Holladay city creates a new hot spot for local dining

First Published      Last Updated Dec 03 2014 09:58 am

Holladay Village » New restaurants — with ties to downtown Salt Lake City — invigorate a development years in the making.

Holladay • At 2300 East and Murray Holladay Road (4680 South), a hungry person can look north, south, east or west and find a delicious place to eat. Gourmet tacos and hamburgers, imported cheeses and meats, fresh-brewed coffee and house-made pastries, even sushi and lamb — it's all there within a one-block radius of the stop light.

Some of the eateries are institutions: Leslie's French Pastries, Sharon's Cafe, Mountain City Chinese, Layla Mediterranean Grill and The Store.

But new restaurants — with strong ties to downtown Salt Lake City — have opened within the past six months, fueling a new foodie flame in the suburbs.

Taqueria 27, Caputo's Market and Deli, Tonyburgers and Copper Kitchen — the sister to The Copper Onion downtown — are now open in the new Holladay Village development on the northwest corner of the intersection.

"They have really brought life and some young energy to Holladay," said resident Julie Payne, while seated inside 3 Cups coffee shop and bakery, another new business with Salt Lake connections. Owner Derek Belnap previously worked at the Coffee Garden, and pastry chef Amber Billingsley moved from Vinto.

"I could sled to work if I needed to," joked Billingsley, who has lived in Holladay for more than a decade and has watched the area's rebirth. "When businesses like the old Pardners restaurant and Video Verns were torn down, there wasn't a cohesive center," she said.

Residents have waited for years while Holladay and its Redevelopment Agency and local developers wrangled over what to do with the area, all while being stymied by a downturn economy.

During the wait, longtime businesses "have been the glue that has held this town together," Billingsley said, naming The Store, Great Harvest Bread and Lettuce and Ladles.

But with the new multimillion-dollar, mixed-used development, things seemed to have fallen into place. The area has a definite food focus, but there are other locally owned shops, including a boutique, a bike shop and a hair salon on the street level as well as business offices on the upper floors.

"People are walking around and it feels like a proper neighborhood and a destination," Billingsley said.

The coffee and pastries at 3 Cups are one of the reasons. The bright, modern space, with cocoonlike booths and a community table made from natural wood, makes guests want to linger over coffee — from Salt Lake City's Blue Copper Roasters — or one of Billingsley's savory scones or morning tarts, a twist on a quiche with a whole baked egg inside.

"I can totally see this being my other conference room," said customer and Holladay resident Kim Smart.

Belnap, who worked at The Coffee Garden for nine years, said he always hoped to open his own high-end coffee shop. He and his partner Lisa Dickman knew it was time when the Holladay Village spot became open. Dickman's parents owned Video Verns and other businesses on the corner during the 1980s and 1990s.

Having historic ties to the location "wasn't the deciding factor" in starting the new business, said Belnap. "But it is a fun fact. And we knew it was a strong location that we didn't want to pass up."

Longtime business owner Bill Leslie, owner of Leslie's French Pastries, said he feels better about the project now that it is complete. A few years ago, he was forced to move his now-29-year-old bakery to its current location to accommodate the new construction. "And when they were working on the street in front," he said, "it nearly killed our business."

Leslie said he still thinks the city should have done things differently, such as installing a round-about so traffic wouldn't back up at certain times of the day. But for the most part, the 64-year-old has no complaints.

"We get a lot more people that walk in and it's the first time they've been in our business," said Leslie, who didn't have much time to talk last week as he was busy making pies and rolls for Thanksgiving.

A resident of Holladay since he was 8, Leslie has many childhood memories of festivals and Christmas events in the area, he said. "It will be nice if they can bring that back."

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Wide range of dining options in Holladay

The intersection of 2300 East and Murray Holladay Road (4680 South) has five new eateries as well as many longtime dining favorites. Here’s a list of the 15 eating establishments within a block of the Holladay intersection.

Apollo Burger » 2254 E. Murray Holladay Road; 801-272-8400

Caputo’s Market and Deli » 4673 S. 2300 East (inside Holladay Village); 801-272-0821

Copper Kitchen » 4640 S. 2300 East (inside Holladay Village); 385-237-3159

Great Harvest Bread » 4667 S. 2300 East; 801-277-3277

Layla Mediterranean Grill » 4751 S. Holladay Blvd.; 801-272-9111

Leslie’s French Pastries » 2308 E. Murray Holladay Road; 801-278-3341

Lettuce and Ladles » 4657 S 2300 East; 801-278-5082

Slices Pizza Joint » 4655 S 2300 East; 801-613-9901

Mountain City Chinese Restaurant » 4701 S. Holladay Blvd.; 801-272-3332

Rice Basil Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar » 2335 E Murray Holladay Road; 801- 278-8682

Sharon’s Cafe » 2263 E. Murray Holladay Road; 801-278-9552

The Store » 4695 E. Murray Holladay Road; 801-277-3047

Taqueria 27 » 4670 S. 2300 East (inside Holladay Village); 801-676-9706

Tonyburgers » 4670 S. 2300 East (inside Holladay Village); 801-676-9686

Top It Frozen Yogurt » 4679 Holladay Blvd.; 801-272-0278