September 29, 2016

Big Cottonwood Canyon May Be Cotton Bottomless

Cotton Bottom Inn Holladay Utah

Photo courtesy of http://blog.skiutah.com

Tony Chlepas and his three siblings have owned the Cotton Bottom Inn since their mother passed away several years ago. Chlepas is the only one running the bar, his daughter Ashley is the manager.

Two of his siblings want to sell the bar, which includes two buildings on the property, so they can retire. Chlepas and his other sibling want to buy the other two out, but they cannot agree on a price. Chlepas feels they have valued it too high. So they decided to put it on the market with Les Bailey at Miller and Company Real Estate Agency.

Chlepas’s favorite part of running the bar is the people. The Cotton Bottom Inn has a following with some of the locals. Several were already arriving before opening on a cold Wednesday morning in February. His customers are from all walks of life, very diversified. “It’s a people’s bar, like Cheers,” the 1980s television show, says Chlepas. It is a great place to come after skiing, you can get a beer and a garlic burger for $10.00 as opposed to $25.00 up at the ski resorts. 95% of their customers come in for their famous garlic burger; they sell an average of 150-300 daily.

The Cotton Bottom Inn is a beer bar only which is just the way Chlepas likes it.  According to the website http://abc.utah.gov/license/licenses_beer_tavern.html, “…a beer bar is where the revenue from the sale of beer exceeds the revenue from the sale of food, although food need not be sold in such establishments.” He doesn’t want the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to have any more authority over them. “When you sell hard alcohol the DABC does more checking to see if you are selling the correct amount of alcohol,” says Chlepas. He would rather they just leave him alone and let him run his bar responsibly like his family has done for all these years.

“Holladay City would require the new owners to become a restaurant and bar, like a T.G.I.F.s,” says Chlepas. The Cotton Bottom Inn is grandfathered in since they were in business before the changes were made. “They want to get rid of all the beer bars,” says Chlepas. A restaurant license is what they would need which requires them to “maintain at least 70% of its total restaurant business from the sale of food,” according to the website: http://abc.utah.gov/license/licenses_restaurant_beer.html.

The Cotton Bottom Inn is a neighborhood beer bar established in 1966 by Helen Chlepas with help from the Coors brewery. It was built adjacent to a turn-around for the local bus service.  The upscale Tuscany restaurant is across the street from the bar. Over the years many of the Chlepas family have been involved one way or another.

If the corner of 6200 South and Holladay Blvd were to lose this business it would be a shame, and Knudsen corner would be bottomless without it.

The Cotton Bottom is open Monday through Saturday 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.  Sundays and Holidays 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.