By Julie Hooker
From Park City’s sister city, Moab, to historic Main Street, and into the Wasatch Back for biscuits, some of the finest dining, best food, and most comfortable restaurants have one thing in common: They are family owned and operated.
Colin Fryer, owner of Red Cliffs Lodge, the Cowboy Grill, and Castle Creek Winery explained, “I do tourism and wine to support my cattle ranching habit.” With his son, Will, they built the largest winery in Utah. At Red Cliffs, everyone from the chef to the cowboys feels like family.
In a historic building on Main Street sits Th e Red Banjo Pizza Parlour. Mary Lou Toly opened the pizza parlour in 1962, making it the longest running family-owned business in Park City. Now, 54 years later, Mary Lou’s son, Scott, and granddaughter, Tana, are still tossing and serving fresh pizzas.
Brothers Kevin and Bob Valaika grew up in Chicago. Just before the Olympics, they both settled in Park City. Shabu grew from catering events to locals’ favorite “Asian-Fusion.” Their wives have managed everything from payroll to hostessing. Now, their children, Bobby Jr. (7), Cameron (4), and Calvin (4) roll sushi, too.
Longtime locals, Jeff and Lisa Ward, blended her communications background with his restaurant management experience to open Th e Silver Star Café in 2010. Their focus is on from-scratch cooking, ambience, service and acoustic music. Th e Café overlooks the Park City Golf Course. Oft en, the Ward boys can be found waiting tables, too.
Dave and Jane Perkins moved to Park City in 2004. Th ey brought with them a passion for community and love of bourbon. High West opened with a copper still in 2006. In 2009, High West Distillery and Saloon opened in downtown Park City, as the world’s only ski-in/out distillery.
Single-mom, Wendy Kuo, opened Szechwan Chinese Kitchen on Main Street in 1989. Then, in 1998, with help from her young daughters, Jessica and Nicole, opened the new home of Szechwan Chinese Kitchen in Kimball Junction. Chef Wendy is typically in the kitchen while Jessica and Nicole host and wait tables.
Local mom, educator and advocate for healthy food in schools, Laurel Bartmess, opened Woodland Biscuit Company in 2015. Housed in a historic building, they serve fresh biscuits and biscuit sandwiches from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm each day, except Wednesday and Thursday. Laurel’s home cooking is well worth the scenic drive.
This summer, be sure to bring your family to these family-run restaurants for unique dishes served by locals.