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New Asian Gastropub Nohm strives to settle into its niche in Salt Lake dining during COVID-19

Posted By Regional Development
August 04, 2020

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Nohm officially opened its doors to customers off 900 South and a block from West Temple, in the space formerly occupied by Meditrina, several months before Utah even thought about COVID-19.

The new Asian gastropub fills a unique space in Salt Lake City dining. Its focus is on small plates and drinks. The owner and Salt Lake City resident, David Chon, worked at numerous restaurants the past two decades, but wanted to bring more variety and a different take on Japanese or Korean cuisines. 

Nohm 1.jpgNohm is setting itself a part with its Japanese-style charcoal grilling -- skewers pairing well with beers for the post-work crowd looking for a place to hang out, or cold plates with sake or wine. Its dishes feature veggies, like fresh lettuces and mushrooms, from multiple local farmers and take shape in Chicken Katsu or Pan-fried Udon. The menu is full of a variety of textures and flavors that serve as food for the eyes and stomach. 

After just a few months of operating, COVID-19 hit. It was horrible timing. The restaurant shifted and began offering a menu for curbside pickup; the restaurant is committed to a high quality of food it can be proud of, whether to-go or dining in. It found support from its neighborhood and the Salt Lake community, but come summer, it wasn’t enough to survive the pandemic. 

Nohm’s capacity went from 50 to 20, and 11 staff to three. Recommended reservations is one way Nohm is making the best of the current situation; it allows the restaurant to ensure the safety of customers, while also minimizing waste. 

Chon said that the restaurant struggled to get any substantial federal aid the first four months of COVID-19, due to how young the operation was and felt like his applications went to the bottom of the pile.  

Nohm then heard about Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) from its landlord and applied. Nohm received a full Small Business Impact Grant, with the help and troubleshooting of Michael Herman, a SBIG specialist and David Eccles School of Business Hope Corps student working for Salt Lake County.

“This grant is helping me survive,” Chon said. “It was perfect timing.”

He expects the grant will allow him to stay open through October if the current public health situation remains unchanged. But he still hopes a livelier market is on the horizon. 

“A lot of bars and restaurants worry about health spikes and some still are hesitant to open their door to the public,” Chon said. “At the same time, for a restaurant like ours, we do not have a choice but to be open, hoping that we could, at least, pay the monthly bills and survive until things get better. I do feel, however, a lot more hopeful nowadays knowing that we have a very supportive local community and this grant would allow us to try different ways to bring in more guests to our restaurant.”

Nohm is located at 165 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 and is open Tuesday-Saturday, Noon-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.

If you’re a small business like Nohm and have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, learn more about the Small Business Impact Grant, and apply today at slco.org/covidgrants/.