The Park Cafe: a small space that feeds hungry brunchers

Customers eat brunch at The Park Cafe on Nov. 16. The small cafe is located on the corner of 600 East and 1300 South, across the street from Liberty Park. Photo by Bri Miller.

Customers eat brunch at The Park Cafe on Nov. 16. The small cafe is located on the corner of 600 East and 1300 South, across the street from Liberty Park. Photo by Bri Miller.

With busy crowds of hungry brunchers waiting outside the restaurant for a table each weekend, some people have wondered if The Park Cafe should open a second location, according to cafe owner Sean Miller. But Miller said opening another location would dilute the restaurant’s one-of-a-kind individuality and community.

“People always bring it up and they come to me wanting to open one together, but this place is very individual,” Miller said. “I’ve never been the kind of person to need more; I stick with what I have, and fortunately I really like what I do”

The Park Cafe is located on the corner of 600 East and 1300 South, right across the street from Liberty Park.

Originally opened as Kay and Red’s, the restaurant’s origins date back to 1950 and has gone through four different owners over the years, Miller said.

Sammy Watchman, a server at The Park Cafe, hands a customer her plate on Nov. 16. Watchman said he started working at the cafe in January and loves the busy atmosphere and the opportunity to work with his friends. Photo by Bri Miller. 

Sammy Watchman, a server at The Park Cafe, hands a customer her plate on Nov. 16. Watchman said he started working at the cafe in January and loves the busy atmosphere and the opportunity to work with his friends. Photo by Bri Miller. 

“Sometimes you go places and the students or the elderly are treated differently,” Miller said. “But here, everybody is the same. We’re all a part of our community.”

Emma Morton, a junior psychology major, said she loves the individuality and diversity of the employees.

“They can express themselves; it’s very individualistic and super welcoming,” Morton said. “I never have to wait long, even when it’s busy, because everyone is efficient.”    

Park Cafe server Sammy Watchman said the busy crowds deter some customers, but he said he loves the atmosphere.

“I really like that we have just one [location],” Watchman said. “It would be really hard to recreate the same environment.”

Rumors of celebrity appearances also bring in customers. Miller said the Park Cafe has fed some famous stomachs like Ariana Grande, Dwyane Wade and the University of Utah’s football team.

“In the 80s, it’s where the Utah House of Representatives would brunch on the weekends,” Miller said. “It’s been a celebrity hangout for years and years.”