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Local businesses concerned about more fast-food franchises coming to South Salt Lake

Posted at 9:37 PM, Oct 02, 2023

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Another fast-food restaurant could be coming to South Salt Lake, and local businesses have mixed feelings about it.

In less than two years, the city of South Salt Lake has welcomed new locations of Raising Cane’s, Café Rio, and Jack In The Box near 2100 South and State Street.

“It’s kind of ‘come here to get some services’ and then leave the area,” said business owner Chase Brauchie.

A lot on the corner of 2100 South and Main Street has sat empty for 15 years, but now an In-N-Out could take its place. The restaurant chain also purchased the property of the recently closed Mad Greek restaurant.

“We just want [South Salt Lake] to be more of an eclectic little neighborhood to keep things local and fun and up-and-coming,” said Dacia Peterson-Sullivan.

Peterson-Sullivan works at The Hive on Main, a salon that looks out to the proposed lot.

“Of course traffic is always a concern and parking in our area, but I think any traffic is good,” she said.

After the long lines of Jack In the Box’s return to Salt Lake, nearby businesses worry how In-N-Out traffic could affect them.

“They’re actually going to be coming into Main Street, so it’s going to be congested all the way back to Main Street, probably all the way north of 21st,” said Brauchie.

Brauchie owns the National Permanent Cosmetics Academy, another business on Main Street.

He wants South Salt Lake to be known for more than a place to pick up food to-go.

“If you want something that’s going to be a meaningful development that people have as a destination, that people want to invest in, it’s going to be harder than just, ‘Hey, let’s get a Wendy’s in here,’” he said.

Jonathan Weidenhamer, the city’s economic development director, said all the new businesses are needed to create a solid sales tax base.

“If and when we have a traffic problem and a parking problem, that’ll be a good problem to have,” he said.

Weidenhamer said In-N-Out has changed plans and addressed the city’s concerns regarding overflow traffic.

South Salt Lake has also worked closely with UDOT and the state to ensure the property can handle the Double-Double demand.

“We’re not insensitive to the criticism, but we also think it’s an appropriate place for it,” said Weidenhamer.

On Thursday there will be a public hearing and the planning commission will decide whether or not to recommend zoning amendments to the South Salt Lake City Council.