What defines a must-to-avoid “townie” restaurant in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival? The host has a suspicious, guard-at-the-gate attitude when you walk in and say you’d like to hang at the bar, as I did last night at 350 Main. No well-mannered restaurant host in Manhattan would adopt a look of faint alarm and a ready-to-rock tone and say “do you have a dinner reservation?”
I was about to say “no, but I’ve got 15 minutes to kill and thought I’d chill” but the hostess was a mixture of Faye Dunaway in Network and a barkeep in a Sean O’Casey play and the confrontational vibe was like a Queen lyric — “We will, we will stop you!” Things went downhill from there.
I’ve always gotten this attitude from 350 Main staffers — “Are you riff-raff or are you here to sufficiently spend? You don’t much look like a skiier and that worries us. Don’t come in here with any sort of journalistic-swagger attitude because we have a business to run, bub.” I know that Sundance attracts crude simian types to Main Street and I don’t blame any high-toned establishment for wanting to keep this element from cluttering the place up, but townie eateries always overdo it. Another Park City establishment that I wrote off years ago for having this “hold it, fella!” attitude is the Grub Steak, located across from Prospector Square.