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Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm looking for help to stay in business

A black and white image of two women in front of a restaurant.

Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm has been one of Utah’s most highly rated restaurants for years, but now they’re asking for help in keeping its doors open.

First opened in 2000 by Blake Spalding and Jen Castle, Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm has garnered national recognition. According to Gastronomic SLC, the restaurant was even nominated in the Outstanding Restaurant category by James Beard Awards back in 2021.

The restaurant near Boulder says that due to lower crowds in the summer and rising costs, they’re at risk of closing permanently. The others of Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm say they’ve been forced to start fundraising in order to remain in business by opening a GoFundMe page.

On the GoFundMe page, the restaurant’s co-chefs highlighted that they’re in need of help with debt payment, infrastructure support, and permanent home. The restaurant has been renting its location for 23 years, leading to staff constantly dealing with broken equipment that requires constant fixing.

In the page description, Spalding and Castle wrote that they remain optimistic for a new chapter in the restaurant’s lifespan, one that’s brighter than they could have imagined. The two also wrote that they love their customers, their restaurant, their staff, and the town they’re part of, saying that it’s an honor and a privilege to serve beautiful food to beautiful people in a beautiful location.

A goal of raising $324,000 was placed on the GoFundMe, with the number being three times 108, a sacred Buddhist number. As of Tuesday evening, $179,302 has been raised to save the restaurant.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.