Stardate: June 1992, my first visit to Park City. The weather was perfect, none of the ridiculously humid dog days I’d left in D.C. Main Street looked like a postcard — 19th Century-era storefronts, few cars and even fewer pedestrians. The Wasatch Brew Pub, at the top of the street, was my first dining stop (and my first “pub” experience). In every possible way, it exceeded my expectations.
Fast-forward 24 years, and this Park City icon is thriving. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Wasatch Brew Pub has endured economic droughts, a 2012 fire, and the ever-changing complexion of Main Street. The street-level brewery and restaurant is the main draw, but upstairs is a bustling sports bar — and favorite watering hole on college football Saturdays. Just beyond the bar is an intimate outdoor dining patio, a breezy oasis for those seeking refuge from the maddening crowds.
Owner Greg Shirf is an icon himself, and community accolades aren’t hard to find. His involvement, from school boards to mountain trails, has been instrumental in the growth and success of the restaurant as well as Park City’s tourism industry as a whole. He opened the first brewery in Utah, and was a pioneer of the nation’s craft-brewing industry.
Thirty years of success for a local restaurant — in any town — is rare, indeed, notwithstanding the striking changes we’ve witnessed, from a small ski town to a world- class destination, a town of multi- occupant condos and “ski shacks” to one of second-home retreats and hedge fund investments. And yet despite, or maybe because of all that, the Wasatch Brew Pub remains a welcoming beacon at the top of the street.