By Dan Schroeder
Today’s Standard-Examiner has a feature article commemorating the 15th anniversary of the opening of Roosters. For the record, I’d like to state that I consider this occasion well worth celebrating.
More than any other single business, Roosters epitomizes the revitalization of Historic 25th Street. It’s always busy, attracting many dozens of people to downtown every day. It brings us together: locals and visitors, drinkers and non-drinkers, Lifties and Smarties. And its owners, Kym and Pete Buttschardt, have contributed enormously to the greater community through organizations like the GOAL Foundation and Weber Pathways.
To be sure, the opening of Roosters was just one of many small steps in the slow recovery of 25th Street that followed the end of the railroad era. Earlier businesses, including the Buttschardts’ own Union Grill, were the true pioneers. Many of the newer restaurants (including my favorite, Two Bit Street Cafe) serve more interesting food. Nearby venues like the Egyptian Theater, Eccles Conference Center, and Lindquist Field have helped supply the restaurants with hungry customers. The embarrassing gap on the south side of the 100-block of 25th Street has now been filled.
But Roosters was a necessary step, and arguably the most important step. 25th Street needed a brew pub, and the instant success of Roosters showed other downtown entrepreneurs what was possible.
The transformation of 25th Street has been so dramatic that some folks have come to believe that it happened overnight. Others, for their own political reasons, would have us believe that downtown Ogden was “dead” before our current mayor took office. In fact, the revitalization of 25th Street began more than two decades ago and there are many, many people who deserve credit for it. As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Roosters, let us also raise a toast to the many others who have contributed to this transformation.