Clockwork Café caters to the individual
Clockwork Café’s owners Ben and Stacy Farquharson are spreading the made-to-your-taste philosophy they began at Silver Summit location to their new Main Street counterpart in Old Town Park City.
"It’s not about creating the perfect sandwich, it’s about creating the perfect sandwich for you," Ben Farquharson explained.
Create-your-own sandwiches have been known to give birth to Clockwork mainstay menu items such as the Yerby, named after one of the owners’ friends, a roast beef sandwich with au jus, horseradish, mayonnaise and Swiss cheese on a roll.
The café also offers breakfast items such as pastries, English muffins and the "Manwich," a double-egg, double-cheese, double-meat breakfast sandwich on white, wheat or rye toast.
Clockwork makes use of local ingredients whenever possible. A station of Utah’s Nutty Guys natural goods offers peanut trail mix, dried mangos and banana chips. Sandwich meats, featuring Italian-style roast beef, come from the Salt Lake deli, Granato’s. Coffee drinks, from lattes to mochas use Park City Coffee Roasters’ beans.
Confident from the success of their boxed lunches and grilled items from their two-year-old Silver Summit location, the Farquharsons opened on Heber Avenue and Main Street during the first week of the Sundance Film Festival. The two noticed a different kind of customer from their original location. They went through two gallons of hummus on their first weekend.
While the Silver Summit Clockwork attracts Promontory employees and construction workers, Main Street’s Clockwork has captured the pre-ski breakfast crowd and the après ski snacking crowd, according to Stacy Farquharson.
Latino customers have found familiar flavors in Clockwork’s Spanish dishes such as the Clockwork "Torta" made with guacamole and jalapenos and chorizos, made with Mexican meat, says Ben.
The café also appeals to the local crowd, notes Ben, adding that Thursday, nearly 30 boxed lunches were ordered by local companies, along with three sandwiches for a fishing trip.
"Meatball Fridays," Clockwork’s weekly homemade meatball special made from scratch with fresh-ground parmesan cheese have drawn commuters from Layton and Salt Lake, he says.
Ben views the homegrown appeal as a good sign.
"When the police, UPS guys, DHL and FedEx guys stop by, that means you’re doing something right," he observed.
A gallery previously occupied the Farquharsons’ corner of Main Street. Their renovations included adding a counter and a kitchen. Customers can bring wireless Internet-ready laptop computers to Clockwork’s wrought iron tables to access Wi-Fi and surf the Web while enjoying a meal.
"We decided to go with more of an open, comfortable style a place where people can hang out and bring a laptop," Ben explained.
In the future, the Farquharsons say they plan to add more sundry items such as toothpaste, cigarettes and milk basic items that tend to be missing from most shops in Old Town.
Ben Farquharson’s passion for the restaurant business stems from a love of food and of people, and not the typical restaurateur background. "I love to talk food with people who are [food] fans," he explains, "I have no formal or informal training it’s all about common sense and working with people I put a lot of care and effort into my food."
His simple secret is listening to customers, he said, which means being willing to try new things and new ingredients.
"I don’t know if it’s unique to this market, but I’ve found that when you work with people individually, you can create a flavor that’s more personal and create an opportunity to make a special sandwich for that person," he said. "I do it because it’s nice to have that place that’s accustomed to you, to come in and know, ‘Hey, Ben’s going to work with me and figure out what I like.’"
Visit the Clockwork Café at 632 Main Street or at its Silver Summit’s location at 6415 Business Park Loop. For more information call the Silver Summit location at (435) 658-2469 or the Main Street location at (435) 649-0013. The Main Street Café is open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
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Bill White shut down his restaurants in the spring when the pandemic hit. They’re back up and running, but the challenges brought on by COVID-19 remain: “[I]t seems we collectively are taking one step forward and two steps backwards.”