I think it’s safe to say that the Kirchheimer family is all-in on Salt Lake City. Brooks Kirchheimer has been saying for years that they would love to one day open a restaurant in SLC after two successful ventures in Park City, Heath & Hill and Hill’s Kitchen.
And now they’re putting their money where their mouths are, opening the gorgeous new Urban Hill restaurant in the exciting new Post District. Brooks’ dad, the other co-founder of their restaurant group, said “we’re all betting on SLC’s future.” And this restaurant proves that statement completely.
I will disclose that I am an unabashed fanboy of what the developers of Post District are doing. They are taking old buildings on the block (between 5th South and 6th South and 3rd West and 5th West) and are not only preserving the character of the area, but are amplifying it.
So naturally I was ecstatic to hear that Urban Hill was going to be Post District’s first commercial tenant, anchoring the rest of the retail development and setting a very high bar for future retail neighbors.
No expense was spared with the restaurant design. The Hill group hired Denver-based restaurant design firm Semple Brown Design. The best way I can describe the design is modern, elegant, and warm. Fireplaces, warm tones, and elegant woodwork abound.
The Hill restaurant group is officially named Leave Room For Dessert Eateries, but I’m way too lazy to type all of that out. So it’s called Hill restaurant group around these parts. The Kirchheimers take a unique and refreshing approach to staffing their restaurants. They are big believers in community, and believe that community starts with their employees, whom they call “associates.”
Hill associates are given health insurance benefits on day one of employment. They participate in profit-sharing and other benefits that you typically don’t associate with restaurant staff benefits. Brooks believes that if they have inspired associates, then they will create inspired experiences for their guests. Given their prior successes, it seems like they’re proving that the model works.
I wasn’t able to try too much of the menu at the grand opening event, but I think it’s safe to say that their high standards regarding staffing and restaurant design also transfer over to the food. To start, they hired Executive Chef Nick Zocco, formerly of Mesa Grill, SW Steakhouse, and most recently at Tupelo in Park City.
The menu is robust but not overwhelming. The same can’t be said of the alcohol menu, which I believe has more pages than the Bible. While we were there, they were putting the final bottles of wine in their wine cellar, which is smack dab in the middle of the dining area, and very impressive.
The food menu features oysters, mussels, the largest shrimp I’ve ever seen, striped bass, black angus filet, and bison ribeye. The prices reflect the quality of the ingredients, with entrees ranging from $29 to $110. Urban Hill seems to be the Hill group’s final leg of their three-legged stool of affordability, with Hill’s Kitchen at the lower price range, Hearth & Hill in the middle, and Urban Hill at the top. Seems like a smart strategy to me.
I wish them the very best. They’ll have a feather in their cap as the first business to take a risk at Post District, anchoring the future development of the area. And if this is the level of quality that will fill out the rest of Post, then SLC is in for a treat.
550 South 300 West, Salt Lake City
Open daily from 4pm to 9:30pm
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