OGDEN – The popular pizzeria and pub Slackwater will take root from its Washington Boulevard location and move closer to a new, more spacious location taking shape in the downtown area.
It’s yet another change in Ogden’s ever-evolving restaurant scene and a big step for the restaurant, which will mark 10 years in the city in June. âIt’s scary,â said Blake Hirschi, COO of Slackwater, alluding to the uncertainty of the relocation.
Simultaneously, Slackwater, which opened a location in Sandy in 2019, is renovating a space in Salt Lake City to open a third location, likely later in the year.
Construction on the new Ogden location at the southeast corner of 24th Street and Lincoln Avenue began in late March and is expected to open in September, Hirschi said. The kitchen in particular at the current location at 1895 Washington Blvd. it’s too small.
âExcitement. We’re going to have better food. That’s the most exciting part for me,â said Krissann Smith, co-owner of Slackwater.
Hirschi echoed this, but also said there would be more dining space for diners and a more open bar, among other changes. âWhen you walk in you’ll feel a little more open and airy,â he said.
Leaving the plaza by the River Ogden, which Slackwater rented, will be a bit difficult. An outdoor seating area faces the path by the river. But the open area to the north across the Ogden River was too expensive, Hirschi said, and moving downtown has its perks.
âWe are delighted to have more in the city center,â he said. He noted the ongoing improvements to the nearby 24th Street Viaduct, Lindquist Field, home to the Ogden Raptors baseball team, just north on 24th Street and the proximity to historic 25th Street one block away. South. Beyond that, he said, Slackwater’s 80 or so employees are the restaurant’s most important asset “and they all come with us.”
Slackwater will own the new building, which will take shape in part of the Courtyard Ogden parking lot it acquired from Marriott, the hotel’s owner. A large âSlackwaterâ banner hangs from the fence around the perimeter of the site. The new excavations will measure 6,834 square feet, according to paperwork filed with Ogden City, compared to approximately 4,800 at Washington Boulevard.
Slackwater will leave behind a thriving dining hall near its current location. Ogden River Brewery opened to the west along Park Boulevard last October. Lotus Co. is building a new structure south of Ogden River Brewing that will house two new restaurants, Wimpy and Fritz, with tacos, and Dirty bird, with fried chicken sandwiches.
Hirschi praised the new growth, saying he believes more dining options help develop Ogden as a culinary stopping point. âIt just helps our food scene. There is nothing wrong with that, âhe said.
He is unsure of what might replace Slackwater’s current location when the restaurant moves, but suspects it will be a restaurant as it is already built to accommodate such a business.
Building the new location is âexpensive,â Hirschi said. But he also noted that the restaurant had remained relatively busy for much of 2020 despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the restaurant had to close for about six weeks last year due to state restrictions meant to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the company’s revenue for 2020 has arrived at about the same level as ‘in 2019.