Ogden has added a new crown jewel to the downtown art scene on 25thStreet. The Monarch, a renovated former parking garage, lives up to its royal name. With three large event spaces, creative studios, and space for dining and retail, the Monarch promises collaboration, creativity, and art of all kinds.
The Monarch itself is a work of art. The industrial structure was built in 1929 as a parking garage for the Bigelow Hotel, but was eventually left to deteriorate. In 2011, the building was purchased by Fischer-Regan Enterprises and added to the National Register of Historic Places. Thaine Fischer, owner and driving force behind the Monarch, explained that “It qualified [for the Register] because it was one of the first auto garages of its type not only in Utah, but in the west.”
The new venue got its name from the Ink Dwell mural on its upper deck. Monarch in Moda depicts monarch butterflies in flight and is part of the Migrating Mural project, a nationwide public artwork series that celebrates wildlife in migration.
The Monarch is the epicenter of Ogden’s new Nine Rails Creative District. As a railroad town, Ogden was the hub for nine different rail lines, living up to the (then) city slogan: “You can’t get anywhere without coming to Ogden.”
Fischer described the importance of the word ‘creative’ and the ‘creatives’ that occupy the Monarch’s studios: “We call them creatives because if we use the word art everyone goes to visual. We have everything from art to architecture.”
Some of the art in The Monarch will be edible. As part of the public opening on November 1st, restaurateur Amy Wanderley-Britt opened WB’s Eatery, Wine Café and Coffee House, which features Latin European-inspired dishes like chimichurri steak skewers, sweet and savory hand pies, street corn, churro donuts and hand-sliced bocadillos. Jennifer Burns, a partner in the 360 Degrees Restaurant Group, says of the drink options, “We look forward to creating spectacular craft cocktails, but we also aim to be Utah’s premier spot for non-alcoholic craft drinks.”
The restaurant is also committed to community engagement and art promotion and will feature several artists each quarter. Wanderley-Britt explained, “We are interested in all types of art mediums that are practical for our cozy restaurant space. I would love to have performance art, 2-D, 3-D and installation artists find a platform to have their voice heard at WB’s Eatery.”
Every part of the new space contributes to the creative atmosphere. Fischer said, “Everything plays off one another. We have WB’s Eatery so people here can have a place to go for their food and beverages. We have retail that complements all our creatives. We have large gathering areas for private events. It’s definitely a place to connect, inspire, and create.”U
The Monarch is located at 455 25th Street, Ogden 801 893-6605
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