After more than 30 years in business, the Market Street Broiler near the University of Utah has closed its doors, and the historic building where it was located has been put up for sale.
Monday was the last day of business at the Broiler, which had just opened an Oyster Bar upstairs in February.
"We express our thanks to all our customers and our neighbors for their support of this location over the years and we invite them to dine with us at other locations," Gastronomy Inc. owner Tom Guinney said in a news release.
Guinney said the company will try to reassign employees to the other Market Street Grill and Oyster Bars in downtown Salt Lake City, Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and the Salt Lake City International Airport. Customers with outstanding gift cards can use them at the remaining locations.
In the news release, Guinney and business partner John Williams said they had been evaluating the performance of the property near the U., at 260 S. 1300 East, and made the decision to reallocate resources.
The building is listed at $1.5 million, about $500,000 under appraisal, said Steve Brown, an agent with Coldwell Banker. The price includes the equipment and furniture.
"I’ve been in the real estate business for 30 years and it’s the best buy I’ve seen," he said. "It’s a steal."
By Tuesday afternoon, Brown already had received calls inquiring about the property. He said a restaurant concept in which the prices are reasonable — such as pizza or Mexican — would probably be the most successful. "The ticket [at the Broiler] was too high for college kids," he said.
While customers and neighbors often complained about the lack of parking in the area, they still were saddened at the demise of the venerable restaurant and seafood market, where they could enjoy a bowl of creamy clam chowder, sit on a shaded patio in the summer or buy fresh seafood and delectable desserts to go.
"It’s definitely a blow to the neighborhood," said Aristides Boutsikakis, owner of the nearby Aristo’s Restaurant.
Marek Shon, owner of Cyclesmith next to the Broiler, had not heard of the closing until contacted by The Salt Lake Tribune.
"I’m surprised. It seemed like it was pretty busy," he said, noting that he was a regular customer and the two businesses even sponsored a women’s cycling clinic together.
He hopes new owners will keep the building intact. "I don’t want them to change it," he said.
The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was an operational fire station for Salt Lake City from 1931 to 1980, when Gastronomy bought it and converted it into a restaurant. The interior was altered but the exterior was left virtually intact.
In mid-February, the Broiler opened a small upstairs Oyster Bar, making it the only club within walking distance of the U. It had waited more than a year for the license from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
If a bar or restaurant decided to take over the spot, the state liquor commission could award the license to the new owners, said UDABC spokeswoman Vickie Ashby. Gastronomy also could relinquish the license back to the state and one of the 12 current applicants — some of whom have waited more than a year — could get it.
Right now it’s too soon to tell, she said. "We’ll just wait to hear from them."
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