Riverhorse on Main purchases historical Imperial Hotel on Main Street
June 12, 2015
An historic building on Main Street that has long sat dormant is under new ownership that has big plans for the property.
Riverhorse on Main recently bought the Imperial Hotel, at 221 Main St. The building, which the restaurant purchased from Provo-based Westlake Land, LLC., has changed hands multiple times in recent years but has been unused since it last operated as a hotel in 2006, according to The Park Record archives.
Seth Adams, co-owner and executive chef of Riverhorse on Main, at 540 Main St., said the restaurant finalized the purchase about six weeks ago. He declined to disclose financial details of the deal.
"We were thinking about expanding, but we didn’t necessarily want another fine-dining restaurant," he said. "We wanted something different. This property became available and we decided it would be a cool thing to work on."
Adams said the restaurant plans to open a market on the ground floor of the building, which is more than a century old. He envisions an open, deli-like kitchen where customers can purchase items such as fresh meat.
The next floor will house an event space the restaurant will rent out and use for its own gatherings, Adams said. The restaurant is in the process of renovating the building to move a staircase from the middle of the floorplan to near the northern wall so the space can accommodate about 100 people standing and 60 to 80 people at a seated dinner.
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"We can have the same Riverhorse quality of food and service, but maybe at a lower price point than the Riverhorse itself," Adams said.
The upper levels will comprise a four-room luxury condominium rental, complete with a large master suite.
Adams said he believes the building will push people to the southern end of Main Street, an area on the edge of the street’s commercial district that seldom has visitors flocking to it.
"Obviously this end of Main Street doesn’t get that much traffic. People kind of stop at the Treasure Mountain (Inn) and don’t go much further," he said. "So we’re hoping to bring some more people up there."
Alison Butz, executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, agreed. She said Parkites and tourists have had little reason to go to that area of Main Street since Park City Coffee Roaster occupied the space in the 1990s.
"It does have significant history within Park City," Butz said. "For it to have uses now, especially on that main floor, we’re real excited about that. A market or a deli there that people will go to frequently will help drive traffic up the street and to adjacent businesses.
"Hopefully it will turn into one of those places that is a hub for locals as far as fresh food."
City Hall owned and operated the property in the early 2000s in a failed attempt to trade it to the Air Force for a parcel of federally owned land.