It has been a busy week for restaurant owners Mikel Trapp and Joel La Salle. La Salle, of the La Salle Group, already operates several restaurants in the city including: Faustina, Oasis Cafe, Caffe Niche, Kyoto and Fresco Italian Cafe. Trapp owns and operates the Trio Restaurant and Fresco Italian Cafe. But Thursday March 5, the team opened their newest collaboration, the seafood inspired Current Restaurant, as part of the Three and Three Uncommons development at the northwest corner of 300 East and 300 South.
“The response has been fantastic,” said Trapp. “We’ve had a lot of comments that it (Current) feels more like something you’d find in San Fransisco, New York or Seattle than Salt Lake.”
Current features a large partially enclosed outdoor dining area that opens to 300 South and two floors of indoor dining. The outdoor area will seat 80 patrons and includes a fire pit and decorative lighting. The indoor dining area can accommodate 112 people on the main floor and 50 people in the mezzanine reserved for private dining. The interior blends old and modern with the exposed brick of the 106 year building contrasted against the modern amenities common in a new restaurant.
“We wanted to create a memorable dining experience in a contemporary, historical space,” said Trapp.
David Harries, real estate developer and co-owner of Vinto Pizzeria, was drawn to the historical nature of the building. The building was built in 1906 and was previously the Salt Lake Antiques shop and a Ford car dealership before that. Harris has retained the original barrel roofs and nearly all of the original windows, which help the space feel more open. Large exterior windows bring in natural light.
The adjoining space just north of the restaurant will be the Under Current Club. The La Salle group purchased the liquor license from David’s Bar and Grill in West Valley. The purchase was the first license sold under a 2014 law that allows liquor license holders to sell and transfer their licenses to a different business.
Under Current will feature small plates and as a club, patrons will not need to order food before ordering a drink. The club will open by the end of April.
The third space in the Three and Three Uncommons development, located at the northern end of the building, will be a food hall/food market run by Eric Debonis that will include a butcher, fish monger and various food vendors.
The development’s design intentionally encourages walk-ability by opening up to the sidewalk and a GREENbike station (Salt Lake’s bike-sharing program). The station separates the building from a protected bike lane, making biking to the restaurant an option for both tourists and local.
“The fire pit… the lighting… it pulls you in whether you are driving, walking or riding your bike,” said Trapp.