OGDEN — Nestled against the Ogden River and below the lights of the city’s iconic neon archway sits a local favorite for pizza, sandwiches and plenty of beer.
Since 2011, Slackwater Pub and Pizzeria has served the hungry and thirsty masses of Ogden.
In what started as a 30-seat restaurant connected to a neighboring bike shop, Slackwater can now seat more than 200 patrons when the patio is open during warmer months.
The Ogden eatery caters to a variety of tastebuds, as well.
Those who tend to stick to the basics will find plenty of options, like a variety of salads or a meat-lovers pizza — known at Slackwater as the Cardiac Arrest. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, dishes like the Fish Taco Pizza and the oven-roasted whole garlic heads are surely dishes difficult to find anywhere else.
General manager Blake Hirschi says Slackwater is also home to one of the largest beer selections in the state, with the restaurant offering around 250 different types of beer on a good day.
Roughly once a month, especially during the winter, Slackwater hosts events called “Tap Takeovers,” where the restaurant features a number of different beers from a single Utah brewery for each event. Hirschi says Slackwater has hosted Tap Takeovers for breweries like Kiitos Brewing, Uinta Brewing and 2 Row Brewing, among others.
Hirschi said the expanding number of breweries in the area allows Slackwater to host these events in summer, which hasn’t happened much in the past. The restaurant is planning to have a Tap Takeover for Epic Brewing just after Mother’s Day.
In their most recent takeover event, Slackwater hosted Ogden-based Roosters Brewing Company. Hirschi said the restaurant is always happy to support other Ogden breweries whenever possible.
“We’re family,” Hirschi said. “I think Ogden businesses supporting Ogden businesses is an important thing.”
Instead of taking an adversarial approach to other local businesses, Slackwater employees and those at other Ogden eateries often frequent each other’s restaurants, according to Hirschi.
“It’s nice to be able to have that relationship with the businesses as well, not just this competitive nature,” Hirschi said. “We like to support each other.”
At Slackwater, there are far more than just beer-centric events.
If you’re more of a fan of outdoor activities, Slackwater has you covered with movie nights starting up in the fall and continuing into spring. The restaurant hosts Movie Mondays for mountain biking, rock climbing and skiing. Slackwater often partners with local gear shops for the events, often giving away equipment and goodies with the corresponding events.
In the fall, Slackwater also partners with the Utah Avalanche Center and holds avalanche awareness classes to prepare skiers for what to do in Utah’s backcountry.
“We really want to be a representation of our town,” Hirschi said. “Ogden is an outdoor community.”
The restaurant also frequently has live music throughout the year, often taking place Thursday through Sunday.
In the coming months, Slackwater will be opening a new location at 10290 S. State St., in Sandy, and Hirschi will be the new restaurant’s manager. He hopes to have the new location open by early fall.
Hirschi hopes to bring Slackwater’s enthusiasm for the outdoors to the new location in Sandy.
“As we go onto the Sandy area, we want to try to take what is Ogden culture with us and share that love and passion for nature and getting outside,” he said.