While some Utah restaurant owners are trying to reinvent their businesses amid the coronavirus, Salt Lake City’s Scott Evans has decided to return to a tried-and-true concept — Finca.
The beloved Spanish restaurant relaunched this week after a two-year hiatus. It’s located in the dining space — with a quaint patio — at 1513 S. 1500 East. It replaces Trestle Tavern.
Michael Richey, who 11 years ago helped Evans launch Pago, is the new chef.
“We get a chance to start over and reimagine the restaurant,” said Evans, noting that Richey will continue to operate Avenue Bistro on Third along with its other co-owners.
Both Pago and Finca officially opened June 1, said Evans, with an order-at-the-counter lunch menu and sit-down service at dinner. The eateries will continue to offer family meals to go and curbside pickup.
As part of the Finca relaunch, Evans is handing over his other restaurants to business partners. Briant Stringham is now the operator of Hub and Spoke Diner, while Josh and Caroline Stewart will oversee East Liberty Tap House and Birdhouse.
“I want to focus more on my personal strengths — wine and higher-end food,” Evans said. “That’s where I get the most happiness.”
Evans, along with Pago chef Phelix Gardner, opened Finca in 2012 in Sugar House. Two years later, the two moved the restaurant to a historic building at 327 W. 200 South. Finca, which Evans now says was never meant to be in such a large space, was renamed George.
Evans was forced to close George and its accompanying bar in April, after the state took away its liquor license.