Salt Lake City’s Hip Regent Street
The Regent Street dream is finally about to materialize.
After several years of delays, the tiny, once-neglected street in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City’s theater district is coming close to fulfilling its potential. Regent Street serves as a pedestrian connector between City Creek and the Gallivan Center and is a food destination for people attending nearby cultural events.
Three eateries are holding down the fort on Regent — Last Course Dessert Studio, Pretty Bird Chicken and Fireside on Regent. All are extremely popular, but the original redevelopment plan envisioned an entire street lined with food establishments by late summer of 2016. City code issues caused delays but are now resolved.
Three New Restaurants
“We’re very excited to get back to the original plan of a destination location of seven to 10 food options in an entertainment district,” says Bruce Lyman, director of leasing for Utah Property Management Association, which includes Regent Street.
Not just any restaurant will do, however. Applicants were carefully vetted with an eye toward local, independent and unique eateries. Newly open are Honest Eatery, Maize Homestyle Tacos and Turmeric. Two additional restaurants are under negotiation.
Honest Eatery offers healthy food options like acai bowls and toasts alongside items such as Brazilian cheese bread and chia pudding. The eatery is operating at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, but this is its first storefront location.
Diners on Regent will have plenty of international options including Italian, Indian and Mexican, plus desserts and more.
According to Maize Homestyle Tacos owner Brian Noguera, maize (corn) is the quintessential ingredient in everything on his menu. “We have handmade corn tortillas from fresh corn masa,” he says. “Our quesadillas and fresh scratch-made corn chips are reminiscent of the streets of Mexico. The smell of fresh corn tortillas is incredible and eating them is an experience like no other. Additionally, we are 100% gluten free.”
Maize began as a food truck four years ago. Its Regent Street location will be Noguera’s first brick and mortar restaurant. The vibe is casual-modern with vibrant colors and authentic smells and sounds of Mexico. “We want to make people feel like we’re transporting them back to Mexico with our food, smells and décor,” Noguera says. A few specialty items include lobster tacos, queso fundido featuring Mexican and locally sourced cheeses, Mexican street corn, and locally made Mexican ice cream bars.
Turmeric’s owners are excited about their restaurant’s long-anticipated opening on Regent. “Our food is pure Indian with a healthier twist,” says Arjun Shankar, one of five owners who also operate a successful Turmeric location in Draper. “The vibe will be casual fine dining with mid-range pricing. Our focus is offering excellent food. Everything else is secondary.”
Lyman is quick to rave about Turmeric. “They (the owners) really know what they’re doing,” he says. “During their annual vacations to India, they eat at local restaurants and get authentic family recipes.”
Salt Lake City’s Director of Economic Development Lara Fritts expects that her favorite eatery will always be Fireside on Regent, the first restaurant on the block. “The food there today is just as good as it was when they moved in,” she says.
Fritts likes to focus on all the redevelopment agency has done so far to renovate Regent Street and is excited to see it finally coming together.
“Our work on Regent is nearly complete,” she says. “And we’ve done so much. As you walk down the street, check out how the east-west mid-block walkway from Main Street has opened up sightlines. And thanks to the street’s revamped lighting and large-scale vertical illuminated guideposts at each of the block’s entrance points — Main Street, 100 South, 200 South and State Street — passersby can now see into the middle of the block and have been much more likely to utilize the street on foot.”
There are benches, planter boxes and outdoor seating for restaurants. A public art piece titled “Pages of Salt” by artist Ned Kahn is scheduled for installation. It will cover the entire north side of the Walker Center Parking Garage directly above the McCarthey Plaza, which serves as a load-in dock for the Eccles Theater and a festival space.
Located directly behind the new Eccles Theater and 111 Main Office Tower, Regent Street has been redeveloped by the agency in tandem with surrounding private property owners.