The SugarHouse Barbecue Company, a mainstay in Salt Lake City for 17 years, is moving to make way for the return of streetcars.
In April, the restaurant will move two blocks east, from 2207 S. 700 East to the new location at 880 E. 2100 South.
Owner Bill Smithers is remodeling the building at the new location, which should be done sometime in the early spring. Diners, hopefully, will not go more than a week between the old building closing and the new location's opening.
"The city has been good to me," said Smithers. "I've obtained some of the financing for the remodeling work from a revolving loan fund. That's made it possible for me to move."
The restaurant specializes in Memphis-style barbecue, featuring a process called dry rub. A blend of spices is rubbed into the meat, which is then slow smoked for several hours. Diners have a choice of four different sauces and a variety of side dishes.
For years, it hasn't been easy to drive into the restaurant, particularly for motorists traveling southbound on 700 East. Entering the property will become even more difficult with the new streetcars. In addition, the restaurant will be losing as many as 30 parking stalls, which are currently being leased for its customers.
"We understand the importance of the trolley," said Jeffrey Berg, manager of SugarHouse Barbecue. "But with limited parking and access, we've had to move."
Construction on the streetcar network began last May. Riders should be able to use the new streetcar system, complete with seven stations, by the end of 2013.
The streetcars will run along a new two-mile stretch of rail that will connect South Salt Lake's old warehouse district near the Central Pointe TRAX light rail station to the thriving commercial hub in the Sugar House neighborhood.
The $37.2 million Sugar House project is funded from a $26 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant and $11.2 million from South Salt Lake, Salt Lake City and Utah Transit Authority funds.
UTA expects the project to generate 700 short-term construction jobs and to add 7,500 new jobs to the local economy by 2030. It also could generate over $1 billion in new business development along the line.
In the early 1900s the Salt Lake Valley hosted a thriving electric streetcar network. But the trolleys made their last runs by 1946, giving way to bus and automobile travel. Today, streetcars are seeing a resurgence, partly due to fuel prices and environmental concerns, and are revitalizing urban neighborhoods around the nation.
The SugarHouse Barbecue Company
Located • 2207 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City
New location • Open in April at 880 E. 2100 South
Menu • Memphis style, spices rubbed into meat and slow smoked for several hours.
Hours • 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday- Wednesday; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday; closed Sunday