NewsAll-Star Weekend


Local businesses ready for All-Star Weekend crowds

Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 09, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City might not be known to others for its food or nightlife, but the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend is a chance to prove to thousands of visitors that it should be.

FULL SCHEDULE: Everyone can hoop it up at these NBA All-Star Weekend festivities

Italian Graffiti, a new restaurant serving contemporary Italian dishes, hopes their location at the Gateway across from Vivint Arena makes them a prime spot for All-Star dining.

"We have an exit that goes out to 400 that leads straight out into Vivint so nice easy pop out if you ever need to get to a game, we even have the Jazz Smash as one of our cocktails," General Manager Tom Broughton said. "Dealing with the traffic for the Jazz games is something we're super accustomed to so just excited to see the traffic for the All-Star game as well."

For a restaurant with high-quality ingredients like Italian Graffiti, preparing for an event like All-Star Weekend takes months of preparation.

"There's that old saying if you stay ready you don't have to get ready, so we always make sure we're looking out months in advance and everything is dialed in for us," Broughton said.

He didn't want to spoil any secrets, but Broughton said the executive chef also created some new exciting dishes they'll have ready for the festivities.

After a meal at a restaurant like Italian Graffiti and attending an NBA event, many will be looking to see what nightlife Salt Lake has to offer., and Gracie's hopes to be one of their destinations.

"There are 100,000 people coming into town we're staffing it up, parties here and there we're definitely going full party nights so it's going to be all night, we bring in higher-end stuff, we want to make sure that's available," said Fern Aguirre, general manager of Gracie's.

Aguirre says even with thousands of visitors, Gracie's still wants to be accessible to locals.

"We always want to support the outside crowd, but we definitely want to make sure the people that keep us alive year-round are taken care of us as well," Aguirre said.

Aguirre and Broughton hope long after visitors leave Salt Lake City they're still reminiscing on their food and nightlife experience.

"It's a really great opportunity for Salt Lake to show how our nightlife has really improved over the years Salt Lake is really up and coming and developing as one of the big metropolitan areas," Aguirre said.

"The main staple of service for me is the way we make people feel when they come here," Broughton said.