I am in Salt Lake City this week visiting my mom and canning tomatoes. It is a ritual that has gone on in my family for years and one I look forward to more with each passing summer. Today, while driving through Murray, though, I had a sad moment and time for a bit of reflection.
Grecian Gardens was a Greek restaurant in Murray located on State Street in what is called “old” Murray. It’s been there as long as I can remember, tucked at the end of a small commercial strip of buildings.
I have a history with this place. From the time I was about ten years old my family went there a couple of times a month for dinner. My family contained many artists and musicians as I was growing up and Grecian Gardens was a lively place with music, art and belly dancers.
My great-grandmother was a well known Utah artist, who won 1st place in the 1941 Worlds Fair for one of her paintings. Her daughter, Yvonne, is a gifted, and hard working artist as well.
Sometime during my early teens, maybe even a bit before, my aunt Yvonne was commissioned to paint a mural of Greek dancers on the interior wall of a local restaurant – Grecian Gardens. It seemed to me as a child, this was by far, the coolest thing ever.
I remember going with my grandmother to Grecian Gardens and sitting in an empty restaurant in the early afternoon watching my great aunt paint the mural of dancers, which ended up being much larger than life sized. Their clothes were brightly colored and the women all had flowing skirts.
Today, I drove by and Grecian Gardens is gone, demolished about 2 months ago. Time to make room for the new, some will say better, development. Grecian Gardens was not the best restaurant in the Salt Lake valley, nor was it much to look at from the outside, but inside was a magical place. I bid it adue with a tich of sadness.