Local diner No Worries Café closes over lease dispute
Owners searching for a new location
Less than one week after Dante and Nancy Eggan opened the No Worries Café in Parley’s Canyon in early 2000, a man knocked on the back door of the restaurant in search of work.
Dante Eggan said the man’s name was Jose and he needed money because he ran out of gas on the way to Park City. Eggan said his family waited in the car nearby as they spoke.
“I liked the look of him so I said, ‘I’ll fill up your gas tank, but are you looking for work?’” Dante Eggan said in an interview with The Park Record at his home in Parley’s Summit. “He said yes so I filled up his tank and offered him a job. I never expected to see him again, but in the last 16 years he has only missed one day of work.
“I’ve watched his whole family grow up and he’s a part of our family now,” he said.
For 16 years, the Eggans have worked to create a sense of community for their staff and patrons at the local mom-and-pop diner nestled in the trees alongside Interstate 80 on Aspen Drive. With customized omlettes and dishes such as Dante’s Inferno or the Hack Attack, the 1,350-square foot space was often full of customers hoping to get a table.
But at noon on Dec. 31, the café closed its doors after the Eggans were unable to come to terms with their landlord over the lease.
“We don’t know the end game, we really don’t know. But it seemed apparent through the lease negotiations that they were going to give us it would have been too difficult to stay open. We can’t be owned by them and with that language in there we would have been under their thumb,” said Nancy Eggan.
The Eggans made the decision to close less than three weeks ago. The lease expired on Dec. 31.
After posting the announcement on their website and social media accounts, news quickly spread and caused lines out of the door.
Greg Robinson, of upper Silver Creek, said the restaurant was his favorite “go-to lunch spot” in town. He added, “I’ve probably eaten breakfast here at least 150 times.”
Bob Drewes, of Jeremy Ranch, said he and his wife visited the spot frequently, adding “I mean this is a part of the community.”
Robinson and Drewes were unaware the business was closing when they stopped in for breakfast on Friday.
“Frankly, I would follow them wherever they go,” Drewes said.
Another patron, Bill Stilling, a Salt Lake attorney, said he was also disappointed about the closure.
“It’s a great little place right outside of Park City and I don’t have to go into the crowded Park City-area,” Stilling said. “It is a neat, secluded place with character. I have been coming here for about two years.”
Jeffrey Louden, of Hidden Cove, wrote in an email to The Park Record that he has eaten at the café ever since he moved to Summit County.
“It’s a little bit like church at its best: come eat; meet friends and strangers; be renewed with simple, but good fare; let your worries fade away; be nourished for the journey…Thank you Dante and all the waitstaff and the cooks for the best item not on the menu: human community,” Louden wrote.
Longtime employee Dana Breuschke said she used to bring her daughters into work with her to catch the bus for school and now they both work there.
“It’s actually really sad because this is such a community and a lot of these people are like family to me,” Breuschke said. “We are really disappointed and hoping to find a new location and start back up.”
Over the next few days, the Eggans have scheduled several meetings about relocating. The couple admitted the restaurant has “really outgrown that space.”
“We are excited for the future, but the look and the feel will never be the same again,” she said, getting a little emotional.
Dante Eggan said he feels a sense of responsibility for his staff, adding “they are the best I have ever worked with.” He said he hopes to reopen the restaurant in a new location before the Sundance Film Festival.
“It’s been heartbreaking and anguishing. I had to come home and collet myself a few times during the last days, but I just want to say thanks to the people from the bottom of my heart for the loyalty from the locals and the many friends we have made. We have to give it another shot. I am moving on and I am so excited. It’s going to be bigger, better and awesome,” he said.
Lou Flores, a representative of the liability company managing the property, said he was “shocked” the Eggans did not renew their lease. Flores said the lease agreement was “pretty straight forward, but I don’t want to dwell in the past.”
“Now the place is sitting empty. It’s not on our end, it’s on his end. But now we have to figure out what we are going to do with the location,” Flores said. “All I have to say is I wish them luck in whatever they do and we hope to find something to go in there that will be good for the community and the neighborhood.”
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Summit County officials declared their potential conflicts of interest, with Councilors Doug Clyde and Chris Robinson offering the most extensive lists on the County Council.