Restaurants + Cocktails

Tradition SLC | Custom Comfort

Live here long enough, and you’ll see all manner of businesses making a go of things along our perpendicular and numerically-organized streets. Take the corner of 900 S and 500 E, where an 84-year-old building had housed such ventures as a gas station and a roller skate and bicycle rental company. Tougher times saw the building abandoned, and finally lost to neglect for nearly three decades. But hope springs eternal, and--at last!--new life has been breathed into the old structure.

Welcome, Tradition. We've long waited for you to put down roots in our fair city.

The eatery officially opened its doors in April of this year, when owners Ashton Aragon (who runs the business end of things) and Max Shrives (the head chef) hit the ground running and never looked back. The idea was simple: fresh ingredients and from-scratch cooking with elevated flavors and plating. The interior reflects those principles perfectly. The space, which was cooked up by Max and Ashton, along with help from MJSA Architects' Ralph Nagasawa, is clean, open, and full of light. A few darker, more-masculine elements lend a dose of the rustic, and along the room's center runs the communal dining table: two massive slabs of Boxelder maple sourced from Liberty Park.

And now, on to the food.

Max is truly a conjurer in the kitchen, and his back-of-house crew whips up such delicious delicacies as chicken and dumplings, a banger of a Reuben, and the crowd-pleasing fried green tomatoes. But what our COLLECTIVE crew ventured in for this day was the pie. Word has it this joint serves a mean slice of the stuff, and in honor of our upcoming second holiday in July*, we decided to stroll on over for some gastronomical research. And research we did. Spiced Cherry. Ginger Berry. And Peach! You seductive number, you stole our hearts. Natalie Hamilton, previously of Finca, runs Tradition’s bar and helped pair our pie selections with local craft beers, and we can COLLECTIVELY attest that her ability to hitch hops to pastry is spot on.

We’ve frequented Tradition a number of times, and always we’ve come away confident that Max and Ashton have themselves a winner. If you haven’t been by, you should. And while the space will be closed on actual Pioneer Day (to participate in Bar X and Beer Bar's Pie and Beer Event), we recommend stopping by for a plate of something warm and a glass of something cold any ol' time.

*Non-locals will do well to take note of the rapidly approaching local holiday Pioneer Day--oft alternatively referred to as Pie & Beer Day--which takes place July 24th and celebrates the Mormon pioneers' 1847 passage through Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley.

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