The year is 1971. Frazier knocks out Ali; Kissinger goes to China; Lennon’s “Imagine” tops the charts alongside Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on;” Willy Mays hits his 638th home run; Disney World opens in Florida; McCartney forms up Wings and Manson uses “Helter Skelter” in his defense.

And, here in Utah, Snowbird opened the lifts, racing to the finish line that December with crews battling a problem that would become the resort’s trademark: Too much snow.

Last year, Snowbird gutted the restaurants in the base of The Cliff Lodge and replaced them with the light and airy SeventyOne in homage to the ’Bird’s earliest days. It’s a welcome change from the wooded darkness of El Chanate and the Keyhole. The new bar and restaurant is retro fabulous, featuring throwback photos on the walls, groovy banquet seating and plenty of year-round patio space (thanks to high-BTU heaters).

Snowbird’s Executive Chef, George Lackey, explains SeventyOne is family-friendly and was conceived as a place where guests can return for several meals.

“El Chanate was great and everybody loves Mexican food but you only eat it once on a trip,” he says. “SeventyOne offers something for everyone at every mealtime.”

Making the menu Lackey says he tried to think back to the hot food trends of ’71.

“I was just getting out of culinary school back then,” he says. “So we’re doing French onion soup and pressure-fried chicken, even meatloaf with Spanish sauce.” Wait. This “meatloaf” is meatless with 2020 flair featuring Beyond Burger “meat.” 

“SeventyOne is a touch of the old made new again,” he says. Think nachos. Only modernized with ahi tuna—a popular first-course nibbler.

Indeed the SeventyOne menu is clearly built for variety, with small plates for sharing around après drinks, and heartier fare for fully coursed lunch or dinner. Food at Snowbird has always been a little spotty. We still think the Steak Pit, which is so old we can’t even call it a throwback, is the best spot to dine at the resort while the-wants-to-be swanky Aerie has been hobbled by playing the “Y’all come!” role that SeventyOne now fills.

“Now, the Aerie can be the Aerie like we want it to be,” Lackey says. “The high-end dining experience on the 10th Floor for a special night, and SeventyOne can keep folks fed the rest of the time.”

Dust off those bell-bottoms!

For more information on SeventyOne, click here.

For more food, click here.