Facebook Twitter

Pottery Barn comes to Trolley Square

SHARE Pottery Barn comes to Trolley Square

The reincarnation of Trolley Square rolls on this Saturday with the grand opening of its newest store, Pottery Barn.

"We're turning over 20 percent of our 75 tenants in the third quarter alone. That's huge for us," said Jeanie Van Amen, spokeswoman for the 90-year-old former "car barns" turned shopping mall or "lifestyle center," as Trolley Square manager Doug O'Brien calls it."We haven't had a more exciting time than right now in our 26 years as a unique shopping and entertainment center," said O'Brien, who, with Van Amen, hosted a media gathering at the square Thursday to kick off the opening of Pottery Barn and pique interest in several upcoming store openings, including Rodizio Grill, Restoration Hardware, Harolds apparel, GymBaby children's clothing and Urban Chic home furnishings and accessories.

Last month, Trolley added the world famous Hard Rock Cafe and the Green Street Social Club to its tenant roster, big draws for those more interested in noshing and imbibing than shopping.

Lifestyle center? "We're achieving that goal," assures O'Brien.

Next step in the process: Pottery Barn, a 12,500-square-foot store located in the old Plitt Trolley Theaters space on the north end of the square.

Although it's Pottery Barn's first retail store in Utah, most locals already know of the company through its catalog, some 50 million of which are mailed out annually. Pottery Barn's parent company, Williams-Sonoma, has had a store in Trolley for years.

The first Pottery Barn was opened in 1949 in New York City as an outlet store for tableware seconds. Today, the San Francisco-based chain still sells dishes, glassware and such but has outgrown its name; now it's a home design center featuring an array of furnishings and accessories. The Salt Lake store is number 88 in the chain which, so far, encompasses 27 states.

Pottery Barn is now in its fourth year of a new store format launched in 1994 that features more space and several categories of merchandise that were previously available only through the catalog.

Grand opening is set for Saturday at 9:50 a.m.

Although the Hard Rock Cafe has been open only a few weeks, general manager Greg Fain said the $4.5 million the company invested in the new restaurant and private club - $575,000 in rock 'n' roll memorabilia alone - is proving to be a sound investment.

"We're the top grossing F&B (food and beverage) store in the chain," said Fain. "We're serving 3,000 people a day and beating our budget and that's all I care about."

Fain said the Hard Rock organization is currently planning on opening five new-concept National Basketball Association restaurants in large markets such as New York and Chicago. An NBA restaurant in Jazz-crazy Salt Lake? It could happen, said Fain, but it may take awhile.

For some reason, dry goods sales - those famous Hard Rock T-shirts and other items - have been below expectations, said Fain, but he's not overly concerned. He expects that the 2001 Olympics will gradually build interest in the Salt Lake Hard Rock logo.

Ivan Utrera, president of the Denver-based Rodizio Grill, Brazilian steakhouse restaurants, said the company is coming to Trolley Square and expects to be open for business by late fall. Rodizio will remodel space formerly used for a video game arcade on the second floor near Charlie Chow's restaurant.