After 30 years of providing Utahns with some of the best Italian-inspired cuisine in the state, as well as one of the most inviting settings in which to enjoy it, Fresco Italian Cafe (1513 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City) has closed its doors. According to Fresco co-owner Mikel Trapp, there wasn't any drama involved. He and his longtime business partner, Mark Stammler, just decided "it was time." Lately, Trapp has been focused on his other businesses like Trio downtown, Trio Cottonwood and Luna Blanca, as well as additional enterprises and a partnership with the (Joel) LaSalle Restaurant Group which includes Current Fish & Oyster, Under Current and the soon-to-open Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar, in the space that previously was home to Faustina. In related news, Phelix Gardner, former executive chef for Pago and Finca, has taken over the kitchen at Stanza. Stay tuned here for news on Stanza's imminent opening. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that someone will purchase Fresco and continue to run it with the loving care that Mikel Trapp, for 14 years—and David Harries for 16 years before that—operated the one-of-a-kind restaurant.
New Eating Establishment Owners
Park City's venerable The Eating Establishment (317 Main, Park City, 435-649-8284, TheEatingEstablishment.net), which dates back to 1972 and is a longtime dining destination for locals, has been acquired by the Edison Alley Group. The Edison Alley partners own Salt Lake City's Bar X and Beer Bar and, according to actor and business partner Ty Burrell, "We're excited to build on the success of Bar X and Beer Bar by adding The Eating Establishment to our family business. This is a local institution, which will remain under local ownership. We hope to maintain the name and spirit of the original." Bar X co-owner Jeff Barnard added, "Park City has been dear to my heart since I rode my bike in the Fourth of July parade when I was a kid. This will be my fifth business on Main Street, going back to the late 1980s, and I'm thrilled to be a part of The Eating Establishment tradition."
Quote of the week: If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it's the restaurant business.
Food Matters 411: email@example.com