An upscale City Creek restaurant has closed its doors

Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi has shut down after a ‘difficult’ decision, the restaurant announced.

(Sean P. Means | The Salt Lake Tribune) The exterior of Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi, in the City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The restaurant closed for good on April 2, 2024.

Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi, a restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City’s City Creek Center that aimed for “affordable luxury,” closed last week.

The restaurant shuttered as of April 2, according to a post on Instagram. Management called the decision to close “difficult” in the post, and said, “it has been an honor to be a part of the thriving Salt Lake City culinary scene and community! We deeply appreciate our talented team, and we thank you for your patronage.”

Elaina Morris, the CEO and president of Aqua Terra’s parent company, Ascend Hospitality Group, based in Bellevue, Washington, submitted a statement via email: “We are not at liberty to discuss the situation, however, we are very invested in Salt Lake City and the region. We love the relationship we’ve built with the community, and Salt Lake City is still part our 10-year development plan for [Ascend Hospitality Group].”

Taubman Company, the management company for City Creek, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail Tuesday requesting comment.

Aqua Terra opened its doors on Dec. 1, 2022, just over a year ago, right on Main Street on City Creek’s west side.

(Aqua Terra) The tomahawk rib eye steak was one of the specialties of Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi, when it opened on Dec. 1, 2022, at City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The restaurant announced on April 2, 2024, that it had closed permanently.

Created by restaurateur Morris, Aqua Terra was meant to have a “throwback to the 1950s feel,” she said in 2022.

Morris said that Aqua Terra mirrored, but didn’t mimic, Ascend Hospitality Group’s other restaurants, including Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi and Stanford’s, a multi-generational steakhouse chain — two in Washington state, two in Oregon — that the company bought a few years ago.

Aqua Terra’s menu included premium cuts of steak, along with top-shelf sushi, wild game and sake cocktails.