Tuesday , July 01, 2014 - 5:10 PM
OGDEN -- When Robert Higgs opened Burch Creek Mercantile five years ago, he knew he wanted to create something unique, and he started by building an impressive storefront.
“I was going to do art deco, that was my first thought, because I was putting a 1930s soda fountain inside,” Higgs said. “Then, I decided to make it more like an old general store. It fits with the name. It reminds people of the Old West. I wanted it to be a look that no one else has done.”
Prior to opening a restaurant, Higgs spent a decade working for Walmart where his responsibilities included organizing fundraisers for charities. He knew he wanted to keep up the tradition of giving to organizations when he opened his business.
“October is our slowest month, so it gives us the opportunity,” he said.
Every fall, he works with fellow business owners on the block to host a Saturday of services, such as massages and manicures, and to sell donated items with all of the proceeds going to help fight breast cancer.
The following week after the fundraiser — always the week of UEA when Utah children have time off from school — the business owners on the block host a trick-or-treat night ending with a spook alley behind Higgs’ building.
They call the event the All Ghouls and Goblins Festival.
“It’s super fun and scary,” Higgs said. Actors from the nearby Ziegfeld Theater and Ogden High School participate in the spook alley.
Inside the restaurant, food, homemade fudge, chocolates and ice cream treats await.
“We do soups and sandwiches named after big bands,” Higgs said.
Popular soups this time of year include red potato chowder and tomato basil ravolini ($2.45/cup or $3.45/bowl). Soups may also be served in a sourdough bread bowl ($4.95).
The Benny Goodman ($6.49), named after the “King of Swing,” comes with cranberry spiced bread, turkey, avocado, cranberry sauce, onion and cucumber. The Chicken Salad Andrews ($6.49), named for the Andrews Sisters, is made with homemade chicken salad served on a croissant.
Higgs’ personal favorite is the Billie Holiday ($6.49), a sandwich with albacore tuna, relish, onion and tomato on an Asiago Kaiser bun.
All sandwiches are served with chips and a cookie. Homemade cookies (50 cents) are available a la carte in chocolate chip, peanut butter or oatmeal.
“We make our homemade fudge right here so it is fresh,” Higgs said. “We have up to 40 flavors available at a time.”
Some popular tastes include cherry praline, chocolate peanut butter, snickers and cherry pecan ($11.99/pound, buy one pound, get a half pound free).
The candy counter includes an assortment of chocolates from Alvey’s, located in Richmond.
Truffles made on site come in a dozen flavors, including coconut cream, hazelnut, fudge-love and strawberry ($2.50/each).
Patrons especially enjoy coming in for the ice cream. They carry 74 flavors of Farr’s.
“We have birthday parties, church groups, and people coming in after sporting or school events,” Higgs said.
Burch Creek Mercantile can seat nearly 100 guests and serve sundaes, old fashioned sodas, old fashioned malts and Italian sodas ($1.49-$4.99).
The gift shop carries novelty items, retro reproduction toys, retro sodas and retro candies.
Burch Creek Mercantile
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