale’s closing at the end of the month follows on from this article published by KSL late last year – companies admitting rising inflation has caused pressure. It’s not completely disastrous news for fans (consider me huge), as the announcement was also made during 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 29th. We are looking for a smaller location that better suits our needs. Our food truck will continue to operate and we will keep you posted on our progress. We invite you to celebrate with us the beginning of a new chapter, instead of saying goodbye.”

After nearly a decade of drinking 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 let’s say goodbye before we close. As we have grown from within, we feel that now is the time for the space to evolve as well. Something new is in the works, 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 state’s current cocktail renaissance. Indeed, last year Grammar’s Morgan Michel scooped the judge’s choice award in the SL Mag cocktail competition. Her clever use of a seed-based orgeat combined with sunflower, hemp, wildflower and Thai basil infused with sage olive oil – it was a multi-faceted masterpiece. However, according to the bar’s posts, it looks like something new might be in the works here.

Opened by Louisianan Jason Davis in 20116, this Logan restaurant confirmed on Facebook that June 21 was to be their last day of business. The post explained: “Maymoes Nation is heartbroken that due to unforeseen circumstances we are closing our doors. Today will be our last day open. We are so blessed that you have supported us all these years. So come and have your favorite meal one last time. We will be open until 8pm tonight.” The Herald-Journal wrote this story quickly after the news broke.

Facebook was once again the way to announce the closing of this West Jordan Puerto Rican restaurant. The online post says, “After nearly a decade in business, Papito Moe’s will be closing our doors. We are grateful to God for giving us the strength to achieve all that we have, we truly give Him all the Glory. Thank you all for your support over the years and everyone who has helped us on this beautiful journey. It means the world to us! The seasons are changing and now is the time to move home to be closer to family.

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

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

It closed a few months ago, but the original closure escaped me at the time; that is until a reader dropped me a line asking if I knew more. Unfortunately, I didn’t and I still don’t. I’ve included the closing note here now for completeness. The barbecue business attached to the south end of WVC’s Westerner bar appeared to close rather suddenly and without notice.

Dirty bird

Another business that has fallen off the map in recent months and again with little to no announcements as far as I can tell. The first I heard was this discussion on the local Reddit. Indeed, Yelp and Google are now reporting 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 expand the sandwich chain with chicken. Ted Scheffler of Utah Stories reviewed the Nashville-inspired offerings in this story a little over a year ago.

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

Seasons plant-based cuisine - outdoorSeasons plant-based cuisine - outdoor
Seasons Plant Based Cuisine – Outdoor

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

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

As you all know, we’ve made a lot of changes over the past few months. We are transitioning to 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. With that being said, we will be temporarily closing the restaurant. We plan to reopen our doors as soon as possible, but for now we have to go in a different direction.
Stay tuned for lots of exciting new products coming your way! I really appreciate all the support over the years. We’ll be around the community at markets, sampling and holding events. Come and say hello! Somebody love Salt Lake, see you on the other side.”

Not a restaurant per se, but a household name on the local food and drink scene. In April, the veteran beer supply company signed on via social media. In recent years (2019), owners Ross Metzger and Cody McKendrick teamed up again and used their bubbly wits to deliver Bewilder Brewing to downtown SLC. SLCBS’ farewell post reads as follows:

It is with a heavy heart that we have made the difficult decision to close Salt City Brew Supply. We started this journey almost 13 years ago with the intention of providing the highest level of products and service we could to the growing homebrewing community here in Utah. Since then, we’ve made dozens of lifelong friends, watched great clients turn their dreams into breweries of their own, and watched countless others make countless liters of beer, wine, and cider (and maybe other things 😉😉 ) to share with 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 be able to take advantage of opportunities that may arise later. With the support of the brewing community, we were then able to take an even bigger leap of faith and open Bewilder Brewing Company in January 2019. Boy, what a journey it has been! Salt City has done their part to support the brewery through a global pandemic and there is ZERO chance that Bewilder would have made it this far without that support. The wonderful shop and employees (Marshall, Wendell, Eric, Dan, Jared, Ben and everyone else) stayed the course and did their best no matter what was thrown at them.

We have faced the same challenges as most other businesses over the past five years; rising commodity costs, rising labor costs, shipping costs (and delays), and an acceleration of consumer reliance on online shopping caused by COVID. Unfortunately, these things do not appear to be changing in the near future, and instead of burying ourselves in even more debt just to “hope” things will change, this is the only way we see forward. Part of owning a business is making tough decisions.

We will need the next month to shut down our operations, sell through our remaining inventory and liquidate our facilities with the intention of being completed by the end of May. We hope everyone comes down one last time to say hello, talk beer, buy some stuff and give a high five.

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant - indoor dining (Gastronomic SLC)Tanabata Japanese Restaurant - indoor dining (Gastronomic SLC)
Tanabata Japanese Restaurant – indoor dining (Gastronomic SLC)

You may remember that this Japanese spot in South Salt Lake closed its doors last December. At the time, signs appeared announcing their return under a new buffet format. That plan now appears to have stalled for good, as a new temporary sign has been erected. El Barril — the Mexican joint in Sandy — appears to be the name coming to the space.

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