Grub Steak Restaurant celebrates 35th year
December 29, 2011
The Grub Steak Restaurant just celebrated its 35th year last month, adding another year to its long-standing reputation as a Park City landmark. Hans Fuegi, the owner for the past 20 years, said its strength is in how unchanged the restaurant has been in those years.
"I always thought it was a well-respected restaurant," Fuegi said, "one of the original ones."
Unchanged is true. From the salad bar to the décor to the staff, the steak house Fuegi originally bought was never something he said he wanted to change. The formula worked.
Head chef, Brian Moody, has worked at Grub Steak Restaurant for 30 years. Greg Moody, his brother and grill chef, has worked there for 28 years. Head waiter DJ Curtis started 20 years ago and never thought to work anywhere else.
"Most people, when they think of us, they think of consistent, good-quality meals served in a friendly western environment," Fuegi said. "It’s predictable, a consistent experience."
As the years have passed, the relationships among staff have grown in the restaurant Fuegi said. And that relationship has extend to the customers, whether it was a first date, a rehearsal dinner or a 50th wedding anniversary, Grub Steak Restaurant has remained, unchanged. There have been an uncountable number of travelers who have said Grub Steak Restaurant is a tradition when they’re passing though town, Fuegi said.
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"These are the kinds of things that make a place special to people who run and own a restaurant," he added.
One particular event he remembered was when the Swiss Olympic Team leased a part of the restaurant in 2002. Groups from around world were coming in to try the food, he said.
"There were medal celebrations and parties," Fuegi said. "It was one of the coolest things. It was a place where you could walk through and hear eight or more languages being spoken."
But the odder stories, the ones collected over decades of working with the same people, are what made the restaurant today.
One story behind the western décor was how the bison head mounted on the wall came to be. Fuegi knew of a rancher in Heber who used to raise bison and said if there was ever a situation where the man had to put one down, Fuegi would buy the animal from him. Only a few months after that conversation, Fuegi was grilling up bison steaks in the restaurant and having the animal head stuffed.
Fuegi said he remembered one night when a fire extinguisher went off near the main hood in the kitchen. Foam was everywhere and the sprinklers detected a fire that set everything off, he said.
"The whole thing happened only two hours before service," he said. "But typical of my crew, we got it cleaned up and able to serve hundreds of dinners later that night. Those are the kinds of things that stick in your memories."
Grub Steak Restaurant
Lunch served Mon-Fri from 11:30 to 2 p.m.
Dinner served daily from 5 p.m. to close.
Full Bar Available
2200 Sidewinder Drive