Is There a Mafia in Salt Lake City?

If there were a restaurant hang out for the mafia in Salt Lake City, this would be it. The restaurant has windows, but there are shutters over them and the decor is 70’s style all trimmed with red velvet and wrought iron. When I first walked in, I noticed a stair case going down. At the bottom of this staircase was a gate blocking off the basement, and that’s where my imagination got started. It was lunch time on a Sunday afternoon, and nearly every Italian Catholic in the city was there. I guess these people like their Sunday brunches.
Old ladies in dresses, proudly displayed their crosses. Young women in shorts displayed their tattoos, and the men acted respectful- but they’re definitely still the law makers. It’s the type of restaurant that’s had a few run-ins with the law, but for the most part, it’s a respectable establishment.
The old lady up front was saying how she didn’t like taking lists to seat people when she put me on the list to be seated. She looked like she’d just come from church too, in a dress and wearing her cross. (I mention the crosses because I live in a community that doesn’t generally wear crosses) I noticed while waiting that it was a very smoothly run operation and the waitresses were perfectly capable of seating parties as they were ready without a list. In fact, I don’t think the list was even consulted at all during my wait. The waitresses (no waiters) all wore short black skirts and white shirts. They were very efficient. When my party was seated, I noticed that there are mirrors on every side of every booth. I suspect it’s so no one can sneak up on you, or maybe it’s just in case you need to check your teeth after the meal… or maybe it’s so you can check people out without them really noticing. I did plenty of checking out…I wonder who was checking me out?
Shortly after we were seated a young father with his young son walked in. They were seated in a booth behind me. The father wore a t-shirt that read “Take no guilt in your desires.” He seemed like one of those “cool” dads to me-about my age, so I was interested when I caught small snippets of their conversation as I sat there eating. Mostly I heard the father.
“No not a magician- a MUSICIAN, not a magician- a MUSICIAN, a person that plays an instrument or makes music.”
Later on…
“Don’t play with your food, you don’t play here. Your food is not a jungle gym. Don’t play with your food!”
I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard that last one, because I’d bet you a million dollars that the guy swore he would never utter those words. I bet that guys dad used to tell him the exact same thing, and I bet he hated it. Now this young father was here, at a mafia restaurant, turning into his father.
Across the way was a group of girls that looked like they wouldn’t think twice about beating me up, but at the same time they seemed feminine and friendly. One look at the check and the girl who had picked it up looked like her eyes were gonna pop out of her head. She let out a gasp. They all broke out into laughter… and I laughed too. They didn’t beat me up.
The meal was great, the waitress was nice, and I was thoroughly entertained the whole time I sat there. (Mostly due to my vivid imagination) As we were leaving though, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is there a mafia in Salt Lake City?”
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22 thoughts on “Is There a Mafia in Salt Lake City?

  1. I don’t know about Salt Lake City but “our friends” hang outs are nothing like you described. I’m from Chicago the city of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher of the World and home to Al Capone. (His hotel was about 6 blocks from where I teach.)No, sounds like your were in a theme restaurant to me.PeterH

  2. These days you never know what’s going on where you are. The way you’ve written this does put the reader in the right environment for such a ‘underground’ setting, and the mood sounds right. Ah… these are the moments you live life for; those moments where your heartbeat is slightly elevated and that extra pinch of excitement enchants your evening. The mystery will always be there for you, but I thank you for entertaining description of what sounds like quite the exciting dinner. Might I suggest if you ever visit Chicago, that you visit ‘Tommy Gun’s Restaurant’.

  3. Unless you are in Chicago for an extended visit you can skip Tommy Gun’s.Back to the imagination… I imagine WW to be Karl Malone or John Stockton.Maybe Marie Osmond.PeterH

  4. Oh, and the imagination… I like this game! You are wrong on all three guesses, but I definitely am famous. Hmmm… what else wonderful can I imagine??

  5. I am wracking my little brain for famous Utahians. (Utahites? Utarians?) And I have narrowed you down to this list.1) Barfin’ Jake Garn2) Roma Downey3) Lead Soprano in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir4) Bringham Young re-incarnated5) Gary Gilmore’s daughter.The it came to me.Orrin Hatch. Know not only for his conservative views, his barbershop quartet but he,too, has a huge breast fixation. And I mean huge breasts, little ones need not apply to the Big O.PeterH

  6. Darn! My identity has been found. I just had to find a new way to reach the people. I can see my days in government coming to a close. I’m an old man. What was I thinking?! Trying to trick people into thinking I’m a female superhero…Vote for Orrin Hatch at your next local election!! (I don’t care if I’m running- JUST VOTE!)

  7. I believe. as William Marston once said, “Women are much more trustworthy than men.”But are you a lying Blackfoot, who always lies, or a truthful Whitefoot who always tells the truth?PeterH

  8. It’s not easy making your readers feel like they’re ‘there’ with you, but that’s exactly what you did.I thoroughly enjoyed that.I’m a big Spiderman fan. Different comic company, different superhero universe. so I think we’re OK here.(smile)

  9. Hey, I went to that restaurant! It was weeiiiiird. There were patrons wearing guns and we asked our waitress what was downstairs and got “I don’t know I’m new” as a reply. She didn’t look new though. Your description of Catholics seems really cliché and fake though considering wearing a cross isn’t something we ALL do and we never wear a rosary as jewelry. That offensive… but that place was definitely sketchy. Also, they only take cash. No Credit Cards, No checks, No Debit. WHAT IS DOWNSTAIRS!?

  10. p.s. Your comment wasn’t offensive… I meant that its offensive to the faith for Catholics to wear rosaries. What was the name of that restaurant? I dont’ live in SLC.

  11. Pretty sure the author is talking about Coachman’s on state street. If he is, then, no. Not just his imagination. And no, it’s not a theme restaurant.

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