Moab businesses prepare for busy tourism season
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Feb 21, 2013 | 7511 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Terri Gutterson, left, and Julie Gutterson are opening Twisted Sistas’ Café in the former Poplar Place building with a combined 50 years in the restaurant industry. Photos by Steve Kadel
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Moab is putting on a fresh face for the upcoming tourism season.

Some local businesses are renovating their decor, others are expanding and several new shops and at least two new restaurants are opening.

The Best Western Greenwell Inn has had new facilities under construction for the past few months. The motel is scheduled to reopen for business on March 7, said Steven Wang managing director for Quintstar Management Co., which owns the Greenwell.

“We are improving on the hotel’s exterior and adding on to our public areas,” he said. “We’re adding more amenities.”

Those include a recreation center, which will have a media room and computers for guests to research activities available in the Moab area, Wang said. The Greenwell also will have a new breakfast café and lounge, he said.

Wang said the changes are to keep pace with the hotel industry’s evolution during the past decade.

“The new generation traveling now likes service, but they also are very self-sufficient,” he said.

Wang said the renovations will cost more than $1 million.

At Eddie McStiff’s, general manager Aaron Gallagher said the bar area has been fully remodeled this winter.

“It’s way more upscale than it used to be,” he said. “It’s more a bar-lounge situation.”

Seating options also will be changed. A family area has been located just off the entrance with adult seating in another portion of the restaurant and in the bar.

“It enhances both,” Gallagher said of the separate seating.

He added that McStiff’s will continue to offer Casino Night on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The exterior of Slickrock Café in the heart of downtown Moab received a new coat of paint just before opening last week. Inside, the menu has been expanded.

General manager Deanna Taylor said the restaurant is adding pizza, pasta dishes and appetizers. The business, owned by Jeanine Cassano, also will begin offering calzones, seafood and an expanded sandwich menu, Taylor said.

Next to the restaurant, the new Essential Home store opening in March will offer kitchen utensils along with wine, tea and coffee accessories and souvenirs. Jennifer Johnston is the owner.

Twisted Sistas’ Cafe will join the ranks of Moab eateries with its grand opening Friday, March 1. The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner items ranging from salads to sandwiches, seafood and beef dishes.

Twisted Sistas’ is located in Moab’s second oldest building, dating from 1886, which was formerly occupied by the Poplar Place and, most recently, Cassano’s. Sisters Julie and Terri Gutterson will own and operate the business.

Julie Gutterson said all menu items will be made with fresh ingredients, and the café will offer a full complement of liquor, beer and wine. Patio seating will be available during nice weather.

The Guttersons have 50 years of restaurant experience between them, Julie said, and previously operated a Salt Lake City golf course restaurant for 13 years.

She said they looked for just the right location and believe they found it in the Poplar Place building, where they will employ 10 to 15 people on a part-time and full-time basis.

“It’s an ideal spot,” Julie said.

Stephanie Jochim is opening her first business next month. Scarlet Rox Salon and Lash Works is located at 65 E. Center St. where the Mad Hatter costume store previously operated.

Scarlet Rox will offer haircuts, coloring, waxing, sculptured acrylic nails, eyelash extensions, shampoo sets and shaves.

Moab also will have another Mexican restaurant this year. Los Dos Amigos will be located at 2728 S. U.S. 191 in the space formerly occupied by Stagecoach Restaurant. Owner Francisco Gonzalez’s application for a beer license was approved Tuesday, Feb. 19, by the Grand County Council.

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