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Cracker Barrel open once more in Paradise

September 29th, 2013 Posted in Arts and Life

By Christopher Farnes

PARADISE — “In business since 1884” is what the sign in front of the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Paradise says, but this restaurant is much different than the ZCMI trading post it was in 1884.

The Cracker Barrel, which has no affiliation with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. chain, reopened Aug. 16 after being remodeled and reorganized under the new ownership of Curtis and Charlene Heaton. The Heatons purchased the restaurant in January; they also own the Old Grist Mill Bread Company, which has four locations  in northern Utah.

“We purchased it earlier this year because we didn’t want to see this restaurant that had been here for so many years to stay out of business,” said Curtis Heaton. “Managing the Old Grist Mill keeps me pretty busy so I have left most of the managing of the Cracker Barrel to the manager, Eliseo.”

Eliseo Garcia left his cooking job at the Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort in Wellsville to become manager at the Cracker Barrel. He brought his Latin influence to the restaurant by including entrees such as the Mexiburger and the taco salad, as well as sticking to traditional American dishes.

“Everything is different now,” Garcia said. “I did the menu myself so that has been the biggest change to the restaurant, I think.”

Garcia is an experienced cook, having traveled around the United States cooking for various hotels including the Marriott hotels. For a time Elesio even cooked for President Ronald Reagan in his Beverly Hills office. “It was very good to cook for a president,” Garcia said. “I got to meet him a few times so that was a great experience for me.”

Some of the more popular dishes on the menu include the Strawberry Crepes for breakfast, the Paradise Burger for lunch, the Ribeye Steak for dinner and the Cheesecake for dessert.

Garcia says the Cracker Barrel has been receiving around 100 customers a day since opening. “Most of the customers coming in are older people mostly from Paradise,” Garcia said. “We have a lot of regulars that come two or three times a week, though we have some in here almost every day.”

The Cracker Barrel is looking to expand their customer base by running specials and sending out fliers to other cities besides Paradise in the near future.

“We are doing pretty well so far considering the lack of advertising that we’ve done,” Heaton said. “We are planning on having some specials going on soon including serving some of the trout from the local trout farm, which we’re excited about.”

The Cracker Barrel is located at 8990 S. Highway 165, Paradise, Utah. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.


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