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    Categories: Eat & DrinkPolitics

A night out with the Outdoor Retailers

The truth is, I forgot.

Photographer Adam Finkle was scheduled to take a picture of Finca bartender Tracy Gomez last night. My daughter and I decided to meet him there for a bite around 7 p.m. when he would be done.

No big deal, right? I didn’t call for reservations—at most downtown SLC restaurants, you don’t really need one.

So I was surprised when I was told at the hostess desk that “she’d have to find room for me.” And that Finca was filling up fast.

It wasn’t until we were sipping some fantastic cocktails (Ransom Gin with housemade lavender-honey tonic, garnished with lavender seeds and Beehive Jackrabbit Gin with housemade lemongrass-citrus tonic) that I remembered, with a Homer Simpson-esque “doh” and slap to the forehead:

Outdoor Retailer!


For years I’ve avoided going out to dinner during the Outdoor Retailer’s twice-yearly conventions—restaurants, not just downtown, but stretching out into the burbs, are packed during these times. Best for us locals just to eat in and be glad our friends in hospitality business are making their nut.

But no mas.

There’s been so much hubbub about the Utah Legislature and Guv’s stupid stance on public lands and the ensuing departure of the convention on which Salt Lake City’s hospitality economy is built that I thought O.R. was already gone, fini.
The crowd last night reminded me of how much our restaurants and bars will be missing ($45 million now going into Denver cash registers).

Mary Brown Malouf :Mary Brown Malouf is the Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.