T.G.I. Friday's in Holladay, UT
Friday’s in Holladay, UT

One of my favorite chain restaurants is closing a location, after 20 years in business. T.G.I. Friday’s, via their owner Slaymaker, made the decision to shutter the first Utah location of this popular eating establishment.

Starting in 1989, I’ve been going to this location and enjoying a good meal. As the years progressed, I’ve taken ex-spouses, my daughter, friends, dates and my current spouse to this location. Sure, I’ve visited the other Friday’s locations here in Utah, but this particular location was always a favorite.

Front of Friday's
One last visit

Hearing of it’s closing brought some sadness. I told my wife that we needed to go pay one last visit this past Saturday [which was their final day in business]. The two of us had been there at least 60 times in the last seven years, obviously a favorite place for us to eat. For myself, I can say I had logged over 300 visits, collecting and redeeming thousands of points that we used mostly for free appetizers – not to mention the many wonderful drinks I’ve enjoyed being served.

Friday's remain open during construction
“Uh… you need to change this sign”

The closing of this location was brought on by the 2008 demolition of the Cottonwood Mall. This Friday’s location was supposed to remain open throughout the entire project, sticking around for the rebuild, to be completed in 2011. But obviously, the lack of regular mall visitors took it’s toll on those who visited Friday’s. Slaymaker, the owner of the Utah T.G.I. Friday’s locations, made a business decision to close this location.

As we walked into the restaurant, the manager was greeting all of the customers. We told him how long we had been coming to this location, mentioning my twenty-years of visiting and how sad we were to see it close. After all, this was the one of the first Utah restaurants to have a full service ball. [yes, Utah can be a bit behind the times when it comes to alcohol]

We were seated and our waiter took our order [both drinks and food] and we enjoyed a couple drinks [berry mojito for me, top shelf margarita for my wife] and two great meals [I had the pork chops, my wife has a sirloin steak]

As we finished our meals, the manager came up to us and mentioned that the news was there and would we mind being on camera. Of course we agreed.

On The News

With the camera pointed at me, then at my wife, we were asked how long we had been coming to this location, how sad were we that it was closing and then some general follow up questions.

Below is the video clip. This was the Top Story on the 10pm news on Saturday night [March 28, 2009]. It was part of a larger story about how many businesses were affected by the delay during the mall rebuilding project.

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Click here for a link to the written story: TGI Friday’s in Hollday closing

NOTE: To those that read the story before, my last name was misspelled. It has since been corrected in the text story, but in the video clip, it’s still spelled wrong.

15 Seconds of Fame

It was cool to see my wife and I on the news. People talk about their 15 minutes of fame. Well, this was our “15 seconds of fame” [for each of us], but still exciting, none the less.

20 Years
Psst… the service at the Southtowne location is better than the Foothill location. Just sayin.

As for those who are curious, we will still frequent other Friday’s locations here in the state [they are building a new location this August at another mall], but will always use this location as a barometer for great food, awesome drinks and a memorable atmosphere.