Grub Steak Restaurant gets new owner
The Grub Steak Restaurant on Sidewinder Drive has been around since 1976 and many people on the staff have been there for more than 30 years. Hans Fuegi, who has been the restaurant’s owner since 1991, will no longer be part of the seasoned team.
Simon Shaner, a private equity investor living in the Salt Lake Valley, recently purchased the restaurant. He said that he is excited to continue the legacy that Fuegi and all of the workers there have built.
Fuegi said that working at the restaurant was a “great adventure” and that he will miss his staff, but he felt it was a good time to leave.
“I feel like I’ve taken the Grub Steak as far as I can take it,” he said. “It’s been a very rewarding journey. Now, it’s time for somebody else.”
Fuegi said he will now focus most of his time working on the development firm CRH Partners, LLC, which he recently formed with Rory Murphy and Chuck Heath. The partnership acquired land last January next to Park City Mountain Resort and plans on developing the area. He said he will no longer be as involved in the Park City Area Restaurant Association, which he co-founded, and the Utah Restaurant Association, of which he was the head of the liquor task force.
Fuegi put the business on the market last year, but despite interest from multiple buyers, he said he was prepared to sit on the offer for as long as he needed to. It was listed on several real estate sites such as Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, Fine Property and LoopNet.com for $3,650,000. Shaner did not disclose how much he purchased the restaurant for.
Fuegi said he sold to Shaner partly because Shaner was not interested in changing the business. Shaner has experience in the financial side of owning a business with his previous work in investment banking and hedge funds. He worked in New York City, London, Dallas and California until jumping into the restaurant industry.
He saw the Grub Steak Restaurant on the market in April, contacted a broker, and started to talk to Fuegi. Shaner said he saw how profitable and successful the business had been. He took family and friends to dine there and he was sold. After months of working out legal kinks, he signed the final document on Nov. 29.
Shaner hopes to build on the success the restaurant has already had, expanding offerings to include more dairy-free foods and desserts — Fuegi already launched a gluten-free menu — and add a few more offerings on the general menu, but his main goal is clear.
“None of the fundamentals are changing,” he said. “All of the staff is being retained and whatever experience you’ve come to expect is going to be here.”
Many of the staff members have been working at Grub Steak for more than a decade. Brian Moody, the head chef, has been working at the restaurant for 36 years. Greg Moody, his brother, has been there for 34 years.
Although Shaner wants to maintain the core Grub Steak brand, he also hopes to update the restaurant so it is appealing to the rising generation. He plans on redoing floors and changing furniture and decorations and has ideas of remodeling part of the 10,000 square-foot restaurant so it can be rented out for events like wedding rehearsal dinners.
“One of my goals is to capture the next generation of customers that are going to come here for the next 40 years,” he said. “I don’t ever plan on selling this place. I plan on holding onto it for as long as I live and then passing it to someone in my family.”
11 Hauz, which opened last summer, serves traditional Jamaican food such as jerk chicken and shrimp, beef patties and fried plantains.