The owners of Salt Lake City’s popular Blue Plate Diner say the last day of business at their all-day breakfast spot will be May 4.
The eclectic eatery will close to make way for a new development — on the northeast corner of 2100 South and 2000 East — that will include multistory housing and street-level shops.
That gives customers about seven weeks to enjoy one last plate of corned beef hash, eggs Benedict or a chile verde burrito from the east-side eatery.
“Our hearts are full with all the love Salt Lake has shown us over the years,” the owners said on Instagram, “and it’ll be a sad day when we shut the doors for the last time.”
Since the Thursday announcement, customers — and staffers — have been mourning the loss of another favorite Utah restaurant.
“A lot of people are saddened by the announcement,” said longtime manager Joe Mandl. “We love our customers, and apparently they love us.”
But, he added, it’s been a good run.
“It’s funny now. Those busy mornings, when you’re pulling your hair out and you’re having a hard time keeping up,” he said, “we’re going to miss those days.”
When the Blue Plate debuted nearly 20 years ago, owners John Bouzek and Tamrika Khvtisiashvili gave out free food to entice customers.
The promotion worked. The Blue Plate quickly became one of the capital’s favorite breakfast haunts, with customers often waiting an hour or more — especially on the weekends — to get a table or a seat at the retro green and yellow Formica bar.
Customers came for the food but relished the nostalgic — and cluttered — decor that included clocks, license plates, postcards and all sorts of odd knickknacks.
The Sugar House gem’s reputation expanded beyond Utah several years ago, when it was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
While residents are saddened by news of the coming closure, it’s not a complete surprise.
Six years ago, developers approached the city about rehabilitating the property. The project has had numerous changes and setbacks since then but is now on track. About six months ago, the city announced that the Blue Plate owners had sold the property to the developers.
While the restaurant will close, Mandl said, at least one part of the restaurant will live on: the counter and its matching stools.
Bouzek and Khvtisiashvili — who discovered the pieces decades ago in a boarded-up Salina drugstore — are donating them to a business in Helper, as part of that city’s Main Street revival project.