Utah to open a temporary liquor store inside the closed Red Butte Cafe

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) The tiny liquor store at 1615 Foothill Blvd. in Salt Lake City, soon will be torn down as part of a redevelopment project.

Salt Lake City’s Red Butte Cafe closed in August, but the building at 1414 Foothill Drive won’t sit vacant for long.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has already started converting the site into a liquor store. It will be a temporary one while the state-run outlet a few blocks south is rebuilt.

The store at 1615 S. Foothill Drive — in the Lamplighter Square Shopping Center — was built in 1982 and is currently one of the smallest stores in the state at just 4,200 square feet.

It soon will be torn down along with several adjacent office buildings, apartments and the former Skyline Inn to make way for a new redevelopment project, said DABC Executive Director Sal Petilos.

The temporary store is expected to open sometime in November — as are new stores in Farmington and Saratoga Springs.

“November is the beginning of the holiday season and one of the busier months for the department," Petilos told members of the state liquor commission. Opening the sites “will spread some of the demand to more stores as we move forward."

In August, the owners of Red Butte Cafe announced that they were closing the restaurant after nearly 30 years in business.

Petilos didn’t have a completion date for the new Foothill store, but he did say that once it’s done it will be triple the size of the current location.

The liquor agency also plans to replace the small — and controversial — Salt Lake City store at 204 W. 400 South, near Pioneer Park. The agency has identified a particular piece of downtown property for the project, but it has not officially announced the location.

Sources have said the half-acre site on the corner of 200 East and 300 South — where a proposed redevelopment project involves the iconic Ken Sanders Rare Books — is a likely spot. However, the artist rendering of the project shows it on the corner of 300 South and Edison Street.

The DABC also is looking for property in Sugar House where a new liquor store can be built.

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