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Historic Cotton Bottom Inn reopens doors

Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 19:44:05-05

HOLLADAY, Utah — A historic restaurant re-opened their doors Thursday.

Though there were setbacks with remodeling due to the pandemic, business owners said they’re not anxious about opening in the current economic climate.

Some believe the old bar, on a Holladay street corner, opened its doors in 1955.

Cotton Bottom Inn, a place many Utahn's grew up eating at including co-owner Jeff Barnard.

"No one knows all of the history," said Barnard.

The owners sold Cotton Bottom Inn in 2014 to Holladay City.

It wasn't until 2020 that the Bar X group purchased the bar and closed it up for remodeling.

"The pandemic caused us to change our plans," said Barnard.

At first, Barnard said they planned on expanding the building, then realized indoor space was not as important during a pandemic.

Instead, co-owner and contractor Dave Hunt said they decided to update the building, add four patios and a pick-up window for to-go orders.

"We updated bathrooms, the bar area, added heating and air condition, and freshened up the whole exterior and landscape," said Hunt.

On the inside, vintage signs and pictures of previous honors reflect the bar's rich history.

"Tables are original and the bar is original," said Hunt.

The four members of Bar X decided to keep most of the menu items the same but added fries for a side dish.

Known for their garlic burgers, Barnard said they made sure Cotton Bottom Inn would still cook and serve the burgers exactly like they always have.

"We have the same person that’s been cooking the garlic burger for 23 years, cooking today and every day," said Barnard.

Rather than having a liquor license, Barnard said they have a restaurant liquor license to offer more of a variety in drinks, while allowing families to eat at the restaurant.

For Barnard, his biggest worry was not the lack of business but rather handling the crowds.

In the first 40 minutes, Barnard said they served at least 70 burgers.

"We think we can provide a breath of new life for the Cotton Bottom," said Barnard.