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Why They Choose Downtown SPRING/SUMMER 2018



We've been serving the community since almost before there was a community to serve. At Intermountain LDS Hospital, we offer excellent care in a variety of specialties, including total joint services, mother and baby care, surgical specialties, and gastrointestinal health. We’re your hospital, and we look forward to serving you, your family, and our community for a long time to come. Visit

LDS Hospital


CBRE knows Salt Lake City. Through our industry-leading perspectives, scale and local connectivity, we deliver outcomes that drive business and bottom-line performance for every client we serve. How can we help transform your real estate into real advantage? For more information contact or visit: Lloyd Allen, Sales Management Director +1 801 869 8044



7 10 12 14 16 22 27 30 22 32 38 42 46 54 60 66 66 DOWNTOWN


Young Professionals Community, Connection & Coordination

Navigator Your personal guide to navigating downtown

Temple Square The most visited attraction in Utah

New Face In Town Ken Garff moves buildings

City Creek Center New stores and free summer activities

Downtown Ambassadors Helping get people downtown

The Bourbon Group Whet your whistle at one of their three locations

Revitalizing Rio Grande Getting help for those on the streets

CaffĂŠ Molise Moving locations

Outdoor Dining Three foodies tell us about spots to eat at downtown

3 Irons Street art project downtown

Japantown Cultural history on 100 South

Downtown Dance Groups Four dance groups and their story

Staycation Girls night, couples retreat, or family escape

Pioneer Park Paving the way to a premier urban green space

Downtown Living Rooftop and Penthouse views


175 E 400 South, Ste. 600 | Salt Lake City, UT 84111 | 801-359-5118 | Jason Mathis, Executive Director Justin Banks, Research and Community Development Coordinator | Kristin Beck, Director of Urban Activation | Tyler Bloomquist, Artistic Director Carson Chambers, Programs Manager | Nick Como, Senior Director of Communication and Marketing | Jesse Dean, Director of Urban Development Alison Einerson, Market Manager | Julie Janke, Grant Writer | Christianna Johnson, Programs & Grants Manager Nancy Le, Operations Coordinator | Ryan Mack, Community Engagement | Meagan Plummer, Art & Craft Market Manager Greg Yerkes, Business Outreach Coordinator | Camille Winnie, Community Services Director Photographers: David Newkirk, David Martinez, Brent Rowland

4770 S 5600 West | West Valley City, UT 84170 | 801-204-6500 | Brent Low, President & CEO | Megan Donio, Project Manager | Camille Durtschi, Layout & Design DOWNTOWN the Magazine is the official publication of the Downtown Alliance. Š2018 by the Salt Lake Downtown Alliance. 2

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Authentic Mexican food & Cantina Celebrating 21 years

165 S. West Temple • SLC (Below Benihana and across from the Salt Palace)

255 Main St • Park City Treasure Mountain Inn (Top of Main)



Say hello to your brand new, bigger, better Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), arriving in 2020. The new SLC will replace the three existing terminals with one large, modern terminal that has the capacity to meet the ever-growing demands of a major air transportation hub. To learn more, visit




Downtown Pride


alking down Main Street on a sunny afternoon, I can’t help but be proud of our little downtown. Cafes and coffee shops overflow onto sidewalks, artwork is scattered throughout the city center, flower pots and leafy trees add color and shade, and people from all walks of life co-mingle in a tapestry of urban life. Consider the things that make our downtown distinct: the trout at City Creek Center, murals at The Gateway, historic churches and repurposed offices, a rebuilt Vivint Smart Home Arena and new office buildings, wide streets, public art, plus residential and hotel projects rising before our eyes. Downtown Salt Lake City has a unique sense of place. At their best, cities bring together public and private interests to create jobs, wealth, housing, entertainment, and a celebration of culture and art. We are lucky to have thousands of committed people who are dedicated to building our city core. Many of their stories are highlighted in this issue of Downtown the Magazine. Our urban center is always


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Tyler Bloomquist Tyler Bloomquist brings his experience as a designer and artist to the role of artistic director for Downtown SLC Presents. Born in Salt Lake City, he has lived downtown for 20 years, developing varied artistic practices. His range includes painting/drawing, printmaking, outdoor murals, photography, video/editing, graphic design, as well as music and DJing. Julia Partain Julia Partain, a Salt Lake City native, is a freelance writer and editor for local and regional publications. When she isn’t writing about happenings in her hometown, you can find her playing tourist (minus the fanny pack) in her exceptionally hip city.

Jason Mathis Executive Director, Downtown Alliance

evolving, and this magazine chronicles some of the changes, big and small, that are unfolding right now. Over the next few months, our team will launch a series of projects designed to enhance downtown’s creative heart. We’ll also continue to advocate for smart urban growth and the success of everyone who lives, works, plays or just loves downtown. In the coming months, we also anticipate several large developments getting off the ground and making the downtown of the future look very different than our city looks today. There has probably never been a more exciting time to be a cheerleader for this city. As proud as I am about our downtown today, I know that the best is still yet to come. I

Ryan Mack A native of Salt Lake City, Ryan has his eyes and ears on the streets of downtown, serving as the community engagement coordinator for the Downtown Alliance. When he’s not skiing or mountain biking in the Wasatch, you’ll find him taking advantage of all of the amazing amenities that downtown has to offer. Heather King A Utah native with Eastern roots, Heather writes about food and culture in Utah and beyond. A lover of travel, critic of food and supporter of the good life, she reviews restaurants for The Salt Lake Tribune, explores the food and travel scene at and covers the finer things in life for She is the founder of Utah Ladies Who Lunch and a proud Great Dane owner.

Kim Angeli From seed to plate, Kim Angeli has her eye on local food and quality producers in the community. In her world, organic farmers and visionary chefs are town heroes, and everyone has a place at the table. Her new company, Primrose Productions, brings creative event productions, placemaking initiatives and grassroots marketing campaigns to Salt Lake City.

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Presented by the Salt Lake CIty Arts Council and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the program fosters community conversations around social justice, equity, and diversity by presenting folk art—art that reflects both the unique qualities of various cultures and the similarities of human experience—in a festive and safe environment.

LIVING TRADITIONS festival L I B R ARY S Q U A R E M AY 1 8 • 1 9 • 2 0


of Chinese dragon dancing, Lebanese music, Japanese bonsai, loomed rag rugs, and other brilliant patterns will reinvent the site into a vibrant, bold and robust setting. Library Square will come alive with the fragrance of traditional foods being prepared for your enjoyment.




A vibrant downtown is constantly changing. New buildings sprout up on formerly vacant blocks, bringing additional residents and workers to the city. New restaurants and businesses open, changing how and where people gather. Public spaces, like Pioneer Park, reinvent themselves. And with the more people feeling a sense of ownership and connection with their capital city, we grow together. People make the place, and downtown Salt Lake City is full of characters. We’re proud to highlight many of their stories and contributions to YOUR city in this issue. Cheers! Nick Como,

Editor, DOWNTOWN The Magazine

spring / summer 2018

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Enterprise Car Share

GREENbike Open year-round, GREENbike makes getting around fun. Plus, it is an easy way to stay warm by pedaling up to your next meeting or lunch spot, no matter the season. Daily or annual passes allow unlimited user rides for 30 or 60 minutes and remove the usual excuses for not riding a bike, such as specific clothing and security. No special attire is required. When bikes are not in use, they are securely docked at a nearby station awaiting the next user.


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RIDE SHARING Utilizing smart phone apps, services such as Lyft and Uber provide on-demand rides. Users can call a car directly to their location and be on their way in mere minutes, 24 hours a day. You can, of course, go old school, and call or hail a cab. |

US BUS UTAH Discover the sights of Salt Lake City on an open-air bus. Whether you are only visiting for a few hours or a few days, the 90-plus minute sightseeing tour with on-board commentary gives you a quick way to see the main attractions of our beautiful city. The US Bus sightseeing tour of Salt Lake City will take you to many famous landmarks, such as:


• • • •

Utah State Capitol Farmers Market West Temple Square And more

Red, blue or green? Downtown is the hub for all three rail lines, and TRAX is free in the Central Business District. All major downtown landmarks and destinations are located within this FREE FARE ZONE, providing an accessible option to travel around downtown. Park once and hit all your favorite downtown spots via train car. UTA’s network connects the University of Utah, SLC International Airport and SL Central Station, which accesses bus and FrontRunner lines, through downtown.

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Temple Square The most visited attraction in Utah is Temple Square, a meticulously landscaped 10-Acre block in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake



he centerpiece is the magnificent Salt Lake Temple, a six-spired granite edifice, which took Mormon pioneers 40 years to complete. The unique domed Tabernacle, built in 1867, is home to the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Organ recitals are presented daily, and the public is invited to Thursday choir rehearsals and the Sunday morning broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word, which is the longest-running continuous network radio broadcast in the world. Complimentary tours of Temple Square are offered in more than 40 languages.

The North Visitors’ Center features an 11-foot replica of Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue. Exhibits at the South Visitors’ Center include a scaled model of the Salt Lake Temple, providing a glimpse inside the historic building. In the southwest corner of the Square is the Assembly Hall, which hosts free concerts and recitals on weekends.

Temple Square includes two visitor centers where people can learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through art galleries and interactive exhibits.

Travelers who have layovers at the Salt Lake International Airport can take a free shuttle to Temple Square and take a tour while they are waiting for their next flight. I

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Historic buildings, libraries, a museum and the Conference Center, along with landscaped open spaces, have been added to the original 10-acre block, creating the 35 acres at Temple Square.

The noteworthy Tabernacle, home to the renowned Tabernacle Choir, invites the public in to choir rehearsals on Thursdays as well as the Sunday morning broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word.

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When you come to Utah, be sure to visit

TEMPLE SQUARE in the heart of Salt Lake City Tours are available in more than 30 languages

Many venues to choose from, and all are free



Your tour group can:

to the glorious music of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, rehearsing and performing in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. They also perform in the 21,000-seat Conference Center. See for details. your roots in the FamilySearch Center, where helpful volunteers can assist in retrieving family history information from the world’s largest repository of genealogical records.


through two upscale visitors’ centers that include the Christus statue by Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen. Visit the interactive map of ancient Jerusalem (kids love it!) and much more.

Step into the past,

Mark Cannon, © 1989 IRI


where the story of family life of yesteryear will unfold room by room in the Beehive House, the seat of government in early Utah.

For information on these and many other fascinating venues on Temple Square, go to, or call 800-453-3860. © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. PD50020206


The Downtown Ken Garff buliding moves a few blocks to State Street and 300 S.

New Face in Town: Ken Garff


he Ken Garff name has stood over the corner of 400 S and Main Street for years. Since our last issue that building is now home to Washington Federal Credit Union and the Garff logo appeared in a different location. We chatted with Sam Bracken, V.P. of business development for Ken Garff Auto Group and Matt Jensen, VP of marketing, about the move a few blocks north to State and 300 S.



Ken Garff ‘s name has been on the corner of 400 S and Main for years, but moved a few blocks north. Why the move? It’s really just growth-driven. We needed the space as our team continues to grow and also to maintain continuity within teams— we had departments that were scattered across floors and in dealerships. In the new building, we were able to pull those teams back together. Why was it important to keep/expand the offices downtown? We’ve had a presence downtown since the very beginning of the organization, with the


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dealerships on the downtown block where our current Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Alfa Romeo stores are today (and where our Ferrari and Maserati stores will be soon). We feel it important to stay close to our historical roots there, as well as being centrally located for our employees and in relationship to our dealerships across the Wasatch Front. Were you able to add new employees (or additional space) by moving? Yes! We were able to connect our departments better and created an improved working synergy as well as add new positions. What’s one thing that sets Ken Garff apart from other companies - auto or otherwise ? Our Culture - we have amazing people and a great culture. Our focus is to create lifetime customers. That’s an easy thing to say, but harder to execute. We listen to our employees and our customers (hence the “We Hear You” advertising), and through that feedback, treat people right. I

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Some exclusions apply. Visit SLBEES.COM for full details.



411 for Visitors:

City Creek Center: Bustling with new stores & dozens of free summer fitness events


ity Creek Center is welcoming five casual additions to its collection of shops, including locally grown Bronxton and DownEast. Also opening are Zumiez with active lifestyle clothing and accessories, and CoreLife Eatery with their healthy tasty bowls and salads. Australian fast-fashion purveyor Cotton On is also moving across the creek to a new larger location. These new stores follow on the heels of recently opened Lululemon, Evereve and Wetzels Pretzels. City Creek Center General Manager Linda Wardell says the new stores and current trends are decidedly casual. “We have a variety of stores for our variety of shoppers—from downtown residents, to suburban families 14

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and visiting tourists. Demand is high in these shopper segments for ‘ath-leisure’ and other casual fashions.” Wardell says yoga and fitness events attracted thousands of participants last summer. This year, Albion, Athleta, Fabletics, Free People, Lululemon, Nordstrom and Salomon will produce more than 30 free events. It is only logical that a casual healthy restaurant like CoreLife Eatery is also being added to the mix, located between The Gym and the busy food court. “City Creek Center is constantly regenerating,” says Wardell. “It’s the nature of our business. Trends change. Shoppers’ tastes evolve. And we adapt.”

Located in the heart of downtown, City Creek Center is Salt Lake City’s “high street,” with unique-to-market contemporary and luxury brands. Macy’s, Nordstrom and a hundred stores—including 17 eateries—fill two blocks adjacent to Historic Temple Square and the Salt Palace Convention Center. A creek runs through the center and feeds a trout pond on the east block. There are fountain shows at the top of each hour. Huge retractable glass skylights over the shopping gallerias are open during nice weather. Covered, secure parking is abundant and free for the first two hours. City Creek is open Monday through Saturday. Extended summer hours and event details can be found at

New on the Creek: Bronxton Known for casual surf lifestyle clothing, shoes and accessories, the City Creek Center store will also include a barbershop. CoreLife Eatery Green bowls, grain bowls, broth bowls, madefrom-scratch beverages and hearty salads. Cotton On On-trend apparel for men, women and teenagers in a new larger location. DownEast Classic, easeful clothing and accessories with a focus on comfort and value. Zumiez Cutting-edge clothing, footwear, accessories, DVDs, hard goods for skate and snow as well as active lifestyles. I spring / summer 2018

A FANTASTIC WOMAN (2017) Directed by Sebastiรกn Lelio

Film fuels DREAMS, IGNITES conscience, and sparks COMMUNITY.



On The Street with Downtown Ambassadors This new downtown program lends a helping hand to residents, visitors and those experiencing homelessness.


alt Lake City has a history of being a welcoming city: from pioneers offering respite to travelers headed to California during the Gold Rush, to welcoming the world during the Winter Olympics of 2002. Beginning in February, downtown became even friendlier with the launch of a Downtown Ambassador Team. Patrolling downtown in their bright yellow uniforms, they aim to lend a helping hand throughout the capital city. The Downtown Alliance, Salt Lake City & Visit Salt Lake collaborated on bringing the program to life with a three-fold purpose to serve businesses, visitors, residents and members of our community experiencing homelessness: 1. Answer questions about where to go, what to see and what to do for newcomers to downtown, whether they are travelling from other parts of Utah, nationally or internationally. In fact, the number one question the team receives is, “Where do I find ___?” 2. Provide an additional level of safety and security in busier parts of downtown. Our ambassadors are able to communicate with dispatch (just like any other citizen) in case of an emergency. 3. Act as the eyes and ears for our homeless population, to ensure these community members are aware of service providers, and how and where to take advantage of hot meals or a bed, should they choose. Ambassadors are not security officers or police officers: they carry no weapons and are there purely and simply to help. Seth Cole, a native Utahn, has been the


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program manager for the Ambassador team, since they began operations last autumn. Cole brings in a background with civilian management, as well as military experience from six years in the army, together to benefit people. “Patrol routes, radio dialogue and team building were all essential to my time in the army,” says Cole. “I’m grateful to use my skills to help those that need it most and do it in my city. Leading the Ambassador team is an amalgamation of all the talents I’ve accumulated in life.” An ambassador program is a first for Salt Lake City, but similar programs have been successful in other large metropolitan areas, specifically Chicago. In fact, the Salt Lake program is modeled after the Chicago Loop Alliance, including contracting services with StreetsPlus, a national company who specializes in providing ambassador services in several major cities. In just a few short months, Cole and his team can already claim success stories. Take for instance a homeless female (let’s call her “Jane”), who has a serious drug addiction. “We have been speaking with her daily since the launch of the program last fall,” recalls Cole. “Initially resistant to any contact we had with her, she slowly began to warm up. Realizing that we were around everyday, she would occasionally crack a joke, or give us a short wave.” Eventually, “Jane” asked if the ambassadors could get her into rehab. Not only was she ready to accept help, but also to ask for it—a major

breakthrough. Cole and his team immediately gave her the information that she needed. But complications with her lack of a phone, and difficulties in transportation made it impossible for her to do it alone. Cole worked in tandem with SLCPD and Catholic Community Services, and “Jane” was connected to the services she needed. “This is the kind of outcome we work hard for every day—this is why we do this job,” says Cole. “To change people’s lives for the better. I wake up every day knowing that I am helping otherwise strong people to stand up and take control of their lives again.” Up to a dozen ambassadors will be deployed in major pedestrian thoroughfares throughout the summer and fall. Ambassadors will then be visible between 7:30 AM - 11:30 PM, daily. During the winter months, they patrol from 9 to 5:30. I spring / summer 2018

navigator: services see


206 W Nort

Joshua Jay Hatch 42 N Rio Grande St

Barber Shops

• Gateway Aesthetics Institute and Laser Center • Salt Lake Chiropractic Sports & Wellness • Accuscan Health Imaging

Sanctuary Day Spa 18 N Rio Grande St


18 N Rio Grande St

Grocery Stores Automotive Miscellaneous Health Services Clothing Tailors Fitness & Gyms

Studio H20 Salon & Nail 167 S Rio Grande

Estilo Salon 380 W 200 South

Gateway Dental Arts 440 W 200 South Jade Market

Ardeo Salon 353 W 200 South

353 W 200 South

Barbiere 341 W Pierpoint Ave

Tailor Cooperative 335 W Pierpont Ave

Tony Caputo’s Market & D 314 W 300 South

Rebel Cycle 320 W 300 South

Phillips 66 300 W 400 South

New Pathways Recovery and Wellness 435 W 400 South


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Especially For You Flowers 221 W 400 South

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Crossroads Psychotherapy

th Temple



275 E South Temple

Eagle Gate Dental 32 N State

Swinton Counseling 275 E South Temple

Utah Woolen Mills 59 W South Temple

VRx Pharmacy

Rich’s Barbershop

50 E South Temple #145

10 S State

Big O Tires 178 E South Temple

Monarch Dental

The Gym at City Creek


370 E South Temple

51 Main #308

55 S West Temple

Deseret Barber Shop 135 E Social Hall Ave

Top Alterations 36 S State

Rite Aid Pharmacy

H.M. Cole

250 S 200 East

136 E South Temple

Beckett & Robb 150 S Main

Ray’s Barber Shop 154 S Main

185 S State

City Creek Dental 175 S West Temple

Image Eyes Optical

Maverick Headquarters

Downtown Yoga Fest

Downtown Chiropractic & Massage Therapy

239 S Main

250 S 200 East

Metta Mindfulness and Meditation Center 316 W 200 South #108

Salon NV

222 S Main True Gentleman The Bureau

Nick James Hair Salon

281 S Weechquootee Pl

250 S 200 East

City Barbers Happy Nails

241 E 300 South

Market on Main St. 268 S Main

D’Antii LLC


247 E Broadway

Firestone Henrie’s Dry Cleaners

204 E Broadway

223 E 300 South

Mid City Salon

241 E 300 South

235 S Broadway

46 W 300 South

• Peak 45 • Salt Lake Power Yoga

Naga Studio Perry’s Barber Shop

250 E 300 South

350 S 200 East

Broadway Eye Clinic

376 S State

250 E 300 South

Capstone Counseling Center 357 S 200 East

Array Salon

Planet Fitness

375 S Main

175 E 400 South #100

The Parlour 350 S 200 East # 102

SLC Public Library 210 E 400 South

Know about a service we should include on our map? Send it to, and we'll add it to the next edition. spring / summer 2018

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From (L to R) Nchopia Nwokoma, Brad Smith, Trey Ennis, Becca Barratt & Noelle Farr (Seated)

Community, Connection & Coordination What is YPSLC and what do you want to accomplish? Young Professionals Salt Lake City is focused on making sure young professionals in our area have a great Utah experience. Our goal is to connect young professionals with each other and the community through coordinating unique events and activities. YPSLC is a non-profit organization 100% run by a board of young professionals who either moved here for work or have called Utah home for a number of years. We basically live in a postcard: crime rates are relatively low, the cost of living is amazing, if you hate your job you can quickly find a new job, and world class 20

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entertainment and activities are right outside our front door. We have found that if young professionals build friendships and a solid network here, feel connected to local leaders, know where to go and what to do, and engage in projects that impact the community then they are more likely to love living here too. YPSLC has four programs that helps young professionals do just that. •

Young Professionals are able to make new friends and build their network through our Connect! Programming. All Connect! events feature a mingle game that ensures event attendees meet at least 3-5 new people.

Our Elevate! Programming is focused on events that help young professionals gain new knowledge, skills, or advance in their career. Past events have included wine tastings, soft skills workshops, and chats with C-Suite leaders. So many young professionals are unaware of the amazing things to do in Salt Lake City or don’t have anyone to do it with. Through our Experience! Programming, young professionals are able to explore things to do while connecting with people to know in an intimate setting. Experience! events are typically capped at about 25 people. Past events have included a dinner with elected officials and brewery tours. spring / summer 2018

Last but not least is our Give! Programming. Give! is all about giving back to our community. We fundraise for local nonprofits and volunteer in the community. We have done everything from hand out burritos in Pioneer Parks to laying sod in South Salt Lake to holding a karaoke event that allowed us to raise money for Shelter Kids.

professionals in economic development and “placemaking” initiatives, which reimagine public spaces to improve residents’ health, happiness and wellbeing. Newaukee was able to assist in changing the perception of Milwaukee from a manufacturing town to a city with a vibrant arts & culture scene.

Ultimately, we want to make sure every young professional wants to live here and never leave.

These cities are now seeing an influx of global businesses wanting to have a presence in the state and the willingness of young professionals wanting to continue to reside in the state or relocate to the area to fill jobs.

How have these organizations been successful in other cities? Similar organizations have been very successful in other cities, even if they had less to work with. Young professional organizations have led the charge in attracting young professional to cities we were not originally interested in living in. Great examples are Milwaukee’s Newaukee, Oklahoma’s TYPROS, and Ohio’s CYPCLUB.

What should young professionals care about joining your organization? Young professionals should care about joining YPSLC because we are a one stop shop for all a young professional’s needs. Bare minimum, YPSLC can assist a young professional in expanding their network. The area becomes so small and goals become so much easier to achieve when you have a strong network.

TYPROS does things like funds programs that engage young

Hundreds of young professionals are currently using YPSLC to build solid

connections with others who will gone on to become future business and community leaders in our state. Where do you see YPSLC in five years? In five years’ time we will have empowered other young professionals to use our model and create similar organizations across Utah. Point of the Mountain Area is booming and the young professionals who reside there due to the tech industry have needs that need to be addressed. How do you see Downtown fitting into your long term objectives? The Downtown Alliance has been a valued early partner in helping us achieve our goals while making sure downtown is a place young professionals want to be. For example: When a child finds a great playground, they beg their parents to take them there. When a young professional finds a great playground, they take themselves there. We ultimately want young professionals to “take” themselves to our playground regardless of if they are already living in Utah or residing outside of the state. I

170 South Main Street Salt Lake City, UT 84101 SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FILM INVEST IN SLFS

Support your home for independent film at

hours: M-F 7am-3pm

Orders: (801) 355-2400

with The Bourbon Group




hen guests step into Whiskey Street off Salt Lake’s downtown Main Street, they are instantly transported to a land where as many as 150 whiskeys from around the world come together in a warm, welcoming environment with southerninspired food that holds its own. Housed in a grand old building from the early 1900s, Whiskey Street takes its name from the stretch of road it now resides on. Designated as Whiskey Street by Brigham Young, the area between 200 and 400 South once housed the saloons, breweries, billiard clubs and parlor houses of the city where gentiles were able to quench their thirst. With an eye to history and a sense of what could be, Whiskey Street became the second undertaking of The Bourbon Group—but the one that was destined to make locals and visitors stand up and take notice. “I wanted to build a bar that would rival any great bar in any big city in this country,” explains Jason LeCates, managing partner with The Bourbon Group, which also owns Bourbon House in the bottom of the Walker Building and Whiskey Street’s next-door neighbor, White Horse. Having spent several years working in the liquor industry in Seattle, LeCates took all the things he saw Salt Lake was missing at the time—a lack of appreciation for a great back bar and a huge wall

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consistently. I also wanted to focus on the food being able to pair well with whiskey and bourbon.” Diners at Whiskey Street will find that not only does every item on the menu suggest a spirit pairing, but they will also find beer and wine matches, too. In this formula, The Bourbon Group has solidified what their brand stands for, described by LeCates as, “Matt’s cuisine, a great whiskey selection and craft cocktails.” of fine whiskey and other spirits—and put them all together to craft Whiskey Street. The results, he says, “made our guests feel like they were in a bar you’d see in Boston or New York City.”

Bourbon House blends a speakeasystyle space with a contemporary dining menu.

Now celebrating its fifth year of operation, LeCates is still gratified by Utahns’ initial response to the completed project. “Our customers were so stoked and proud that Salt Lake had grown up a bit with the opening of Whiskey Street.” And grow it did. Almost immediately, Whiskey Street became a standing-room-only affair on the weekends with patrons queuing behind the 72-foot-long cherry wood bar for a selection from the impressive spirits collection on display. But the real surprise behind Whiskey Street might be the food. “Even though we’re primarily a bar, we always focus just as much on food as we do drinks,” states LeCates. And convention goers, business people and locals of every stripe have gotten the message, flocking to the bar for lunch, dinner, latenight and brunch outings on a regular basis. The Bourbon Group’s Executive Chef Matt Crandall has full creative control and direction at Whiskey Street and each restaurant within The Bourbon Group. “I wanted to have a little Southern influence without it being a Southern-style menu,” Crandall says of Whiskey Street’s concept. “I wanted it to be a place people could dine at comfortably and 24

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Crandall’s inspiration behind all of The Bourbon Group’s menus comes from his grandfather, who founded Hires Big H—a Utah food institution. “His philosophy was always fresh, quality ingredients done in-house. We use that philosophy; and if we can make it in house, we will. That’s why we take the time to cure and smoke our meats, make ketchup, etc., and do whatever we can to make or use the best product available.” Whether guests are sharing the decadent deviled eggs filled with creamy pimento cheese yolks dressed with crispy double-smoked bacon and pickled mustard seed that’s finished with bourbon-smoked paprika and fresh chive, or diving into the roasted corn crab chowder studded with roasted corn and vegetables along with fresh crab and a flourish of smoked paprika oil… each dish is memorable in its execution and flavor profile. “My favorite item on the menu is the bourbon buffalo chili,” Crandall says. “I could eat it every day. It has black beans, buffalo, three types of roasted chilies, bourbon, and then is topped with fontina and cilantro crème fraiche.” What’s clear is that Whiskey Street doesn’t serve typical bar food, yet there’s still something for everyone here. Whereas the short rib grilled cheese will melt even the most ruthless businessman’s façade, the bourbon and coke meatloaf could charm its way into any grandma’s heart. spring / summer 2018

And even for visitors who want only to enjoy a dram or a cocktail, there’s still bourbon bacon caramel popcorn or curried cashews, Moroccan-spiced peanuts and pecans for snacking. Appreciated from a towering booth along the north wall or the open-air patio at the entrance, the care and thought of every design decision at Whiskey Street—from the inclusion of more than 20 different woods into the interior to the careful curation of quality spirits—has placed the establishment at the forefront of Utah’s growing bar scene and resulted in its tremendous popularity among locals and visitors. However, the truth is that Whiskey Street still might never have come to be without the help of Vasilios Priskos—a real estate developer who served as The Bourbon Group’s landlord and ultimately a beloved community leader and champion of downtown Salt Lake City.

Whiskey Street helped bring new life to Main Street with one of the state’s largest selection of fine and rare whiskies.

“Vasilios Priskos was hands down one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. If it wasn’t for Vasilios’ faith in me, Whiskey Street would have never happened, at least in that space,” recalls LeCates. “We needed that type of space to create what we did. When we approached Vasilios and Eric Fuhrman about leasing the space they had already accepted a letter of intent from another tenant. Vasilios saw our vision and knew we’d be successful. Not only did he like our concept, he knew it was a great thing for Main Street. I miss him a great deal. He loved this city very much.” Like Priskos and LaCates himself, Whiskey Street and The Bourbon Group have brought marked change to not only one block of Main Street in downtown Salt Lake, but to Utah’s culture as a whole. “Whiskey Street taught us that people in Utah were starting to demand the absolute highest quality in every aspect of their drinking and dining experience,” LeCates concludes. And that’s something we can all raise a glass to. I

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Neighboring White Horse Kitchen has upped the ante for cocktail bars and gourmet dining under one roof.





ou have two options: either you can go to jail, or we can check you into a treatment facility.

Law enforcement officers found themselves laying out these options to

hundreds of individuals in the Rio Grande Neighborhood last August after crime, violence and general lawlessness hit a tipping point. Open air drug dealing, criminal mischief, violence against homeless individuals and other nefarious activities were all too common sights for anyone who happened to be in the area. Largely stemming from a combination of mental health problems, an affordable housing shortage and a nationwide opioid crisis, the state of 500 West was comparable to the fictional setting of Baltimore’s Hamsterdam in HBO’s crime series “The Wire”. To add fuel to the fire, jail beds were sparse and arrests were reserved only for the most violent offenders. Law enforcement’s hands were cuffed as members of a drug cartel continued to prey upon a vulnerable population. The boiling point came in the summer of 2017 as a string of homicides and shootings rocked the Rio Grande neighborhood. Leaders from the state, city and county teamed up with local service providers and the police to come up with a plan to remedy the unsustainable

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situation on 500 West. What transpired was an unprecedented three-step, multiagency effort that would help transform the neighborhood. Nearly 10 months into Operation Rio Grande, we caught up with four individuals who have been directly affected and involved in the operation to understand the changes that have happened in the neighborhood. Wendell Ribera - Odyssey House Also known as “the block” by its residents, the Rio Grande neighborhood served as a haven for those suffering from drug addictions as well as those who were simply down on their luck. Among those suffering from addiction was Wendell Ribera. “During my time on the block, we did what we wanted, when we wanted, how we wanted to. Nobody could say or do anything, not even the cops.” Wendell had been living in the neighborhood for two years before Operation Rio Grande started. Like many of its residents, Wendell was addicted to heroin, downtown the magazine


“It was to a point where some of our employees even had knives pulled on them,” said Matthew Melville, who serves as the homeless services director for Catholic Community Services. “It can be a depressing place down here; people will reach for whatever they can get to cut the pain. The dealers were always here to prey upon our clients and those who were down on their luck.” The services that Melville and his team provide are key for individuals who want to take the first step towards leaving homelessness. With a drive-thru drug trade and violence at their actual doorstep, most individuals and employees were hesitant to enter the neighborhood. “We had families down here that wouldn’t even dare walk across the street to go to the Road Home. People would say, ‘Hey, do you work here? Can you walk me over?’... because it was just that bad.”

which was always readily available. A father of two children, Wendell was a graduate of the Odyssey House, where he had already worked on his addiction. After a string of bad luck, Wendell fell into to using once again. “I had sold everything. I lost our house, our car and before I was about to become completely homeless, I found a place for my kids to live. Starting that night and over the course of the next two years, I indulged heavily in my criminal behaviors. I was shoplifting and robbing so that I could use.” Going in and out of jail was just part of the routine for many including Wendell, but the threat of arrest didn’t stop them from scoring drugs on a daily basis. “I was probably on my 20th arrest down there; and I knew if I wanted to ever have a chance at being a father again, I had to get sober.” After encouragement from his Odyssey House peers and one final arrest in which Wendell was offered treatment or serious jail time, he chose to return to the Odyssey House. “I knew if I didn’t take it (the treatment), I could die out there and never see my kids again.” While he chose treatment as his way out, Wendell says he wasn’t too sure about 28

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Operation Rio Grande when it started. “I hated it and I was outraged, but I think that came from me being resistant to the help I needed.” In the months that Wendell has become clean, his perspective has changed. “I know there’s a lot of good people down there suffering and I hope they get the help they need, so I’m all for it. I know the people behind the curtains are rooting for us.” Now, well over 100 days sober and working as an Onboarding Coordinator for the Odyssey House, Wendell looks to keep moving forward. He hopes to eventually return to school, continue his work and see his kids. Matthew Melville - Catholic Community Services Situated in the heart of the Rio Grande neighborhood, the Weigand Center and St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall serve about 450 people experiencing homelessness every day. Providing shelter from the elements, holding job training and dishing out lunch and dinner are just a few of the services they offer to help individuals get back on their feet. When problems were at their worst, employees and people seeking services often feared for their safety.

But, that was then, and this is now. Thanks to a “safe space” road closure created by the operation, visitors of the Road Home and Weigand Center are using the shelters at a higher rate. “We’re averaging about 100 extra people a day that we wouldn’t have seen before the operation.” Melville credits this to the Operation Rio Grande efforts. “What we have now is a culture of compliance. The neighborhood has been completely transformed. I’m not offered drugs anymore, and violence has been cut down a lot.” While there have been visible and quantifiable improvements in the neighborhood, there is still plenty of work and healing that remains. “We need more funding for treatment beds, and we need to continue the dignity of work phase. We’ve been hyper focused on jobs and housing down here.” Phase three of Operation Rio Grande focuses on exactly that. The Dignity of Work phase prepares individuals for the workplace through workshops, education and ultimately job placement. In addition to continuing the efforts that have taken place already, Melville stressed the importance of public support by underscoring that this is a community-wide issue, not downtown’s alone. “There are many different ways the community can give. You can give time, money or simply by going to your community council meetings and staying informed.” spring / summer 2018

Sergeant Sam Wolf - Salt Lake City Police Department When Sergeant Sam Wolf patrols 500 West, he does so by calling its residents by their names and nicknames. “Hey Widow, is there anything we can do for you today? Edie, is there any chance we can connect you with services?” It’s safe to say that few know the Rio Grande Neighborhood quite like Sergeant Wolf does. Before being promoted to Sergeant of the Community Intelligence Unit, Wolf served as the head of the SLCPD Bike Squad. His team was based out of the Community Connection Center directly across the street from the Road Home shelter on 500 West. Before Operation Rio Grande, there was little police could do to enforce the law and help those who needed it. Jail space was at a premium with beds reserved solely for the most violent offenders. This often left police without the power of arrest, opting instead to writing a ticket or arresting and releasing. Wolf says things have changed dramatically. “Out here, there were no rules,” Wolf says. “I used to go up and down 5th west every day, and I’d count 100-plus makeshift shelters and tents. Now, it’s about 10 to 15. The reduction has been huge, and you can see it.” Wolf attributes this reduction in the population to additional funds and officers from Operation Rio Grande, as well as the combination of arresting criminals who took advantage of the homeless population and providing proper services to those who need them. Officers and social workers can now

better identify needs of new clients, shelterresistant individuals and criminal elements in the neighborhood. The neighborhood certainly appears safer, but is it? Crime in the neighborhood is down a staggering 48 percent in the last year to date. Paired together, the numbers and visuals don’t lie. For Wolf and his team, less crime means more time to help. “One of our social workers told me about an individual we’ve met with and offered services to 56 times. Finally, on the 57th time, they accepted help.” More help is on the way with preventative programs and three new needs-based resource centers that will open around the Salt Lake Valley in 2019. Matt Bourgeois - Rio Grande Cafe From ghostly tales of the purple lady, to the taco lady and the toy railroad tracks that hover over the bar, Rio Grande Cafe has been a staple in the downtown food community since Pete Henderson opened up shop in 1981. Now under new ownership, the cafe has experienced the highs and lows of the neighborhood while maintaining their traditional Mexican fare. When Matt Bourgeois and his partners purchased the Rio Grande Cafe a year ago, the state of the neighborhood would have scared away most investors. However, Bourgeois knew that the neighborhood had major potential. “We thought we’d have to deal with the situation down here for about two, maybe three years before it would improve. When we bought this place the optics were terrible, you’d park in your car and step over needles just to get into the restaurant.” Two years turned into less than one, and the results of the operation have been beneficial for the restaurant and its neighbors. “I’ve talked to some of the individuals who are staying at the shelter and they feel safer, we feel safer—so from our perspective down here it’s been a huge win.” When Bourgeois thinks about the future of the neighborhood, a smile comes over his face as if he knows something the rest of us have yet to find out. “There’s $8 million going into a neighboring hotel, $100 million into The Gateway, and we have the proposed Public Market. I’m excited—this should be one of SLC’s best neighborhoods, and I think it will be.” I

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Salt Lake County Initiatives: Expungement Day - On April 5, 2018, eligible individuals removed past criminal history from their personal records, making it easier to obtain jobs, housing and education. 73 applicants were served. Sober Living Voucher Program - Seven sober living residences will provide safe, affordable housing for approximately 150 people who are in addiction recovery and actively seeking work. Transportation Pilot Program - Many jobs that Operation Rio Grande clients are getting are not reachable via public transportation. Thanks to a van and gas donation from the LDS Church, employees will be shuttled from their housing directly to their places of employment.

How You Can Help: Serve a meal at St. Vincent de Paul. Contact and check under the volunteer tab. If you see something, say something! Please do not give to panhandlers. Help them more by giving directly to homeless service providers. Learn more about Operation Rio Grande at operationriogrande. Turn spare change into real change at Red HOST (Homeless Outreach Service Team) parking meters around Downtown SLC. Volunteer at resource centers. Stay informed by going to your community council meetings.

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l fresco dining in downtown will get a taste of old world charm as Caffé Molise and BTG Wine Bar open the doors to their new location at the historic Eagle Building this summer. Partners Fred Moesinger and Aimee Sterling purchased the building, commonly referred to as “the Bay” by locals, after a three-year search for a downtown location to fit the needs of their established, popular businesses. The restaurant and wine bar’s current location is slated for future redevelopment, necessitating a move. With the purchase and renovation of the Eagle


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Building, Fred and Aimee are creating an iconic gathering space that blends the building’s neo-renaissance style with the celebrated fresh Italian cuisine, warm service and a bright future. A Tall Order to Update a Historic Building The Eagle Building had sat for some time in disrepair, and Moesinger’s excitement is palpable as the challenging project approaches the finish line. “It’s a grand old place,” says Moesinger. “Aimee and I are

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excited to be restoring it to its former glory. We’ve been looking to buy a building for over three years, but nothing we saw met all of our needs.” It was important for Moesinger and Sterling to have a downtown location, a building with charm and also a patio—their current patio on 100 South was routinely voted a top patio in the city. “We feel fortunate to have found all those qualities in the Eagle Building,” says Moesinger. “Our business has grown, thanks to the support of our customers over the last 25 years, and we look forward to better serve them in our new space.” The Eagle Building has immense historical significance to the city, listed on both the Salt Lake City Landmark List and the National Historic Register. Upgrades to the building require design review to preserve the historical integrity of the space. The building is chock full of fine details and grand features that characterize its neo-renaissance style, with a nod to Italian roots. Visible markers of the style are the grand staircase, arched windows and openings, exposed brick, Egyptian-style pillars, and its three stories separated by horizontal ‘belts.’ Renovations Moesinger and Sterling had to make include adding an elevator for improved ADA access and service, landscaping and design of the balconies and patio for outdoor seating, and creating separate commercial kitchens for the dedicated menus at each business. The grand staircase on West Temple leads to the main dining room for Caffé Molise; and BTG Wine Bar’s separate entrance on 400 South, under the original antique awning, descends to the three-quarter basement. The upper level includes space for expanded seating, private events and banquets. With a grand patio and two balconies designed with shade and natural finishes, outdoor dining will be available to both restaurant and wine bar patrons. This promises to be an incredible space to while away the summer nights. Maintaining A Storied History When it comes to bringing people together over food and drinks, the Eagle Building has a long and varied history in Salt Lake spring / summer 2018

City. Built from 1915 – 1916 to house the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the building was designed by renowned architect Niels Edward Liljenberg. The Order was a social club founded by theater owners in Seattle for those working in the industry to organize, recreate and party while touring the country’s theater cities. Eagle buildings appeared across the country in cities with vibrant theater scenes, including Salt Lake City—home to 12 operating independent theaters, including the Orpheum, Utah Theater and Capitol Theatre. While the Order worked on timely issues, such as labor laws and medical services, it was also known for boisterous parties frequented by touring Vaudeville actors. One can imagine the scene here as the night unfolded with flowing drinks, dancing, card games and underground boxing matches. The Fraternal Order of the Eagles left the building during the Great Depression, then from the 1950s – 1980s, it was home to Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company. In the 1990s, the building went through a major renovation becoming the Bay, followed by a decade of revolving dance clubs. Remember Club Vortex and the swimming pool built for Club Splash? Before Fred and Aimee purchased the building, it sat vacant for several years, a ghost of good times past lurking on the corner of 400 South and West Temple. The Eagle Building was not originally a standalone building, as it was part of a vibrant city block, across the street from the famed Newhouse Hotel. The building is a rare survivor from that block and a colorful era in Salt Lake City history. “We are thrilled to see the building renovated and readapted for new use,” David Amott, preservation

programs director of Preservations Utah notes. “Improving the future of the building adds to the color and context of the city.” Menus The core menu at Caffé Molise will remain the same, featuring fresh Italian cuisine inspired by the Molise region of central and southern Italy. Look for daily and seasonal specials to supplement the existing offerings. With a commitment to local ingredients and handmade regional specialties, the restaurant has welcomed casual diners, convention goers and groups celebrating special occasions for 25 years in Downtown SLC. BTG Wine Bar will be able to spread its wings and expand offerings in this new location. A Wine Spectator-recognized bar, BTG Wine Bar has an incredible selection of wines managed by sommelier Louis Koppel. Wine is offered by the two-ounce taste, by the glass or by the bottle, in addition to a full bar with crafted cocktails and beer. This is Salt Lake City’s grown-up place to relax for wine snobs and novices alike. In its new space, BTG will have a dedicated kitchen offering an expanded menu of bites and meals. The additional space will host wine pairing dinners, tasting events and wine education. With construction nearly complete and finishing touches coming together, the project is slated to open this summer. Join the locals and visitors gathering here to embrace old world cuisine in a building brimming with old world charm. May we raise our glasses with a celebratory “Saluti” and enjoy the pleasantries of a Salt Lake City summer night. I CAFFÉ MOLISE M-TH 11:30 AM – 9 PM F-SA 11:30 AM – 10 PM SUN 11:30 AM – 9 PM 801-364-8833 CAFFEMOLISE.COM BTG WINE BAR EVERY DAY, 5 PM – 1 AM 801-359-2814 BTGWINEBAR.COM 404 S. WEST TEMPLE

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BROOKE ELIASON @FEMALEFOODIE Salt Lake City native Brooke Eliason is the founder of Female Foodie (, a restaurant review blog where she and her team of foodies share the best places to eat in major metropolitan areas across the country. When she isn’t eating out, Brooke loves hiking, running and immersing herself in a great book. Her favorite foods are pizza, anything brunch, and chocolatecovered cinnamon bears.


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“If you’re looking for a beautiful patio space paired with excellent food in the heart of Salt Lake City, dining at Pallet is an absolute must. Opened just over five years ago, Pallet provides a one-of-a-kind dining experience with their focus on high quality ingredients and a seasonally changing menu. Their patio, situated directly on Pierpont Ave, is shaded comfortably by surrounding trees and exudes a calming industrial feel with reclaimed wood, brick exteriors and cool concrete surfaces for dining. Executive Chef Zachary ‘Buzz’ Wiley has curated a

menu for his new American restaurant over the years that is both comforting yet inventive, serving dishes that are nothing less than innovative and memorable. Appetizers range from their truffle yukon potatoes to succulent pork belly to a refreshing farmer’s salad. Pair one or two of those with a beautifully composed charcuterie board in preparation for your main course. Entrees feature fish, poultry, and vegetarian options, but one of the most popular is the Sous Vide Elk rubbed in Moroccan oil, served with cured olives, persimmon puree, carrots and sunchokes. Perfect for date night for two or an evening out with friends, the patio dining experience at Pallet is hard to beat.”

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COPPER ONION “Even though we’ve had a fairly mild winter, it’s always nice when the weather turns warmer and we have a beautiful springtime in the Rocky Mountains to enjoy. Along with the warmer weather is a chance to relish all the outdoor patios that downtown SLC has to offer. One of my favorite patios will always be Copper Onion. Sunday brunch at Copper Onion is truly exceptional, and everything I’ve eaten there is of top-notch flavor and quality. I’m slightly obsessed with their huevos rancheros, and I have a difficult time ordering any other brunch entrée. Their pulled pork is always so flavorful, and the tomatillo sauce spring / summer 2018

with the black beans, eggs and corn tortilla complement it all perfectly. Copper Onion’s homemade cinnamon roll with rich, cream cheese frosting is essentially to die for and another one of my favorites. On the healthier side, I also really enjoy the fruit bowl topped with creamy, whipped ricotta and honey. A perfect Sunday morning for me is outdoor brunch at Copper Onion, and then heading next door to catch an indie film at the Broadway Centre Theatre. The urban, chic atmosphere of Copper Onion’s patio is perfect for soaking up some springtime sunshine and enjoying a delicious meal.”

CINDY ENGLAND @UTFOODIE Cindy England, aka UTfoodie, tastes and posts about her favorite foods throughout Utah, with a focus in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. She helped start two companies, one in NYC and one in Brazil, and received her MBA from the University of Utah. As a native to Utah, Cindy grew up in a small town in Southern Utah, lived on the East Coast for nearly 10 years and now spends her time primarily raising her two children back here in Utah.

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CURRENT FISH & OYSTER “Current Fish & Oyster’s modern and minimalist patio is the place to see and be seen in Salt Lake once the weather warms. Designed with the diverse needs of al fresco diners in mind, Current’s outdoor seating area offers a multitude of sensory experiences.

HEATHER L. KING @SLCLUNCHES A Utah native with Eastern roots, Heather writes about food and culture in Utah and beyond. A lover of travel, critic of food and supporter of the good life, she reviews restaurants for The Salt Lake Tribune, explores the food and travel scene at and covers the finer things in life for theutahreview. com. She is the founder of Utah Ladies Who Lunch and proud Great Dane owner.


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Start with the gentle breezes that idle through the historic corner property. Enjoy them from a sunny or shady spot as you settle in to socialize with friends over lavender swizzles and Current Manhattans. Planter boxes filled with intriguing colors and textures and ornamental trees offer conversation starters as well as

separation from the bustling downtown corridor of 3rd and 3rd. Dive into a decadent seafood cobb salad or a dramatically plated grilled calamari while surveying the neighborhood from the secluded comfort of the expansive brick-lined seating area. If quiet romance is in order, ask for a corner spot perfect for a hushed conversation over a platter of iced oysters on the half shell. Whatever your gastronomic and/or conversational needs might be, Current’s relaxed and airy patio caters to them— making dining here a pleasure.” I spring / summer 2018

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3/19/2018 11:01:59 AM

Defining art is a tricky business, as art resonates differently with each of us. This refusal to be classified is the power of art: it’s what keeps us intrigued and coming back for more. Downtown is Utah’s cultural axis for three reasons:

THE QUALITY DIVERSITY ABUNDANCE OF ARTISTIC EXPERIENCES OFFERED BY OUR CREATIVE CLASS This section showcases four local dance companies, a new mural in the downtown landscape, and a spotlight on the legacy and festivals of Japantown–thoughtfully curated by our resident Artistic Director, Tyler Bloomquist. spring / summer 2018

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The Nature of Wisdom “The Nature of Wisdom” incorporates binaries and allegories to explore the paradoxical quality of man’s relationship with his natural world and nature’s relationship with itself. A tiny owl sits huge upon the wall, in real life one of the smallest owls in the states, now he is larger than any owl. His importance and thus the importance of nature is literally enlarged. The branch the owl is perched upon is shattering and blowing across the wall, symbolic of the delicate state of our environment and the changing nature of all things. In direct reference to the city in which the work is painted, the branch is made of abstract shapes inspired by the salt crystals of the Bonneville Salt Flats. This is also a reference to how we historically have interacted with our world and how the harvesting of resources can affect the creatures around us. The importance of nature is undeniable. “The Nature of Wisdom” aims to inspire us to consider the gathering of our wisdom in relationship to how we live in harmony with the world around us. –Yvette Vexta



he art tingle. That spark you feel after taking part in one of Salt Lake City’s many local creative outlets: the resonance of music washing over you, goosebumps from a live performance, the adrenaline from creating something with your own hands. Its most common side effect: questioning why you don’t do it more often. When friends Joy Haynes and Steven Labrum were lamenting there wasn’t enough creativity in their lives, they knew drastic measures needed to be taken to hold each other accountable to stay inspired. Committed to keeping proverbial creative “irons” in the fire, the duo decided to create and execute three projects that would enable them to produce, promote, and discover art and culture in Salt Lake City. The “3 Irons” projects was born. But, with that art tingle still running strong, they decided to up the ante on their endeavor and, on April 1, 2017, took on the challenge of completing 50 projects in a single year. Living and working downtown, Joy and Steven say, “Downtown SLC has unique value for us.” With the 3 Irons headquarters nestled inside Impact Hub, the duo find inspiration amidst the density of creativity. Taking advantage of the abundance of businesses, arts, restaurants and bars, visitors, and ideas, they see that, “it takes a mix of diverse people congregating in a focused space for experimentation and bold ideas to blossom.” Building off this collaborative energy, 3 Irons focuses on art and culture in Salt Lake City. This past year they took on the commitment to complete 50 creative projects within the course of a year and spring / summer 2018

promoted their “50 Irons” project primarily through social media. These projects included collaborations with a wide variety of artists and institutions including the Utah Symphony and UMOCA. Dustin Haggett, Co-founder of Impact Hub, asked 3 Irons if they would be willing to take on a mural project as one of their projects. With no experience in mural production, this was exactly the type of challenge the duo wanted to tackle. Deciding who could paint the large-scale mural was step one. The duo started with a simple three-step strategy to find the right artist: 1. Does the artist have big wall experience? 2. Do we like their past work? 3. Budget and availability. “We started by getting a book of mural art in Melbourne, one of the street art capitals of the world. We both went through the book of about 300 different pieces, and each chose examples we loved. We had three that crossed-over,” they explain. “We looked the artists up online and saw they seemed to meet our criteria. We reached out to each artist to see what it might take to pull off our ‘little’ project. And, voila, Vexta!” A self-taught street artist/stencil artist from Sydney, Australia, Vexta’s bold and extravagant artworks have invaded exhibitions and visual landscapes across the world. Describing herself as a nomad of our modern times, her work explores science, cosmology, mythology, life/death and the feminine, through juxtaposing animal and human forms amid her symbolic, geometric shards. Next, pitch to the owner of the building: Andy Renfro. “Without his blessing, there

was no way this was going to happen. In this case, we really lucked out,” Joy and Steven say. “Andy is someone who loves art, architecture and renovating old buildings. We pitched him on the idea of trying to get a mural done and shared some of Vexta’s past work with him. It was not a hard sell to convince him of the value and opportunity to have this gigantic piece of art in the middle of downtown, and at such a highly visible place. He was open-minded and willing to help.” With an artist, a wall and a supportive owner, it was time to get to work. 3 Irons invited Vexta to visit Salt Lake—to “take a look around, see the street art in town and to take into consideration what she thought about the technical, logistical, and physical hurdles.” She was introduced to Dana Hernandez, public art program manager for the Salt Lake City Arts Council and Lia Summers, senior advisor for art & culture to Mayor Jackie Biskupski. The two gave her a tour of street art in Salt Lake, taking in examples of both new and historic mural work downtown. Feeling confident, Vexta returned home to Brooklyn to begin her creative process, and 3 Irons got to work on logistics. With a fresh black canvas and full artistic license, the artist returned in early September 2017, and in 10 days—with two different booms along with mechanical failures, scorching heat, and rain—The Nature of Wisdom was completed. “We cannot fail to mention that we had to fundraise to get this project done. We were very fortunate to receive financial support from Andy Renfro, Rheda Fouad & Amy Leininger, Richter7, and the Eva Carlston Academy,” Joy and Steven emphasize. “These private individuals and companies stepped up to support art for the public to enjoy.” downtown the magazine


When asked how the mural complements the history of downtown murals, the duo says they don’t know that they can answer that question. “We will leave that one to the historians! We are just excited to be a positive part of adding more to the landscape.” Speaking to planned sunset times for murals, Joy and Steven say, “This is an idea with great merit. Street Art has a tradition of being in rotation, of being something married to a moment, of being contemporary.”

Top: photo of wall before painting by Vexta. Above: Instagram Photo by @Tag_PDX

With new color being added to the downtown landscape, Joy and Steven say, “It has been our experience that more private property owners are interested in including murals and art in their space. Several people have asked us about our experience and what we might suggest since Vexta’s project went up.” Staying true to their mission to support local artists, they identify the challenge of business and building owners wanting their wall(s) painted, but for free. The duo says, “There should be a vision to support the arts by both offering up the real estate


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and providing adequate funding to cover both the costs of equipment and materials and the valuable time of the artists involved.” They believe private entities will have to step up to the plate here, stating, “public funding for the arts is something that is always in short supply—not to mention that the decision-making process for public spaces is challenging and time consuming.” Looking towards the immediate future, 3 Irons is focused on completing their goal of 50 projects, with an end date of March 31, 2018. Rest assured, they have no plans of stopping at just 50. “Ultimately, we choose to live urban because we want to be in the thick of it with our fellowhumans of all types. We love the convenience of having our shopping, entertainment, dining and nightlife all within walking distance,” they say. With a shared vision of building the Salt Lake of tomorrow through more public art, opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, affordable spaces and resources, as well as engaging street life, we couldn’t agree more. Feel that tingle yet? I spring / summer 2018

June 21-24


Japantown History and Heritage on 100 South

Above: Japanese Church of Christ Garden. At right: Sign in front of Japanese Church of Christ. Below: Front of Salt Lake Buddhist Temple.


he street signs on the sleepy corridor of 100 South between 300 West and 200 West read “Japantown.” This corridor is home to the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, the Japanese Church of Christ—who are celebrating their 100th anniversary, the vibrant Nihon Matsuri, Obon, and other street festivals, and a small, meditative Japanese-style garden. But what these street signs don’t convey is the long history and struggle of the neighborhood they mark, as the current iteration of Salt Lake’s Japantown has seen many changes to the downtown community they have called home for more than 130 years. In the late 1880s, Utah received its first generation of Japanese immigrants—known as Issei—who answered the call for labor demands in Utah’s mining and railroads industries. In 1902, Edward Daigoro established the E.D. Hashimoto Company one block north of what would become Japantown. Daigoro provided coordination between Utah industries and Japanese laborers, also providing the Issei with various supplies, Japanese food, payroll, and intermediary services with the local government. By 1910, the Utah Japanese population was more than 2,000 strong, and many families made their way to Daigoro’s emerging Salt Lake City neighborhood. This area, defined


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by the boundaries of South Temple to State Street, 400 South to 700 West, quickly developed as the core of the Issei community. The neighborhood boasted noodle houses, hotels, bustling cafes, apartments, bath houses, variety stores, grocery stores, confectioners and fish markets. 1912 saw the construction of Salt Lake’s first Buddhist temple, located at 250 West South Temple and, in 1918, the Japanese Church of Christ was built across the street. Two newspapers—The Utah Nippo and Rocky Mountain Times—served the Japanese community, offering both Christian and Buddhist perspectives. The Utah Nippo bought the Rocky Mountain Times, and in 1931, began publishing the front page in English to accommodate the Nisei, or second-generation residents, who were becoming less fluent in the Japanese language. World War II Community Impacts Before World War II, the residents of Japantown developed a strong, compassionate community that continued to grow, thrive, and benefit Salt Lake. But this environment drastically changed, as the American mindset was altered after the actions of World War II, with the adoption of policies that had major impact on the community of Japantown. As some families were able to stay in their

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homes, though under intense F.B.I. scrutiny, many of Japantown’s community leaders were harassed, detained, and sent to internment camps. The Topaz internment camp in Millard County was home to approximately 8,000 Japanese persons. The community in Salt Lake’s Japantown empathetically donated thousands of dollars in books, equipment and resources for educating the children interned at Topaz. Under federal orders, both the advocacy organization Japanese American Citizens League ( J.A.C.L.) and the headquarters of the Buddhist Missions of North America, originally based in California, temporarily found refuge in Salt Lake. This atmosphere also saw The Utah Nippo develop as a crucial voice for Japanese Americans across the country, having wide distribution among internment camps and more than 7,000 subscribers in peak war years. Life after Topaz saw many Japanese—previously living in California—joining the community in Japantown, as well as a number of the soldiers from the U.S. Army’s majority Japanese 442nd Infantry Regiment who, while being treated in Utah hospitals, experienced the hospitality of this community. In 1950, the first of the Issei received their American citizenship. As new generations of Japanese Americans found themselves engrained in communities throughout Salt Lake City, these Issei remained the primary residents of a neighborhood still housing bustling retail shops and two cultural hubs—the Buddhist and Christian churches. With urban renewal on the minds of Salt Lake developers in 1964, a bond to build a new Salt Palace was publically approved. The identified corridor for the new development was in the heart of Japantown, a dense and bustling area home to many cafes, social clubs, apartments, businesses, markets, hotels and a movie theatre. Preservation committees formed with the interest of protecting the neighborhood, but ultimately could not gain enough support to save

Japantown or influence developers and city leaders to find an alternate location. The construction of the new Salt Palace displaced many residents and businesses of Japantown and ultimately destroyed their vibrant community and sense of identity and belonging. Plans to reestablish and support the newly displaced community and businesses—such as Salt Lake City developing a “Little Tokyo” or the local JapaneseAmerican community establishing a Far East Cultural Center—never materialized, causing those displaced to either start over in new parts of Salt Lake or close their businesses permanently. Japantown Recognition Fast-forward 40 years and Japantown finally received some deserved recognition. In 2007, the corridor of 100 South between 300 West and 200 West was ceremoniously named “Japantown Street” and, located east of the Japanese Church of Christ, a small, Japanese-style garden paying homage to Japanese community leaders was included in the Salt Palace expansion of that same year. Though it’s vitality can never be restored, as further Salt Palace development has squeezed the areas around both Japantown churches, community leaders are working to advocate for and reimagine Japantown. Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, and retired 3rd District Judge Ray Uno formed the Japanese Community Preservation Committee to preserve the legacy, contributions and voice of Japantown, and to ensure that this history is respected as new commercial and residential developments in this area pose a possible further encroachment upon both the Buddhist and Christian churches and the future of their Nihon Matsuri and Obon street festivals. Obon & Nihon Matsuri Celebrations In 1936, at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, the community held its first Obon celebration. The Obon holiday is a Japanese Festival of Joy similar to Memorial Day, with people visiting their hometowns, their families and the graves of loved ones. This first celebration united the local Japanese population, attracted outside interest, and raised funds for community projects. Now in its 82nd year, this free, annual tradition—taking place this year on July 14th—will feature Japanese food, vendor booths selling kimonos, umbrellas and other Japanese items from the temple’s newly opened bookstore, the popular Taiko drum performers, and the celebratory community dance. Another beloved Salt Lake event is the Nihon Matsuri. This free and open to the public annual festival celebrates Japanese and Japanese American

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culture, history, traditions, and the legacy and contributions of the Japantown community. April 28 will see the corridor of 100 South activated with a day full of live performances— featuring an exclusive fashion show presenting traditional and contemporary kimonos designed by Sueko Oshimoto of KimonoSK, special musical guests the Taikoza Group, amazing food, tea ceremonies, vendors with traditional Japanese clothing, decorations and gift items, alongside historical and cultural exhibits, and a cosplay contest. There will also be free children’s activities like face painting, coloring pages, kite making and more. Concurrent with Nihon Matsuri is the Raymond S. Uno Celebration, which takes place on Thursday, April 26. Presented by the J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, University of Utah and The Raymond S. Uno Legacy Celebration Committee, this annual celebration pays tribute to Judge Raymond S. Uno’s lifetime of efforts as an advocate of human and civil rights, especially social justice for all persons, regardless of racial, cultural, gender identity and religious difference. The evening will feature a dinner and a special presentation by Mr. Dale Minami, a partner with Minami Tamaki LLP, who was involved in the civil rights litigation of Asian Pacific Americans including the Korematsu vs. United States lawsuit that overturned a 40-year old conviction for refusal to obey exclusion orders aired at Japanese Americans during WWII. Special achievement awards will also be presented to Archie Archuleta, J. Boyer Jarvis and Margaret Yee. With the gaining popularity and reach of its various festivals and celebrations, the informative and influential workshops, outreach, and faith services offered both by the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple and the Japanese Church of Christ, alongside an increased public awareness of Japantown’s role in Utah’s history, a stronger stance on advocacy and support for this community in the proposed new commercial and residential developments in this corridor need to be taken. Japantown’s legacy and impact in Salt Lake should finally be recognized and celebrated, not forgotten. I

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Moving - June/July 2018! - new location is 404 South West Temple Visit us at our original location at 55 West 100 South until the move! Award-winning Italian cuisine, ambiance, & wine list for 25 years Private meeting rooms – seasonal patio dining 801-364-8833 –


Charlotte Boye-Christensen and Nathan Webster of NOW-ID share their passion for the present. How long have you been performing? NOW-ID’s inaugural performance, The Wedding, took place at Salt Lake City’s Masonic Temple in 2013, so it is getting close to five years. How many in your company? I (Charlotte Boye-Christensen) am the artistic director and choreographer; Nathan Webster is our executive director as well as a practicing architect. We both do a little of everything, more than our titles suggest. NOW-ID (NOW International Dance Co.) currently works on a project-to-project basis, focusing on interdisciplinary collaborations with a variety of artists both local, national and international. This allows us to expand and contract in size based on the project and to create work that is new and exciting to us and, we hope, exciting to our audiences. What is your overall mission and/or statement with your work? NOW-ID is a fiercely contemporary dance company, producing design-driven work for the stage and beyond. We believe passionately in the power of art and design to connect, inspire and positively transform society. spring / summer 2018

What inspires your work? Architecture, fashion and design of all sorts. Music, politics, nature, art, relationships... The West, serendipity, magic and contrasts. Lots it seems! We are inspired by people who are passionate about their work, people who balance rigor and care, all with a sense of humor. How does downtown SLC inspire and inform your work? Salt Lake City still has an underlying flavor of the pioneer west, where anything is possible and yet with wildly contradictory conservatism and, ahem, intriguing oddities at the same time. Salt Lake City is like nowhere else. Rife with mythology—good, bad and ugly. It’s close to nature and with a culture and standard of living that allows quick and easy meetings with new/old friends and collaborators. The airport is close, we aren’t commuting two hours a day, or working overtime for a tiny apartment or to keep up with the Joneses... at least in our little world. We have to keep a sense of humor here. We do love when people are excited to create new and engaging work here, and to celebrate others doing so. There is a lot of creative work brewing here and a downtown the magazine


lot of untapped potential. What is your vision for downtown SLC in two years? We’d love to see more pedestrian life and hope things like the Cultural Core initiative and RDA projects will help forge ahead with this atmosphere in a variety of ways. We’d love to see empty parking lots and alleys and warehouses utilized for temporary pop-ups: events, art, installations, music, festivals. We’d love to see informal food, event and gathering centers like Paper Island in Copenhagen or art and design neighborhoods like Wynwood in Miami. Nathan likes to recall how Montreal has had over 100 festivals/events per summer, from neighborhood block parties to James Brown scale concerts taking over four city blocks. We’d love to see some more ambitious projects, but quick, guided by a fearless curation team. Perhaps a balance of projects with more funding alongside lots of small, temporary experiences and nudges. We’d love to see tax incentives for owners of parking lots and buildings to provide space for art—temporary or permanent—and see government agencies actively promote policies for such programming so that we, the artists, aren’t faced with blank stares and liability concern dead ends that can be solved easily with special event processes and insurance. In short, responsible government support. In 20 years? We love the development we are seeing extending westward along 900 South from the 9th and 9th neighborhood. It’s scrappy... small businesses being supported by youngish property owners and designers cutting their teeth for bigger things, or just more good little things. We love stuff popping up and brewing around the Granary. We have high hopes for art and design and their impact on society, as NOWID’s mission states. We think that the promotion of artists and designers in quick but thoughtful, quality events will provide examples of how to activate public spaces, stimulating audiences to think and see differently. 46

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From there... who knows! We would love to see more shade structures and water misters, bikes and trees. We would love to see an increasingly active and informed citizenry, in addition to business and government leadership, that value and support the impact of arts and culture, resulting in honest, educated and respectful highlevel public discourse. We would love to see development continue to focus on engaging street life, public spaces, environmental impacts and overall quality. We have a unique urban fabric with our wide boulevards— what can we make out of those? Oh, and continuing to work for clean, breathable air. What dream venue would you love to activate downtown? Any of the vast empty parking lots or underused warehouses, alleys too. Or, thinking bigger–State Street with a similar atmosphere as La Ramblas in Barcelona for a weekend. Or block access for cars to a few of our grand boulevard blocks for a week to activate. Dreamy. What’s next for you? Where can we see your upcoming works? Well, the big thing on our minds for the public is our 2018 summer show, A Tonal Caress. This performance will be an exploration of communication through movement— via contemporary dance and sign language poetry. A Tonal Caress will premiere at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Marcia and John Price Museum Building at the University of Utah, July 12—July 14, 2018. It will be a contemporary dance production that will include a collaboration with deaf, sign language poet Walter Kadiki, a ‘mass of men’ installation by artist Gary Vlasic, with set, light, sound and space design that, when combined, will move and communicate to both deaf and hearing audience members. We are working on touring to Marfa, Texas as well. I

Over 75 wines By The Glass Available in flights, 2 oz, 5 oz, or bottles Open daily at 5 PM 20+ flights Cocktails, spirits & beers Small plates, dinner, & desserts Current Location: 63 West 100 South Join us at our new location - July 2018! 404 S. West Temple 801-359-2814


Ashley Anderson, founder of loveDANCEmore, shares insight into her process and her vision for SLC.

Danspace Project, photo by Sinru Ku

loveDANCEmore is a unique name tell us what it means? My nonprofit is incorporated as Ashley Anderson Dances so that, regardless of what community programs I organize, I can still share my own choreography. However, the organization also has a community events branch called loveDANCEmore, which has presented performance series, published a performance journal, and many additional projects since 2010. Although I’ve been making dances for a decade with different performers


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in Philadelphia, Virginia, New York, and now Utah, I knew that to make a traditional company exclusively for my own work would be unproductive. I relocated to Salt Lake without ties to university dance departments or historic companies, so I needed to support my peers before asking them attend my own concerts. This unique structure means that I can produce my own shows, but also focus on supporting independent projects. Because loveDANCEmore can also act as a fiscal sponsor, the organization has presented hundreds

of individual concerts by equally high numbers of artists and collaborators. In today’s arts economy, endowments are scarce and shared community spaces like the Rose Wagner are often full with resident artists with little to no turnover. The loveDANCEmore model allows artists additional opportunities to stay engaged. What is your overall mission or statement for your work? What is the inspiration behind it? My work involves nostalgia, much of

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which is determined by the physical objects that interest me (record players, slide reels, comb and paper kazoos), but is also determined by the medium of dance—something that by its nature passes without appropriate documentation for the experience. Nostalgia generates interest in the concept of physically inserting myself into the history of people I don’t know. In my work, this has meant dancing to their workout records, dancing inside their family vacation slideshows, replicating their childhood songs and fracturing their narratives through a combination of physical momentum and precise visual design. I was trained for concert dance. I was taught that choreography was meant to happen on a stage before a large audience. But, I learned later that this scenario was frequently impossible— even for established artists. I search for new contexts to share performance, and not those mediated by new technologies. Rather, I imagine returning to live performance as a gathering not dissimilar from a family slideshow. Something that is intimate yet intricately visual. How does downtown SLC inspire and inform your work? Before I had children, I would walk around downtown and imagine all the venues that could/should be filled with dance. That’s how one of loveDANCEmore’s first series, Mudson, found its home at the Masonic Temple. It’s also how I came to work with the Ladies’ Literary Club, the SLC Public Library, the Memorial House and on

the grounds of the Utah State Capitol. Other local artists have picked up where I left off, with collaborator Liz Ivkovich utilizing the Jordan River, and Municipal Ballet Co. taking on the State Room and McCune Mansion (two of my dream sites!). Also, it’s no secret that Utah, and Salt Lake in particular, have a love for the arts which is partly fueled by the Mormon Church historically promoting the arts. This means that unlike in other cities, here in Salt Lake I can often find “day jobs” linked to art-making, specifically in arts education, that allow me to continue doing my work. What is your vision for downtown SLC in two years? 20 years? No matter the timeframe, I would like for Salt Lake City to better recognize its changing artistic landscape and fuel opportunities for both individual artists and traditional nonprofit corporations to leverage. I would also like for historic spaces to be more accessible, exploring interim leases or university partnerships, so that art-making can be a feasible pursuit balanced against the costs of city living.

What dream venue would you love to activate downtown? I would love the city or county to identify spaces—mansions, churches and meeting houses— that are no longer used for their intended purposes, and work to develop dedicated spaces for artistic expression. Just as NYU bought Judson Church to keep the space’s ability to showcase the arts, this could also happen in conjunction with Westminster, SLCC or the University of Utah in favor of creating new buildings. What’s next for you? Where can we see your upcoming works? I have been working on the piece Witch Dance, which was first presented at the McCune Mansion. The piece, originally presented with a cast of six female dancers, now includes over 30 women from across the Wasatch Front who know the piece. The larger group was set to perform in Reservoir Park last fall, but due to uncooperative weather, the dance is still in progress and will be presented with a new goal of 50 intergenerational female performers. I

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Tell us about yourself and Gileadi Dance. What should our readers know about you ? My name is Miriam Gileadi. I am the owner/director of Gileadi Dance Co. I’ve been singing and dancing professionally for 10 years in a variety of projects. The company has three board members: Jake Winkelkotter, Tara Jo Meredith and myself. The three of us perform for the company, and I bring in various performers and artists in accordance to each project’s needs. What is your overall mission and/or statement with your work? Gileadi Dance Co. realizes dance 50

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expression at its fullest creative potential through awareness of internal impulses informing the external body. Collaborating art forms into dance facilitates internal connection, communal cognizance, and causes a ripple effect of achieving innovative transformation. What inspires your work? I am a “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to the arts. Raised in an artistic family, I have practiced many art forms throughout my life. These days I function as a dancer, singer, musician and writer. I am greatly inspired by musical composition and

its connection to movement. I believe dance and music are one; as a pair they holistically express an internal impulse. I choreograph through rhythm, melody and sounds that guide kinesthetic responses, which illuminate a visual story. How does downtown SLC inspire and inform your work? Downtown SLC has greatly influenced my work experimentally and idealistically. Last year, Gileadi Dance Co. did an experimental busking series of performance art on the corners of Downtown SLC, set against the background of pedestrians, historical spring / summer 2018

buildings and driving cars. Salt Lake City is hungry for unpredictable and enticing art that creates fresh experiences with audiences. I look at what artistic exposure Salt Lake City might be missing and work to uniquely fill those gaps—we still have many stones to turn in this city. What is your vision for downtown SLC in two years? 20 years? I would love to see downtown Salt Lake City evolve into an integrated artistic community. I want to see artists across all disciplines commune and collaborate to create extraordinary stories. Currently, I think the city is palatable—there is great potential for collaboration amongst artists of diverse backgrounds to develop intertwined expression. Art reflects the times, and our time expands one voice into many voices. What dream venue would you love to activate downtown? I want to see the older buildings and vacant storefronts become inhabited by artists, as has been done historically in major cities. It would be an amazing experience to encourage the city’s revival by populating older buildings with artists. I think we could reimagine formerly ignored areas

or buildings as a home base for our artistic community. I would love to have the opportunity for Gileadi Dance Co. to reimagine an older, run-down building in the heart of downtown as a rehearsal and event space. What’s next for you? Where can we see your upcoming works? We are continuing our busking experimental work this summer. This year we have a variety of dance, spoken word, and musical performances to bring to the corners of Downtown SLC. We aim to add to Salt Lake’s artistic energy by bringing art out of the theatre and into the streets. This year, Gileadi Dance Co. continues artistic experimentation and breaking out of “traditional” dance company rituals. Last year, the company premiered a show that was met with incredible turnout and feedback, and now we’re focusing that success back into the community— expanding creative possibility by bringing various artists together and showcasing them in unique locations of Salt Lake City. In a similar fashion to our previous busking experimental work, the Salt Lake community is sure to see us in a variety of unexpected places soon. I




What is Body Roc? What is your mission and vision? Our crew strives to represent the four elements of Hip-Hop culture with the mindset of brotherhood, foundation, funk, dignity and integrity. We are a group of dancers mostly, but Body Roc members are also practicing artists, graffiti writers, emcees and deejays. We live and breathe hiphop—we want to continue to learn and grow, as well as share our knowledge and give back to the community by spreading the strength and inspiration of hip-hop culture. Who are the members of Body Roc? Right now, Body Roc has 16 core members: Ali Acuna, Max Crebs, Wyatt Crebs, Chris

Dimalanta, Jonathon Nelson, Anthony ‘Alien’ Fierro, Ikkei Tatsumi, Roberto ‘Robo’ Pacheco, Shunta Nagano, Esteban Montiel, Justin Tran, Kenny Ho, Chase Loter, Eric Salazar, Miguel Olague, and myself (Kaleena Chung). I’ve been dancing with Body Roc since 2014. What inspires your work? Our love and passion for hip-hop is what connects us and inspires our work. The members of Body Roc come from diverse backgrounds, each member having a different life story and perspective. That fact alone brings so much inspiration for the crew to build from. How does downtown SLC inspire and inform your work? I find seeing Utah’s diverse cultures and people from all walks of life interacting on a daily basis very inspiring and informing.

What is your vision for downtown SLC in two years? 20 years? I hope to see downtown SLC more inclusive and diverse with an even stronger sense of community. Having a downtown with a much more lively atmosphere would be a dream too, with more festivals, art, activities and subcultures freely expressing themselves. What dream venue would you love to activate downtown? I’m sure there are many hidden gem locations downtown that I am not aware of. Creating an accessible atmosphere for all of downtown will invite everyone to explore the area, get to know their downtown community better and start to see opportunities for new activities. What’s next for you? Where can we see your upcoming works? We plan to travel to different states, and eventually different countries, to see the world and compete in more competitions as a crew. Body Roc is having our 8-year anniversary jam coming up, which will be open to the public to compete in or to just watch. The format will be a two-versustwo b-boy battle, alongside special exhibitions of various hip-hop related dance styles. We will also be featuring a workshop from B-Boy Born, a worldrenowned artist from Korea, and a battle pre-party, featuring local DJs and artists. Follow @bodyroc_slc for more information. It’s going to be a party! I



hen is the last time you acted like a tourist in your own city? It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of day-to-day life, which can make you forget to explore where you live. Fortunately, you are not far from the perfect getaway—downtown Salt Lake! Now is the time to plan a downtown staycation for your friends or family and enjoy local attractions you may have overlooked or taken for granted.

Girls Getaway

So you finally have a weekend free, and so do your friends. . . this calls for a girls getaway! Put your schedules on pause and grab that opportunity to head to Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City (15 W 200 South) for a staycation full of R & R, delectable bites and memorable fun. This upscale boutique hotel sits in the heart of downtown and showcases modern decor, blissful bedding, animal-print robes and the finest Atelier Bloem bath and body amenities. Once the squad arrives, take advantage of this much-needed downtime with the ladies to unpack, order room service, catch up on 54

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life and plan your weekend adventures. After reveling in the fact that you pulled this retreat off, explore the hotel’s offerings.

Remember to save some room for locally crafted goodies at Last Course (115 S Regent Street) ice cream and dessert studio.

The hotel’s health-conscious perks include a high-performance 24-hour fitness center, yoga mats and custom-designed PUBLIC bikes for you to borrow. Guests can arrange to have spa services, including massages and facials, brought directly to their rooms.

Polish the evening off with live music at The Depot (400 W South Temple), a Ballet West or Utah Opera performance at Capitol Theatre (50 W 200 South), or an exciting Utah Jazz game or concert at Vivint Smart Home Arena (301 S Temple).

Housed in the hotel’s historic Continental Bank lobby, Bambara serves seasonally inspired New American cuisine (think pan-roasted and grilled meats, plus skillfully prepared seafood and game) and historic architecture. Friends looking to quench their thirst can enjoy hosted nightly wine receptions in the lobby or grab a specialty drink from the award-winning bar menu at The Vault.

A girls’ weekend is incomplete without an escape to the spa or a shopping spree. Round up the ladies for a day of pampering and relaxing at Sanctuary Day Spa (42 S Rio Grande Street). Hot stone massages, spa facials, mani/pedi combos, and designer haircuts and styles are just a sampling of what this full-service spa and salon offers.

When it’s time to hit the town, let Salt City Cycle Cab take your crew around on an unforgettable pedicab adventure through downtown’s dining and entertainment district. Share tapas at Martine Cafe (22 E 100 South), make a toast to good friends and delectable gastropub fare at Gracie’s (326 S West Temple) or spice it up with Latin American street food at Taqueria27 (149 E 200 South).

Window shopping is taken to the next level at City Creek Center (50 S Main Street). This retail experience is one of a kind, showcasing more than 100 diverse stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors and lululemon, all in a casual, pedestrian-friendly environment. Shop ‘til you drop and head back to the hotel to reminisce about your weekend escapades.

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Couples Retreat

Need a break with your honey but can’t travel far? An escape to Hilton Salt Lake City Center (255 S West Temple) gives couples the opportunity to leave reality behind and reconnect, all in the comfort of your own town. Conveniently located in the center of downtown, the 18-floor Hilton Salt Lake City Center boasts 19 luxury suites featuring king-size beds, plush linens, posh European bathtubs, separate sitting areas and breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains. Couples can make the most of their staycation and maximize time away with an early check-in or late check-out. If leaving Fido at home gets you down, pets are invited to stay at the hotel. A relaxing soak in the hotel’s hot tub or a refreshing swim in the heated indoor pool are sure to kick off your getaway. Kick back in a chaise lounge on the seasonal sundeck (open May - Sept.) and feel the tension fade. If a workout is on the agenda, the fully-equipped fitness center caters to any fitness needs. Don’t miss an intimate dinner for two at Spencer’s for steaks and chops, the Best of State-awarded restaurant and winner of the 2017 spring / summer 2018

Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. Located in the hotel, this Salt Lake City staple delivers contemporary and seasonal dishes, hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, local produce and cheeses, as well as classically inspired cocktails, local craft beers and an award-winning wine list that has kept locals coming back for two decades. Feeling adventurous? Hilton Salt Lake City Center’s downtown location is within walking distance of a plethora of ethnic eateries. Finca (327 W 200 South) serves Spanish tapas and dishes, Valter’s Osteria (173 W Broadway) offers a taste of Tuscany, and Takashi (18 W Market Street) creates rolls to make any sushi-lover swoon.

Above: Hotel Monaco lobby and Bambara resturant.

Dinner and a show go hand-in-hand and there is no better place to find that combo than downtown. Catch a Broadway production or concert at the new Eccles Theater (131 S Main Street) or treat yourselves to a Utah Symphony performance at Abravanel Hall (123 W South Temple). If you’re looking for a laugh, Wiseguys at The Gateway (194 S 400 West) comedy club has you covered.

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Try something new and take a cooking class at Harmons Grocery (135 E 100 South) to learn how to make your own romantic dinner! Fresh and local produce and products sold at the Downtown Farmers Market (350 W 300 South) during the summer and fall months will inspire your next culinary masterpiece. A relaxing stroll through The Gateway’s (400 W 100 South) open-air retail and dining district promises the downtime that you both deserve. Family Escape

Planning a family vacation is not for the faint of heart (think pitstops, juggling the circuit of movies and snacks and enduring the chorus of “are we there yets?” echoing from the back seats). While getting out of town can be daunting, a family staycation at Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown (215 W South Temple) can be the answer to many of the typical traveling woes. Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown is the perfect home base for your family’s next retreat. Spacious, contemporary rooms and suites outfitted with comfy beds and unique headboards that feature artwork by prominent pop artists allow your clan to spread out and feel right at home. Even your four-legged family member is welcome at this pet-friendly destination.

Above: Hilton lobby check-in and lounge.

After settling in, vacation mode begins when you hit the indoor heated swimming pool. The kids are certain to burn some energy while parents soak in the adjoining hot tub and unwind in the onsite sauna. If you want to get your sweat on, check out 56

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Calling all history buffs... The Peery Hotel (110 W Broadway), built in 1910, is a historic landmark hotel whose architecture takes you back to the classical revival styles of the time. Guests are greeted with vintage-inspired decor, mixed with some of the original antique pieces, creating a fresh historic feel for the downtown traveler.

the fully-equipped fitness center. Playing stirs up an appetite and feeding the brood is simple with the hotel’s onsite family dining options. In-room dining brings the goodies to you, offering an extensive menu including several kid-friendly bites. The hotel’s Copper Canyon Grill House & Tavern serves casual American-style fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pre-dinner and late-night drinks flow at the tavern, and the in-house coffee shop has fresh brews to get you going in the morning. With so many amenities offered at this hotel, it’s hard to find a reason to leave. However, if you want to venture out, family-friendly eateries are just outside the door. Try Bruges Waffles & Frites (336 W Broadway) for both sweet and savory lovers, grab a bite at Rich’s Burgers-NGrub (30 E Broadway), savor a home-style meal with a slice of history at The Lion House Pantry (63 E South Temple) or simply head over to City Creek Center where more than 20 dining options satisfy any palate or pocketbook. spring / summer 2018

Be a tourist in your own backyard with the Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass, an all-in-one ticket to 13 of Salt Lake’s best attractions. This passport includes admission to Clark Planetarium’s (209 E 500 South) 3D IMAX and Dome Theatre, Discovery Gateway’s (444 W 100 South) hands-on children’s museum and The Leonardo’s (209 E 500 South) science and art exhibits, just to name a few. Buy your pass at It’s possible to get back to nature, even in the city. Feast your eyes on the gardens at the 35acre Temple Square, take a hike in nearby City Creek Canyon, or explore the downtown scene on a GREENbike. No matter the reason for your staycation, you may find that you’ve been living in a tourist’s paradise all along! I

Boutique-style rooms are elegantly outfitted with Tempur-Pedic beds, high-end bedding and C.O. Bigelow bath amenities. Each room features an architecturally unique design with views of downtown Salt Lake City. When it’s time to fuel up, head to Carnegie’s Public House, the hotel’s onsite restaurant. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this local hotspot incorporates its passion for simplicity and gives a bold and original spin on traditional dishes. When you’re there, make sure to try their famous Junk Fry Burger—a tasty gourmet burger coated with sriracha ketchup, piled high with french fries, bacon, bleu cheese, caramelized onions and mozzarella. Yum!

Above: Radison lobby and Starbucks cafe. Below: Hotel exterior at night.

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Redefine Date Night


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come see what’s new at the Radisson Downtown!









With over 15,000 square feet of recently remodeled meeting space and a refreshing new catering menu, Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown offers an exceptional destination for your next corporate event or celebration. Let our event professionals ensure your next Salt Lake City-based event goes off without a hitch.

Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown 215 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 1 (801) 531-7500

LIVE BOLDLY 15 West 200 South Salt Lake City Utah 84101 Phone: 801-595-0000


Public-private partnership paves the way to reimagine SLC’s premier urban green space



s a kid who grew up in Salt Lake City’s suburbs, I remember my earliest connection to the park wasn’t terribly positive—or uncommon,” said Garbett, who now serves as director of the Pioneer Park Coalition. “The Park was a place to avoid, a problematic part of the city. But, as I grew up, moved downtown, and made friends in the neighborhood, I saw it as a place with a lot of potential.” Garbett’s experience has been echoed a


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thousand times in hundreds of ways about the troubled urban glen—Salt Lake City’s emerald in the rough. However, changes are afoot and city leaders are eager to take the park in a new direction. A Rich History Though named for the Mormon settlers who founded Salt Lake City, there’s no doubt this 10-acre plot of land hosted Native American encampments before European settlers spring / summer 2018

arrived—drawn by a small, fresh water spring nearby. The eponymous pioneers arrived in July of 1847. Within a week of their arrival in the valley, construction began on a walled fort, which served as an Ellis Island of sorts for settlers from around the world. For 20 years, this space was a place of rest and reprieve for those who hoped to make Salt Lake City their home. By 1890, the area was repurposed as a playground, and on Pioneer Day, 1898, the location was dedicated as one of Salt Lake City’s first five parks. Over the next century, the neighborhood continued to be a gateway for wave after wave of new pioneers: Greeks, Italians and Japanese. As the city grew, residential neighborhoods east of the park drew residents away— replaced by businesses and warehouses that benefited from the nearby railroad lines and the bustle of Main Street a few blocks to the east. The swings fell silent as the park fell into disuse. New Pioneers & Renewed Effort While the park sat neglected, the surrounding neighborhood continued to evolve. First, it was home to warehouses and light industry on the outskirts of town. In the 1970’s community leaders made a decision to locate the city’s homeless services in the neighborhood on nearby Rio Grande Street. For many Utahns, that concentration of service providers defined the neighborhood on the west side of the Capital City’s urban center. Fast-forward to the early 1990s, and a new generation of homesteaders started to move back into the neighborhood—new pioneers like Tony Caputo, architect and developer Ken Milo, the folks behind the Art Space project on Pierpont, as well as the Downtown Farmers Market. These enterprising visionaries carved out a place where neighbors and businesses alike could thrive in a part of the city few folks would frequent. The weekly Farmers Market, produced by the Downtown Alliance, was a turning point for the park and remains a catalyst today, almost 30 years later. Among other things, the market aimed to be an incubator for small businesses. One such business, Laziz Kitchen, started at the market as a hummus vendor and eventually opened a commercial kitchen spring / summer 2018

nearby. The founders, Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity, soon followed suit, moving from their home on Capitol Hill to one of Art Space’s several housing projects. In 2015, Kitchen ran and won a seat on the Salt Lake City Council, representing District 4.

“Pioneer Park is in the heart of my district, and it’s very important to me,” says Kitchen. “Even with its troubled history, it’s the closest thing we’ve got to a proper urban park.” The new residents and new businesses meant the city had even more reason to tackle the decades-old problem of Pioneer Park. In the years following the 2002 Winter Olympics, the city made investments in the park—a running track, sports facilities, security cameras and a dog park. The Salt Lake Arts Council even moved its famed Twilight Concert Series to the park in 2010.

• • •

Over time, it became clear the Downtown Farmers Market and Twilight Concert Series, alone, couldn’t turn the park around. And while businesses were growing and residents were flocking to shiny new developments, criminal behavior was frustratingly persistent. The Pioneer Park Coalition (PPC) Founded in 2014, the PPC was a direct response to the concerns of neighborhood residents and businesses, who saw that the park and their neighborhood was at a crossroads. “The park is something which belongs to the public, but doesn’t feel like it,” says Garbett. “And we want a place where everyone can gather—where everyone would feel safe. A jewel of the city.” In January 2015, Salt Lake City held a week long community planning workshop to update the decades-old plan for Pioneer Park. From these meetings, a consensus emerged. The new park would need: • A “great lawn,” large enough to host large concert audiences, regular soccer matches, and impromptu games of Frisbee • A permanent stage, worthy of the Twilight Concert Series • Dedicated spaces for sport courts, dogs, and Farmers Market stalls • A playful and iconic water feature • Large-scale art • Fine-grained, programmable spaces which compliment the great lawn

• •

Flexible and permanent concession and café space Pervasive interpretive elements to highlight the neighborhood’s rich and varied history Careful management of the park’s urban forest Secure, bright, and modern restrooms Year-round programming Full-time security

Follow-up meetings further refined the vision, adding that the new park must: • be for everyone—including our homeless neighbors—every day of the week • be purpose-built to serve a broad range of one-time and on-going events • be purpose-built to discourage anti-social and criminal behavior • be both a regional draw and a neighborhood amenity • treasure its noble past and embrace a vibrant future • pay its way The next obvious question: How? “It’s one thing to drive away the drug dealers—it’s something else entirely to entice people to come down for all the right reasons,” says Garbett. “So we asked ourselves: ‘What are other cities doing?’” The answer? Public-private partnerships. These partnerships with the private sector aren’t new. They’re the backbone of some of the most popular parks in the country— Bryant Park in New York City; Millenium Park in Chicago; Discovery Green in Houston; and City Garden in St Louis. The Downtown Alliance helped to host local business leaders and political officials on Urban Exploration trips that looked at urban parks, private management of public spaces and strategies for providing homeless services in other cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. “Public-private partnerships have been an important part of the park management scene for a very long time,” says Kristin Riker, who oversees Salt Lake City’s parks and public lands in her role as deputy director of public services. “These partnerships come in many shapes and sizes. Some are made with small groups focused on organizing volunteer caretakers and maintenance, while other partnerships are made with downtown the magazine


the larger community and changes the expectations of what should and should not happen in the park.” In addition to the shovels in the ground, the city is laying the conceptual foundations of what it wants from a publicprivate partnership while the PPC is putting together a rough draft of what it envisions for the park. larger bodies that manage the park entirely and have the resources to make significant capital improvements. When private interests are aligned with city interests, you have huge opportunities to effect big and positive changes. At the city level, parks departments are expected to share resources among all their park properties. Publicprivate partnerships allow for targeted improvements and sustained focus on a single property. Pioneer Park is ripe for just such a partnership.”

“We want to have something—a very rough draft—which we can share with the public this summer. We want to broaden our audience and signal to people interested in the park that something important is happening here—Pioneer Park is really and truly changing,” says Garbett. “And we want the ensuing discussion to result in a final agreement, which we can then launch in the summer of 2019.”

Bold Strokes

The timing of all of this couldn’t be better. Salt Lake City is enjoying a strong regional economy, and downtown’s population is growing with thousands of new residential units in the pipeline. Plus, there’s a strong alignment of key public and private sector interests—specifically around homeless service issues. Reimagining a park is a big project, and there are some pretty major hurdles to clear: while a public-private partnership is on everyone’s minds, the city is still completing its analysis of what it wants from any such agreement. It also has to decide on who that private sector partner might be.

This summer, the city will break ground on a new “great lawn,” upgraded lighting and other security improvements—envisioned during the community planning process from 2015 and funded, in part, by a $300,000 donation by Pioneer Park Coalition. The improvements follow a design philosophy known among public space professionals as CPTED (pronounced “Sep-Ted”), which stands for “crime prevention through environmental design.” “When I describe CPTED to folks, I start by talking about ‘natural surveillance’— when you create a space where people are uncomfortable engaging in mischief or committing crime, then you make that space a safer place. You do that by opening up sight lines and by making a place inviting for positive uses,” says Kristin Riker. “Take, for example the great lawn that we’re installing this summer… it will be a wonderful place for youth soccer matches and impromptu frisbee games, not to mention concerts—and it will be a bad place for drug dealing. Another aspect of CPTED I like to talk about is the role of public art—which endears the park to 62

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Moving Parts

And that summer of 2019 date? It’s not arbitrary. The city and county—in conjunction with the state and homeless service providers—are restructuring regional homeless services along a scattered site model, which offers tailored services to specific populations in smaller resource centers. This replaces the campus model, which relied on a few service providers offering all services at locations around the park.

is scheduled to close in June of 2019. Stakeholders hope a well-timed reboot of the park will give the criminal element, which has preyed on homeless people in the Rio Grande neighborhood for years, nowhere to go. Improvments in facilities and programming at the park can permanently disrupt illegal activity which thrived in a unique environment and is unlikely to be reproduced elsewhere. A Polished Gem City Councilor Derek Kitchen is emphatic: “Pioneer Park will continue to be a public green space in perpetuity.” But what kind of green space? Derek, David and Kristin agree: “A gem in the heart of our city.” Imagine a park that people come to because it’s the place to be for unique and interesting programs that drive audiences and support cultural and artistic initiatives. Imagine hoteliers enthusiastically recommending their guests visit the park. Imagine nearby residents using the park daily—and our neighbors up and down the Wasatch Front making pilgrimages to the park to catch some big event. It will take work. It will take vision. It will take money. But city leaders and private sector businesses agree: it’s possible, and everyone is moving in the same direction to realize the long-awaited dream of the early city planners to create a dynamic, diverse urban park in the heart of Utah’s capital city. I


As part of the transition to this new model, the Road Home’s shelter on Rio Grande spring / summer 2018

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Vasilios Priskos Founder of InterNet Properties Inc, Vasilios, helped make downtown Salt Lake City what it is today. Vasilios saw downtown as a part of his family legacy and a part of himself. A dear friend, and irreplaceable community member, he will be missed and his legacy will continue on with InterNet Properties Inc.


Looking back on a city that “Won’t Slow Down”


ifteen years ago, I was recruited to lead the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance as President and CEO. I planned to stay for only two years. But this work has been so rewarding, helping build our economy and our downtown, that it has kept me engaged for years longer than I originally planned. I love our downtown for all its energy and excitement. It is literally the heart of our business community, art, culture, government and entertainment for the entire state. And I’m grateful to see the amazing progress that has been made. Contributions from literally thousands of people have helped to build our city. Downtown is in an exciting place, and it’s good to take a moment to reflect on our past success. But my main message is: we can’t slow down! The excitement generated over the past several years has given us great momentum for our future. Projects like City Creek, 222 South Main, 111 Main, Vivint Smart Home Arena, dynamic urban living and the re-emergence of The Gateway have laid a foundation for our growth. So where do we go from here? Our future includes a Convention Center Hotel, a downtown school, sports and fitness center, additional downtown living, a reenvisioned system for providing homeless services and a fully developed Cultural Core. The beauty of the Downtown Alliance is that we are not tied to one specific development or political leader or neighborhood. We are stewards for all of downtown. We do unusual things like hang banners, put up holiday lights, host Farmers Markets, and lobby the Legislature for affordable housing and Medicaid dollars. We care about street art and zoning code. We have a large social media presence, publish this magazine as well as collect used syringes and help finance a vegetable garden to offer homeless women


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training and career opportunities. You see, our efforts aren’t based on a prescribed set of job skills. We do whatever we need to do to build a dynamic and diverse community that is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment. Being associated with downtown and the Downtown Alliance during this time in our

community’s history has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am grateful that I have been able to support downtown’s success as the cultural heart of Utah and the center for our state’s economy. And I know that as much change as we have seen, downtown will continue to evolve. We have incredible momentum. And we won’t slow down. I

spring / summer 2018




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Profile for Downtown Alliance

Downtown Magazine - Spring/Summer 2018  

Downtown Magazine - Spring/Summer 2018