Many remember when the Avenues Bistro location was the 3rd Avenue Pharmacy. Built as a simple one-story brick commercial building in 1909, this historical Avenues venue was constructed for Edward T. Studness as his drugstore, Lyon Drug.
A wooden pharmacy counter was built from quarter-sawn white oak with nickel-plated bronze ice-box latches and is still located on site. (Scott Gardner restored the cabinet in 2011 before we opened the Bistro.)
Samuel I. and Eris R. Harman bought the pharmacy according to Polk around 1910. They called their neighborhood drug store "Harman’s Pharmacy, A Better Drug Store." In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a soda fountain in every neighborhood pharmacy. These were community gathering places and in about 1923 Mr. Harman installed his counter. Young men and women from the neighborhood had their first jobs there, while Mr. Harman tended to the pharmacy—and to his prize-winning gladiolas out back. The teens, as newly-minted soda jerks, served soda fountain drinks, soups and sandwiches and sold penny candy by the each.
From 1931 to 1935 the building housed a branch of the Salt Lake City Library.
After some decades, Mr. Harman retired and a pharmacist he had employed, Joe Giovacchini, with his wife Maxine, took over the operation and carried on in the Sam Harman style, selling all sorts of products from clocks to cigars and comic books to cameras. Fountain service was a favorite of the locals, such as route drivers and postal workers who gathered in groups for lunch. Notable regulars included the then-fire chief, J.K. Piercey, and C.C. Neslen, former mayor.
In 1984 Jude Rubadue bought the building and opened her café and catering business called Ruby’s. She continues to own the building and has gone to great time and expense to take care of the property.
FoodArt, doing business as Avenues Bistro on Third has been operating at this location since February, 2012. While repairing a broken water line under the sidewalk at the front door, excavation into the easement through the basement revealed several wooden signs (8’ x 8”). They are hand drawn and gold leafed and were found in excellent condition. Now they are hung on walls throughout the bistro. A few years later in a conversation with the founder of Schmidt Signs, I learned that a man named Lee had designed these very signs for Sam Harman during the 1920s. This historical site continues, through the ages, to be a gathering place for locals and friends.
Amazing works of local artists are displayed at the Bistro, including a mural by Arthur Roburg called “FoodArt”, Pottery by Sidney Smith, “Navajo Women” by Suzanne Tornquist, chalk art by Michael Haswood, “Village Chair” by 8yo Adele Node Lang-Louis, beautiful frames by Scott Gardner. Avenues Bistro on Third is moving into our 5th year, carrying on the tradition from days gone by. We are committed to serving our guests with a bountiful supply of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. We work with Utah farmers, dairies, ranchers and vendors, and serve fresh produce cultivated from our seasonal urban farm. For more information please visit avenuesbistroonthird.com. Better yet, Come EAT. It will speak for itself! Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
(Your editor was one of the soda jerks who worked there in the 1950s.)
By Mary Ann Wright
It was a Tuesday night at Cucina Deli and with two long tables—the length of the main dining area— completely filled, there were still people waiting to be seated for the scrumptious ribs.
That was the Tuesday night family style dinners that have been featured for the last several months. Otherwise, you might walk in for some breakfast sandwiches some morning while on a bike ride around the Avenues.
Or you could come in for a business lunch, where it is a common site to see laptops and tablets propped up next to specialty sandwiches and full entrees while people meet over their delicious fresh food. In the evening, the place transforms into a white tablecloth restaurant, where the chef makes a special of the day.
Fresh breads, soups and pastries abound all day long as well as local beers and specially chosen wines. The coffee is a favorite at Cucina and most days, Dean Pierose, the proprietor, can be seen going around refilling cups. The inside setting of hand painted colorful walls and marble topped tables emits a cozy Italian setting.
As the weather warms, the outside bank of tables and surrounding pots and landscaping provide another welcome area to meet a friend and enjoy the fare. Long a supporter of the Greater Avenues Community Council, Dean donates in-kind to the Street Fair each year as well as hosting some of the committee meetings. Dean feels fortunate to be there for the neighborhood and would not want to be anywhere else. Cucina is at the lower east Avenues at 1027 E. 2nd Avenue.
By Jolene Croasmun
Cat et cetera is a cat-sitting business in the Avenues owned and operated by Jennifer Tonge. Jennifer has been in the cat sitting business since 2004 but was watching friend’s cats for them long before she started the business. Jennifer is a big cat person. She enjoys caring for all types of kitties and found herself without a job but was always being called upon to watch someone’s cat. She saw a niche in the Avenues and started her cat sitting business, Cat et cetera.
Every cat owner who takes a trip or vacation asks themselves the same question of who is going to watch Mr. Whiskers or Puffy Puffy Princess. We run through the inevitable list in our heads of 'which neighbor do I burden with this task' or 'do I know a teenager who wants to earn some extra money?' That is why Jennifer’s cat sitting business is so great. She wants to care for your cats and you have the peace of mind while out of town knowing that all is well at home.
To get started you first call Cat et cetera and set up an appointment to meet with Jennifer. Jennifer will come to your home to meet the feline friends and then you will provide her any special instructions for your cat or cats and how to handle the key. She will then confirm a few days before the service starts. She recommends once a day but if special circumstances call for it, twice a day.
Cat et cetera services include feeding, water change, cleaning or upkeep on litter boxes, activities with the kitties including grooming, cuddle, playing or just hanging out. Her service also can include for no additional charge, administering medication, mail collection, trash containers, watering plants, birds and fish feeding. She charges $20.00 per visit for a 30 minute visit but if it takes longer, then there will be additional charges and if over 5 miles away then a mileage charge of fifty cents per mile will be added to the fee. Cat et cetera offers a much needed service for cat owners in the Avenues.
If you are planning to be out of town and have a cat, consider using Cat et cetera. Call Cat et cetera at 801-560-1394 and leave a message for Jennifer. Most customers have Jennifer come by every day they are gone and even have Jennifer come in on the day they are coming home. Having a clean litter box and a happy kitty to greet you from your trip is the best.
Dr. Leo Sotiriou has been a constant in the Avenues since the early 1980’s. Leo made the Avenues his home when he came back from his Dermatology residency at The Medical College of Wisconsin. Leo’s life is centered on his neighborhood. He practices dermatology in downtown Salt Lake City. Dr. His wife Cynthia, who he met in Milwaukee, was a CPA but now teaches piano in the Avenues. They have four children and all were raised in the Avenues. Alexander works for New York Life and lives in Pittsburgh, Michael is in his first year of residency in Dermatology in Chicago, Elysia is pursuing a PhD in psychology at the University of Texas in Austin and Stephen is working for Grant Thornton in New York City.
Leo coached Avenues Baseball for 10 years, so Lindsey Gardens was his second home during those years. He has been active in the Greek community since his childhood and has been a volunteer for the Greek Festival for decades. Leo’s two brothers, Gus and Tommie, as well as his sister Margo have all called the Avenues home.
Leo was born in Bingham Canyon and moved to SLC at the age of one. He grew up on State Street but always longed to someday live in the Avenues. Leo graduated from South High in 1962 and then from the University of Utah with a degree in Pharmacy in 1967. He left SLC at that time to enter medical school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 1971. He interned at The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, which is the oldest hospital in the United States. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin.
Leo then served his country in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Surgeon on the Aircraft Carrier USS Independence from 1971 to 1974. He began his career in medicine as an emergency room physician in South Georgia, but made the decision that dermatology was better suited to his lifestyle. He finished his training at The Medical College of Wisconsin in 1980, before making the Avenues his home. When you ask Leo why he chose the Avenues, he proudly states he wouldn’t live anywhere else because of the charm and diversity of his neighborhood.
By Jo Worth
There is a new eating establishment in the Avenues, the Straw Market. Don’t be fooled by the name, there is no straw. The Straw Market is a deli, bakery, small market and they are also available to cater vents.
Lee McDonald started the first Straw Market in Pleasant View, Utah eight years ago. He, along with his son Taylor and daughter Ashleigh Mann, decided the Avenues was an excellent location for the second Straw Market.
The name Straw Market comes from the South where farmers would fill their carts up with fresh produce and goods and sell them in the fields. The straw was thrown down on the ground due to the mud. This practice became known as the Straw Market. Just like the farmers, Lee, Taylor and Ashleigh bring their fresh foods and baked goods to their Straw Market to sell every day.
They are known for their amazing homemade cinnamon rolls but they also serve breakfast all day long. They have fresh soups served daily and popular with the regulars are the mouth-watering grinders with sautéed vegetables on them. But save room for some of the best baked goods around. The grinders are just $5 and the cinnamon rolls just $1 making this place affordable as well as a very tasty place to eat.
The Straw Market is located on the corner of E Street and 4th Avenue. They are open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. So stop by and say hello to our new neighbors at the Straw Market, soon to be an old favorite.
By Mary Ann Wright
“This is home. I love these old houses. It’s the place I have en- joyed.” Mike Evertsen, besides making his living as a real estate agent with Plumb Realty is a runner and he loves walking the Avenues as well. Sometimes, as he goes down a street, he realizes that he has sold every home on that block.
Mike Evertsen believes there is no other agent who has specialized in the Avenues as long. He knows that the initial Avenues developers such as Tracy Collins would build 3 or 5 homes exactly alike, but today they are completely different having been remodeled over 115 years. Thus, he knows their values are not always equal and he is called upon often to help with valuations.
It is a tough market to know, but he has seen most all of the variety inside and out in the gorgeous Avenues homes. And, he also knows that nine people will walk into a place and not like it at all and then the tenth person comes in and it is their special place.
Mike grew up in San Diego, though his mom and dad grew up in the Marmalade district in Capitol Hill and Sugarhouse, respectively. He knew he could not be a surfer forever so he chose Logan as a way to keep him off the surfboard while he got his degree. When he got out of school, the U.S. was in a downturn and jobs were scarce.
An uncle had him managing properties and being a tour guide in Hawaii for him. After 5 years, and not liking the managing part, he returned to Utah and got a property in the Avenues. He was young and strong and started fixing up old homes.
From there he got his license in real estate and has been enjoying it ever since. It is a time-consuming game, one that requires total diligence. Working hard and luck has been his mainstay. There are down times, of course, but he loves knowing there is a right home for everyone and helping him or her find it.
Mike is the longest running advertiser in the newsletter, and he may also be the longest running booth at the Avenues Street Fair. “I recall being there pretty much from the start, me sitting at this table, in my white shirt and tie,” he laughs. “There were no computers when I started. We had these huge books of listings, like big fat yellow pages we had to thumb through.”
What he likes most is the variety in the Avenues neighborhood, the eclectic nature of both the residents and the homes. “There is no more diverse place than the Avenues in architecture, in history, in its residents.” It is thrilling to him that a number of his former clients are still his friends. Some will stop by his open houses to visit and scoop up the trademark M & M’s Mike puts out. He cannot think of a better place to be. The Avenues is “a glove that fits.”
By Mary Ann Wright
A serene garden entrance, beautiful wooden flooring, and lovely light from huge windows, filtering through tall trees, make for an exceptional yoga studio. This is Avenues Yoga, owned and managed by Erin Me- nut. Just celebrating her fifth year of operation, Erin has set this place up just right.
As a dedicated member of the community, Erin provides free family yoga at the Sweet Library and a free introductory class every Saturday at the studio. At the same time, this is a very down-to-earth place. Its motto: “Friendly, Affordable” sums it up. It is definitely not hobbled with “yoga-tude” – something that scares a lot of people away. Wear your most comfortable clothes and you will be right at home. Worried it will be hard? Try any of the Restore classes. Want something fun? Try Moving Meditation. Not sure what you might like? The best deal going is the $39.00 unlimited first-timers monthly pass.
Try out every type of class for one month. There are 10 beginner friendly classes, nine intermediate and two advanced level classes. Talk to the teachers or, Erin herself. Everyone is very approachable, friendly and helpful. These are words that Erin recently wrote in her newsletter: “Our thoughts have incredible power, and can change our lives, determining our happiness or unhappiness, as we walk our path.” This is a great place to invest yourself: 68 K Street. 801-872-YOGA (9642), .