For nearly a quarter-century, the space at 4044 S. 2700 East in Holladay housed Granato’s Gourmet Market — and was a hangout for Frank Granato.
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” Granato said. “I went to Skyline High School, and 26 years ago, we turned this into a market with my friends. So there’s a lot of community support right here.”
Over the last two years, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Granato said, “it’s crazy how many neighbors haven’t seen each other. So now, they’re coming down here, and seeing people they haven’t seen in more than a year, and reconnecting.”
Granato, who owns the building in the Holladay strip mall where Granato’s market once lived, has opened Block Party 2700, billed as “a community food hall.”
The restaurants assembled in the hall came together, Granato said, through personal connections and relationships.
Granato has a long-standing friendship with Colby Ostler and Scott Dimmit of Over the Coles BBQ, which serves Texas and Midwestern-style barbecue, and previously partnered with Granato on a food truck.
Granato’s wife, Kami, approached Santo Taco; she’s also the owner of Elephant Press Cafe, which serves specialty coffee, gelato and pastries from Adalberto Diaz of Fillings and Emulsions. “Our paths crossed about 25 years ago when he moved here,” Granato said. “He was our baker at Granato’s.”
Granato’s itself has a presence here, of course, with a counter serving grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. “We also do fresh-made pasta,” Granato said. “We make it in the back, along with the pizzas.”
Block Party 2700 is the second food hall in Salt Lake County. The first one, HallPass in The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City, is somewhat different.
HallPass is an 11,000-square-foot space that’s home to eight incubator kitchens and two bars. At lunchtime, it serves thousands of downtown office workers; at night, it’s full of cocktail drinkers, sports fans, tourists or people bouncing from UMOCA or grabbing a beer before heading to The Depot or the Megaplex theater for a show.
Granato said the Block Party food hall offers a little bit of something for everyone, and is a space where families can feel comfortable — something he understands as the father of five kids, with a sixth on the way.
“It’s nice to see families come in and someone gets tacos, someone gets barbecue,” he said. “And then they can all sit together.”
Right now, the front patio is planted with tomatoes and herbs, which will be used as much as possible in the food. Granato said they will have a full rooftop garden next year that will provide a huge amount of herbs and vegetables for everyone’s menu.
“We’ll grow tomatoes, basil, things we can use in all aspects,” he said. “Peppers for the barbecue, peppers for the tacos.”
There are also plans underway, he said, for two more Block Party food halls, one in Lehi and possibly one in downtown Salt Lake City near South Temple. Granato said it will be the same four restaurants, with possibly some swap-outs or additions.
“I think we have a good mix — the barbecue, Mexican, Granato’s,” he said. “But there are some other ones we might add, just to bring in something different. We might find something that’s missing. My dad always said, you give him too many options, you’ll confuse them — but these days, people like to have multiple options.”
Block Party 2700 is located at 4044 S. 2700 East, Holladay. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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