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The Cabin brings new atmosphere to Main Street

John Oswald, owner of The Cabin, a bar on Main Street, pours a beer. Renovations at the bar have given it a new look and feel, and drawn in customers. (Bubba Brown/Park Record)
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When John Oswald moved his family to Park City from Newport Beach, Calif., he began looking for a project, something he could sink his teeth into.

He found it in a place he wasn’t expecting — a dive bar on Main Street called Lindzee O’Michaels. Oswald bought the bar and has been sprucing it up since reopening it under the name The Cabin in May.

"I wasn’t really looking to buy a bar — I was looking to buy a business when I moved here with my family," he said. "I wanted to have something to work on and this popped up. I saw an opportunity. It’s a great location."

Last week, work was completed on interior renovations that include new wall coverings, brick pillars, lighting and furniture. Oswald said the remodel has given the bar a completely different atmosphere, something patrons have already noticed.

"Every one of them has said, ‘Boy did this need the help,’" he said. "And from an economic standpoint, hopefully it turns out to be a good return on investment. It’s looking like it will be. Everybody loves the new look and what we’ve done."

Without a background in owning and operating a bar, Oswald has used his branding expertise — he formerly was the CEO of Paul Frank Industries, a company famous for featuring Julius the monkey on many of its products — to give the bar a unique draw.

What he came up with is the mythical elkupine — a porcupine with elk antlers, along the lines of the more-famous jackalope. Patrons can come in and take pictures with an elkupine featured prominently in a corner of the bar.

The Cabin’s bartenders are also currently concocting a drink called the elkupine that will become the bar’s signature beverage.

"We’re the only bar in the world with (an elkupine)," Oswald said. "It’s just something different."

Another thing that sets The Cabin apart is its beer menu, which Oswald touts as one of the largest around. And he has made an effort to stock product from breweries and distilleries in the Park City area.

"We try to support anybody local," he said.

Though the bar doesn’t serve food, patrons have plenty of options to fill their hungry stomachs. Several restaurants nearby on Main Street deliver to the bar free of charge.

"We’re friends with all the owners," Oswald said. "They’re able to sell more food because we do not offer food. We don’t have a kitchen here, so they order from them. It’s like a to-go order. And they don’t upcharge them."

Public reaction to The Cabin has been positive, particularly since the renovations ended, Oswald said.

"It’s just about creating an atmosphere in the bar that people appreciate," he said. "It makes them want to come in here and exchange stories of their days on the slopes, or whatever it might be, and have a few drinks."

According to Oswald, even his competitors have taken notice. He’s received several compliments from the proprietors of several other bars and restaurants on Main Street, who are hoping a rising tide lifts all boats.

"Everybody is appreciative that we’ve upgraded part of Main Street," he said. "Competition is great. I love competition, because the more people we can draw to Main Street, the better for everybody and all the bars on Main Street."

With Park City Mountain Resort’s Town Lift dropping off skiers and snowboarders onto Main Street right above the bar, Oswald is looking forward to serving plenty of customers in the coming months, as ski season ramps up.

"The bar always is very busy during those times," Oswald said. "I think we’ll be even busier."

The Cabin

825 S. Main Street

thecabinparkcity.com

435-565-2337


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