The Eagle Building, former home of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and more recently The Bay dance club, is the new home of Salt Lake City’s Caffe Molise and its affiliated BTG Wine Bar.
The Italian restaurant and bar officially moved into the historic spot at 404 S. West Temple in mid-September, after spending 25 years near the Salt Palace Convention Center.
The move was necessary to make way for a possible development.
But it required months of renovations, which focused on updating the building’s plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems and filling in its pool, while maintaining its Neo-Renaissance style, said chef Fred Moesinger, who co-owns the business with his wife, Aimee Sterling. “It was important for us to keep it true to the historic nature of the building.”
The grand staircase and arched windows remain, but the owners have added a new kitchen and two elevators (one of which is on street level on West Temple) to make it accessible and comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The elevator’s housing is made of reclaimed bricks.
The new location includes a patio, something that was a favorite among patrons at the old location at 55 W. 100 South. It will be open on the few sunny days left before the weather turns too cool, Moesinger said. In the spring, retractable awnings will be added, allowing for even more evenings outdoors.
Caffe Molise’s new home offers more square footage. The upstairs banquet room can handle parties from 10 to 200 people. Despite being farther away from the Salt Palace, the new location is closer to many hotels.
The menu hasn’t changed, but Moesinger anticipates a few updates while maintaining the core favorites.
Those who remember Salt Lake City’s Dead Goat Saloon should stop into BTG on the lower floor. The wood frame and mirror behind the bar were salvaged from the popular saloon where Moesinger and Sterling met.
Caffe Molise • 404 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City; 801-364-8883 or http://www.caffemolise.com/ Open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. BTG is open daily from 5 p.m. until midnight.