August 4, 2008

Historic Ruth’s Diner to Close for Renovations for Two-and-a-Half Months

By Anonymous

Ruth's Diner, a destination restaurant in Emigration Canyon since 1930, is scheduled to close for approximately two-and-a-half months beginning this fall to accommodate a renovation.

Erik Nelson, who with wife Tracy bought the historic eatery last year, said plans call for Ruth's to be closed from Sept. 15 to approximately Dec. 1 to make way for a roughly 1,000 square foot expansion and modernization of the kitchen, improvements to the dining area and the installation of larger restrooms that will be handicap-accessible.

Presently, Ruth's has two restrooms, each with one toilet. The renovation will result in two restrooms, each with four toilets, he said.

In the dining room, wood floors will be refinished and a bar will be installed and some tables and chairs will be replaced with booths, Nelson said.

"We're going to make the dining room a little more intimate for the evening people and hope to get some more people up here in the winter," he said. "People just don't tend to come up here then. It's been a battle for years trying to figure out why they don't come up here in the winter in the evenings. I think there's a perception this is a bad road in the winter, and it's really not. It's well maintained."

The roots of Ruth's Diner go back to 1930 when Ruth Evans opened Ruth's Hamburgers, a diner at 120 E. 200 S. in downtown Salt Lake City. When the structure was sold and demolished, she bought a Salt Lake trolley car and moved it up Emigration Canyon where she reopened in 1949. She built an apartment onto the back of the trolley car (now the lower dining area and kitchen) and lived alone there with her Chihuahuas for almost 40 years.

Copyright Enterprise Business Newspaper Inc. Jul 21, 2008

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