When we located downtown 10 years ago, we moved our three employees into a pigeon roost. At our nearest corner in the Shubrick Building, Port O’ Call was only pouring two beers. Port O’ Call has since grown to such proportions that it is regularly hailed as one of the best clubs in the country. Meanwhile, City Weekly, at 30 employees, plays a demonstrable role in the development of what is fairly considered as a decent night scene in Salt Lake City. But in the big scheme of things, that doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that in a short time the federal government will unveil plans for an expansion of the Frank Moss Federal Courthouse at the corner of 400 South and Main Street. Those plans do not include saving the building where our office is located, at 60 W. 400 South. Truthfully, our joint holds little claim for salvation. But if we go down, it’s also likely that the Shubrick Building will as well. Better get those Port shooters while you can.
There are apparently two plans on the table for the courthouse expansion. One will keep the historic Oddfellow Building on Market Street intact and knock out the less-historic Shubrick. The other will relocate the Oddfellow Building closer to West Temple (by some roller method as yet unexplained) and save the Shubrick. In either scenario we’re a brick heap, and don’t count on the Oddfellow being cheap to move, so goodbye Shubrick.
We get the old heave-ho because the city hasn’t mustered support for an optional location at 400 South and Main Street (currently a parking lot) and Earl Holding has pulled his political noose around the necks of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett as well as Judge Dee Benson.
Holding wants to keep the court expansion from his vacant, blighted block that we’ve run a picture of on this page for nearly two years. The odds of Hatch, Bennett and Benson not kowtowing to Holding are about the same as being struck by space debris.
We don’t have any cronies in our pocket and we’ve pretty much outgrown the space anyway. After our move, we can call ourselves the South Salt Lake City Weekly.
I can’t imagine that any of Earl Holding’s plans call for a replacement or equivalent for Port O’ Call—have you seen his “club” in Little America?—let alone take care of the residents of the Shubrick. Local merchants will get the boot. (Yippee!! Another chain club or restaurant in our midst—we’ve arrived as a big city!!!). As for City Weekly’s 30 employees, we’ll just report about what we see—a pile of shit—even as we drive many blocks to do so.—John Saltas