After 12 years, Ken Dinsmore has learned the basic rules of survival in the bar business: in a market as small as Salt Lake City, don’t try to appeal to a small demographic, instead go for the masses. And don’t expect life to be easy just because you have a cool bar.
“I have friends say to me, ‘you must love hanging out at your bar all day,’ I tell them, yea its great, if you don’t mind coming in at 8am and leaving at 2am,” Ken laughs. Owning a bar is hard work, Ken eludes that the previous Sandbar Owners didn’t understand that while nightclub ownership might sound like a dream job, in reality, long hours are a necessity for success.
Dinsmore bought Lumpys on Highland Drive 12 years ago escaping his corporate America job, which he says he could never go back to. This is what motivates him. He expanded and opened Lumpys Downtown 10 years ago.
Dinsmore sold Lumpys downtown to Dan Simonson, who also opened Sandbar. When Simonson defaulted on his payments, Dinsmore reacquired the Lumpys. When Simonson also defaulted on Sandbar, Dinsmore decided to also take on the lease for the former Cafe Pierpont/Sandbar property.
Disnmore’s vision for Inferno is authentic Mexican food offered for lunches and dinner, starting at just $7. At night the space becomes a lively club offering DJ’s and dancing. He believes that the former Cafe Pierpont and the former Sandbar had great qualities that he can draw from. “You need to be able to serve people longer than just from 11 PM-2 AM,” Dinsmore says,
The new Inferno offers a margarita bar as well as favorites such as mole, Molcajetes, (meats and sauce served in a lava bowl) ceviche and as well as the standard tacos and burritos. Dinsmore’s longtime chef, David Joequinn has developed the menu.
Dinsmore is using the websites of both establishments for cross promotion, the bar has been open for business since last week. Inferno is located at 122 W. Pierpont Ave.
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