How Actor Ty Burrell is Strengthing Local Communities
Ty Burrell may be internationally known for his award-winning role as Phil Dunphy in the critically acclaimed hit Modern Family, but here in Park City, he is known as the co-owner of The Eating Establishment (or as locals say, The E.E.). He and his partners are also part of the lively Salt Lake scene with Bar X, the Beer Bar and The Cotton Bottom Inn. “I’m always thrilled to walk into one of our eateries and bars and feel the energy of the community,” Burrell exclaims.
“I’m always grateful for all of the work that everyone does to create such cool environments and gathering spaces.”
When asked what enticed him to take on the challenges and rewards of a restaurateur, Burrell is equal parts humble and humorous. He explains that he and his friends just wanted a nice place to get an exceptional craft beer and cocktail. “I really fell into the food and beverage business because of my fellow owners and their ability to identify a good idea and being able to execute it,” he tells us. “I have, by far, the easiest job in our ownership group. Talking to nice folks like you isn’t exactly digging ditch. I’m always grateful for all of the work that everyone does to create such cool environments and gathering spaces. Plus, I have the good fortune of being surrounded by people who are smarter than I am—that’s also true at home.”
Speaking of home, Burrell and his family made Utah their official residence upon the series wrap of Modern Family. “We moved to Salt Lake City because we’d been coming here in our downtime since 2008 when we’d moved from New York to Los Angeles,” he explains. “L.A. is great, but in many ways it felt like a 12-year location shoot. Salt Lake feels like home.” Another reason Utah may feel so warm and welcoming is that many members of the Burrells’ extended family call the beehive state home. In fact, Burrell’s wife, Holly, was born in Fruit Heights—a small town in Utah known as the “city of good neighbors.”
The Burrells’ appreciation for the area has been generously demonstrated through their altruism and support. During the pandemic, he created the “Tip Your Server” program to help raise money for restaurant employees who had lost their jobs due to business closures, with 100% of the funds going directly to the workers. At the same time, he and his wife donated $100,000 of their own money to help ease the burden for the Salt Lake community. Burrell also shares his impressive entertainment expertise.
Park City Picks:
Favorite Summertime Activity: “I love fishing. Like so many anglers, I fish the Provo quite a bit, so Park City is always on my route. I love swinging through for lunch or to drown my sorrows after mostly scaring fish.”
Favorite Nonprofit: “That’s hard to pick. I love The Nature Conservancy, The Grand Canyon Trust, and my friend Jim Enote’s organization, The Colorado Plateau Foundation, which supports Native-led organizations on the plateau.”
Favorite Spot To Take Out-Of-Towners: “My favorite place is up into the Uintas (Utah’s highest mountain range). It’s one of the most remarkable areas I’ve ever been to and it’s just out our back door.”
Favorite Local Idiosyncrasy: “It has to be how friendly the drivers are! After being in Los Angeles for so long, it’s almost jarring to have so many drivers wave you into traffic. At first, when I saw the arm going, I just assumed they were screaming at me.”