They say if you make it in business for five years, you have a good chance of making it long-term. But if you survive 20 years, you have not only made it but are probably successful and profitable!
This article honors 20 restaurants that have survived at least 20 years right alongside this magazine. Utah Valley Magazine founder Jeanette Bennett knows all about surviving and being awesome. Congrats!
1 • Cocolito’s. Cocolito’s was the first to purchase a dining listing in Utah Valley Magazine 20 years ago.
2 • Magleby’s. This landmark has been around for 30+ years, and they know a bit about survival and adapting to an ever -changing market. Fortunately they haven’t changed their legendary chocolate cake.
3 • Heaps/Brick Oven. This popular Italian spot on the corner of BYU’s campus has survived since I was in college at BYU — and that’s definitely been over 20 years!
4 • The Tree Room at Sundance. For decades, this has been known as Utah County’s finest restaurant. They’ve warranted three articles from me in this column!
5 • La Casita. This Mexican restaurant in Springville has one of the most loyal customer bases anywhere!
6 • The Italian Place. They brought Philly steak sandwiches to Utah. I loved them then, and I still love them now!
7 • Los Hermanos. This restaurant was part of the downtown Provo scene for decades, and now their traditional favorites are served from Orem and Lindon.
8 • The Tree House. This Santaquin diner has served up delicious breakfast for a long time, and customers never tire of the huge fried scones smothered in honey butter!
9 • Great Steak Sandwich Company. On West Center Street in Provo, this is off-the-beaten path and well worth the trip.
10 • Joe Vera’s Mexican Restaurant. This is familiar to every person who has worked in downtown Provo. Some things never change, and Joe’s consistent good food keeps us coming back!
11 • Provo Bakery. I was going there for their famous orange rolls when I first moved to Utah 49 years ago!
12 • Riverside Country Club. Even though you have to be a member to dine at their restaurant, Riverside Country Club warrants a mention on this list simply because of the number of years they have provided food service to Utah County.
13 • Gandolfo’s. They opened everyone’s eyes to great sandwiches in true New York Italian deli style.
14 • Lehi Bakery. This bakery has shown us that if you make a melt-in the-mouth scrumptious donut and add a unique square shape, your customers will line up every Saturday until they are gone!
15 • Rowley’s Red Barn in Santaquin. This landmark opened its doors in 1984 — the same year as Culinary Crafts — selling luscious fresh fruits, baked goods, jellies, ice cream, and beverages. They were one of the first places I featured when I started writing for Utah Valley Magazine!
16 • Apple Spice Junction. Serving boxed lunches to go and quick-serve lunches, Apple Spice has grown to multiple locations and one of the largest food companies in the state! (And they are located underneath the Utah Valley Magazine offices on 800 North in Orem).
17 • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Did you know they’ve been in Orem for 20 years? They opened the same month as Utah Valley Magazine. I can still remember my first bite of KK donuts … be still my heart!
18) Kneaders. Known throughout Utah County and the west as one of the best counter-service restaurants for soups, sandwiches, and homemade baked goods. I remember when I interviewed the original owner for this column and was amazed at her quaint personality combined with a sharp business mind and drive.
19) Tucanos Brazilian Buffet. Tucanos wowed Utah County from the start with their all-you-can-eat meat and salad bar!
20) Cafe Rio. Their success story is known far and wide with their addictive meats and crazy delicious burritos. Too many locations to count!
In summary, I dedicate this article to the “survivors”… the people behind these long-standing establishments and to Jeanette Bennett who is showing us each day the grit it takes to survive in the face of all odds! Until next time, give a bow to our own local heroes.
CEO and Founder Mary Crafts Inc.
Culinary Crafts Founder and Chairman of the Board
Silicon Slopes Board of Directors
Past Chairman and current member Visit Salt Lake Board of Directors
Utah Valley University Foundation Board Member
Intermountain Health Care Board of Trustees
Zion’s Bank Advisory Board
Mary’s podcast “Crafting a Meaningful Life” can be found on ITunes, Slacker, and Stitcher