Utah prison’s Serving Time Cafe to close for good

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brittney Christensen, 35, serves food to customers as her latest batch of chocolate mint brownies from scratch bakes in the oven. Every Monday through Friday, a half-dozen or so Level 4 inmates file out of the Olympus Facility at the Utah State Prison to cook, bake and serve the public at the Serving Time CafŽ. The operation is part of Utah Department of Corrections Industries (UCI) and is aimed at helping inmates return to society.

Utah prison officials announced Tuesday evening that it will close the Serving Time Cafe, a popular breakfast and lunch joint staffed by incarcerated women.

The cafe, which was located adjacent to the Draper prison location, had been open to the public for the last 13 years. It was temporarily closed recently due to restrictions with the coronavirus pandemic — but prison officials said Tuesday it won't reopen.

"Out of concern for the ongoing health and safety of the Utah Department of Corrections staff and the people incarcerated in our facility, we have come to the difficult decision to permanently close the Serving Time Cafe," said Maria Peterson, Director of Utah Correctional Industries. "For more than 10 years, the Serving Time Cafe has contributed to the UCI mission, providing real-world work experiences for incarcerated women and teaching them valuable skills in food preparation and customer service."

The cafe had a regular following, and there was often a lunchtime rush. It was also a way for women who were sentenced to prison to gain skills and prepare them to re-enter the community when they are released.

"We want to sincerely thank our regular customers and the local businesses who employed many of our former cafe workers after release," Peterson said. "Your support of the cafe and UCI has made a positive difference in the lives of many people."

As a parting gift, the cafe shared its recipe for its famous peanut butter bars:

Peanut Butter Bars:


• 1 1/2 C. Peanut Butter

• 1 1/2 C. Butter 1 1/2 C. Sugar

• 1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar

• 4 Eggs

• 1 TBS Vanilla


• 3 C. Flour

• 1 TSP Salt

• 1 1/2 TSP Baking Soda

• 3 C. Oats


• Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes.

• Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top and let cool.



• 1 C. Butter

• 1/2 C. Cocoa Powder

• 4 C. Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 TSP Vanilla

Add milk to consistency desired