Garage on Beck: Live music and comfort food on Route 89
In 2008, Bob McCarthy reopened the iconic roadside bar The Garage on Beck after several years of renovations. He didn’t want to completely reinvent the space that was originally built in 1947 or disturb the great bones of the place that the previous owners, Jim and Maxine Bell, created in 1976 when they turned it into the Jimax Lounge. McCarthy understood that the history was as important as the structure.
“It is on Route 89, a real interstate, not a neighborhood bar. It is not something pretending to be something it’s not,” McCarthy says. “The idea was just to recreate food and music. We focus on both local and national groups, non-cover bands, jazz, blues, soul and rock—anything American. For the food, we scoured around Route 66 and found the best comfort food options. We basically matched what that place was in 1947, along with matching the oil refinery in the background. We designed it to be like it has been there in its natural environment and it’s true.”
On the menu is just that: classic comfort foods. You’ll find fried chicken, chicken potpie, collard greens and burgers, as well as a nod to Utah cuisine—fried funeral potatoes. All food is made fresh, in-house daily with recipes crafted from chef Justin Shifflet, now also the head chef at McCarthy’s other restaurant, Stoneground Kitchen.
“The original food concept was, since it’s a garage, to create a menu based on a map, and food items would be based on regions,” McCarthy says. “You would order fried chicken down South, the burgers would be near the Midwest, etc. Turns out, it is difficult to make a map and a functioning menu together, so we went with comfort food, road house food, but not bar food. We want people to have a meal.”
The menu consists of house favorites, but they also change things up with specials. Taco Tuesday is no joke at The Garage. Get there early; they tend to sell out.
Garage on Beck
1199 Beck St., SLC