The downtown Salt Lake City retail and restaurant marketplace has seen some big shake-ups since the end of lockdowns.
The demolition of the former Sears, which bookended State Street for over 65 years, now leaves a very large visible void. But State Street has seen some positive developments. iconoCLAD clothing (which offers costumes and clothing for festivals and raves) opened their second location at 855 State. A new coffee shop, Merch Coffee at 1550 South State, opened by Adam and Shelby, now serves the area and SLCC South campus students.
State Street was once the place for pawn shops. Now there are none north of 2100 South. But State Street now has a medical cannabis shop ― Dragonfly Wellness (card-holders only).
There are now two vegan houses and several tattoo parlors. State Street used to be where young driving-age kids would “drag state.” A friend of mine met his wife doing that. Is that still a thing? But maybe the appeal of The Fast & The Furious has waned.
The number of restaurants that have closed downtown is very sad: DP Cheesesteaks, Medici Pizza, Les Madeleines and Indian Street Food that only lasted a year on 200 South has been replaced by Laziz Kitchen.
New restaurants have popped up, including the latest creation by the Bourbon Group, adding yet another stellar eatery on 231 South Edison Street called “Franklin Ave.” in the former Salt Lake Harold building where there was once a theater with a famous trap door which led to a bar. It’s a great upcycle of historic architecture.
The sad departure of the Pantages Theater leaves a void on Main Street, but the street is showing renewed life and vitality despite the sad losses to the businesses that were demolished along with the Utah Theater: Reggae Roots, Ary’s Barbershop and Beckett & Rob custom suites (although they still have a location in Sandy). Read about the moving of Southam Gallery.
Sadly, both art galleries on Main have closed. Hope Gallery, a true “hidden treasure” of Salt Lake, also closed in the historic Tracy Loan and Trust Company Building. While the works of Danish master oil painters can no longer be viewed on Main Street, the building will soon become another upscale restaurant under the Pago Group.
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