Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael McHenry, Blue Lemon restaurant's director of operations, shows off the City Creek location. Blue Lemon is a locally owned restaurant that prides itself on its "express gourmet" menu that is the "elegant side to fast-casual" dining.
Blue Lemon opens third location in Cottonwood Heights
Restaurant » Menu offers “pure, clean food with a twist.”
First Published Feb 02 2012 08:33 am • Last Updated Feb 02 2012 08:49 am

When Lychelle Day and her husband, Aaron, opened a gourmet eatery in Highland three years ago, people tended to pepper the couple with the same question.

The owners of Blue Lemon Bistro had designed their restaurant to offer "pure, clean food with a twist" in an urban-chic environment. With its modern light fixtures and bright decor, Blue Lemon’s concept seemed more fitting for a posh chain from California or New York, customers believed.

At a glance

Blue Lemon

Cottonwood Heights location » 6910 S. Highland Drive

Menu prices » $8-$13


Monday-Thursday » 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday-Saturday » 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For menu and more information » www.bluelemon.com

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But Blue Lemon — set to open its third location in Cottonwood Heights in early February — is homegrown in Utah.

"When we first opened, I would get, "OK, where are you from?" recalled Lychelle Day. "I’d say I’m from Orem. I’ve lived here all my life. People are surprised that it’s a local, new concept. It’s very flattering to be something different."

The Days fell into the restaurant business by accident. The couple are self-proclaimed foodies, said Lychelle Day, who became increasingly interested in reading about the health benefits of food after Lychelle’s father died of leukemia.

Aaron Day was working as a computer technician when the couple decided to see if their hobby and interest in vegan and raw foods could be parlayed into a full-time business.

The couple didn’t anticipate the immediate success of the business, which opened a second location in Salt Lake City’s City Creek Center in May 2010.

Cottonwood Heights is now home to the third Blue Lemon, a franchise that sees itself expanding outside of Utah, possibly into Denver and southern California in the near future, said Michael McHenry, the company’s director of operations.

"Business has been phenomenal for us. It’s nice after the first 2½ years that we are starting to get fans. Our first year, in 2009, was figuring out the concept and what our platform was going to be. Once we aligned that, Blue Lemon has literally taken off," McHenry said.

McHenry, who previously worked in the fast-casual restaurant industry while employed at DSI Companies, the founding partner of Costa Vida, said Blue Lemon differentiates itself from other options in the market.

story continues below
story continues below

He said Blue Lemon takes fine-dining elements — food, presentation and atmosphere — and mixes it with the fast-casual concept. The result are menu items like Iron Seared Salmon ($14), served with sauce verte, sautéed seasonal vegetables, grilled lemon, roasted fingerling potatoes and frisée. Other options include Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad ($8.50), Artichoke and Tomato Chicken ($11.50) and several other recipes that the cooks promise will be delivered to the table in six minutes or less.

The Days, parents of four children, made sure the restaurant’s youngest customers weren’t overlooked by creating a $5 children’s menu that features Grilled Chicken Skewers and Mac and Cheese with fresh fruit and yogurt sauce.

The restaurant is north of the Whole Foods Market on 2000 East and 7000 South and sports a glass-enclosed kitchen so guests can see chefs in action.

Blue Lemon also has a growing catering business that delivers anywhere between Spanish Fork and Ogden, McHenry said. The 4,400-square-foot Cottonwood Heights location, with room to seat 140 people, will help bolster the restaurant’s catering component, he said.

Building on the success Blue Lemon has experienced so far is all the Days say they can hope for as the restaurant opens in Cottonwood Heights.

"It would be wonderful to see how big we could get," Lychelle Day said. "We’re happy with where we are going."


Twitter: @mrogers_trib

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.