Papa John’s Pizza coming to the Basin
Big changes in the food service industry are coming to Park City this summer.
Two popular places closed and two more are coming in one well known and another from New Mexico.
New pizza place coming
Mitchell Newman moved to Park City a year and a half ago from Florida and will open a Papa John’s Pizza store in the space recently vacated by Rhinebeck’s Furniture on Newpark Boulevard.
Eventually he plans to open several more stores in Utah. He owns an investment firm in the Sunshine State and had been looking to start a small business here.
He said he chose Papa John’s because he’s a fan of the product and has been unhappy with pizza delivery on the West Side, he said Monday.
"We need some good pizza delivery, and some good pizza. We’re going to fill that void," he said. "I think it’s a tremendous opportunity and an excellent product of the highest quality."
Newman said he’s been a Papa John’s fan since the early 1990s and can’t believe there isn’t one already here.
The location at Kimball Junction is too far to deliver much farther south than Deer Valley Drive, but he isn’t worried about that. He’s mainly excited to better serve the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook neighborhoods he thinks have been neglected by the businesses already in town.
"Kimball Junction has become the hub," he said. "I’ve got a great location with the Starbucks and the movie theaters."
Coming from the investment world, Newman isn’t an expert on pizza, but he said he’s hired J. Dee Carlson to manage the store who has 20 years of experience in the industry.
While he’s already lined up some future employees, Newman said the store will likely be hiring delivery drivers this summer.
e bye Bajio
Bajio was directly next door, but landlord Ross Varner said they closed two weeks ago without explanation and haven’t communicated with him since.
Messages were left with the company’s corporate headquarters in American Fork for this story but were not returned.
Several people have showed interest in the space, he said, but the next tenant was undetermined as of Monday.
Books and brew
In July, Randy and Ericah Winzeler are bringing the book, tea and coffee shop Atticus to lower Main Street in the space formerly occupied by Alpine Internet Café.
It is a relocation of a business with the same name operated by Ericah’s parents in New Mexico, Randy explained. It closed there a few months ago and will reopen here.
Atticus comes from the lead character in "To Kill a Mockingbird." The store will carry 70 different types of loose-leaf tea, he said.
The plan is not to compete with Dolly’s Bookstore farther up the street, Randy explained. Only 30 percent of the store will be dedicated to books, which will be new and used. Eventually the store will accept trade-ins, he added.
Atticus is to be an eclectic hangout offering a few food items and gifts such as hand-blown jewelry made by a family member. He hopes to be ready for the Fourth of July festivities. The shop will sell iced tea and used books at the Park Silly Sunday Market to drive traffic in, he said.
Blind Dog without a home
Penelope Lehman-Kinsey, owner of Blind Dog Grill and Sushi, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October to restructure and reopened shortly after Thanksgiving. But in early April the two restaurants closed again and vacated their building at 1781 Sidewinder Drive.
A note on the door thanks customers for 12 years of business and says it will reopen in summer in a different location. The last week of May Kinsey emailed The Park Record saying she had a new partner and was excited to make an announcement soon.
The building is owned by Thompson National Properties and a company spokesperson said they had no comment on the issue.
The Realtor for the building, Scott Thomson, said he is actively looking for new tenants.
"It’s a tough time to fill any space right now," he said.
The building is bright yellow and blue to accommodate the different brands of the grill and sushi bar. Thomson said the owners will likely work with any new tenant to make the building fit their needs.
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Summit County and Park City’s elected leaders celebrated Earth Day by attending the signing of the Community Renewable Energy Act.