The Eagle Building

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Caffé Molise and BTG Wine Bar are excited to announce that Salt Lake City’s historic Eagle Building at 404 S West Temple will be their new home. Renovations have been underway since August 2017 and are due to be completed by Summer 2018.

 

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Eagle Building

Just 3 blocks south of their current location, the Eagle Building was constructed in 1915-16. Designed by Swedish immigrant Nils Edward Liljenberg, it features a Neo-Renaissance style (with fittingly Italian roots). Visible markers of the style are the grand staircase, arched windows and openings, Egyptian-style pillars, and its 3 stories separated by horizontal ‘belts.’

The building originally housed the Fraternal Order of Eagles—a social club whose membership sponsored social and cultural activities. In the 19th century, they furnished free medical services and lobbied for fair labor policies in Utah, and the order’s founder helped to establish Mother’s Day in the US. During their ownership, the FOE used the building for meetings, as well as diverse entertainment from dancing, card games, drinking, and even boxing matches in the basement.

During the Great Depression, the building was vacant for several years until being leased by the American Legion in 1941. From 1950 to the 1980s, it was home to the Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company.

In the early 1990s, the building underwent a major renovation and became what many people know the building as, The Bay. The building went on to house several different dance clubs over the next 20 plus years. In 2017, the building hosted sold-out events by Sonder, a dance-theatre group, for their experimental audience-immersive performances.


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When looking for a new location, owners Fred Moesinger and Aimee Sterling were thrilled to find the Eagle Building available, despite its superficial yet daunting state of disrepair. “It’s a grand old place. Aimee and I are excited to be restoring it to its former glory. We have been looking to buy a building for over three years but nothing we saw met all of our needs. It was important to us to have a downtown location, and a building with charm, as well as a patio. We feel fortunate to have found all those qualities in the Eagle Building. Our business has grown, thanks to the support of our customers over the last 25 years, and we look forward to better serve them in our new space.”

We have felt privileged to be a part of weddings, memorials, engagements, and first dates. We encourage anyone who has shared special moments at our current establishments to come by again before our move. Our staff-members often hear from long-time patrons about their special times spent here.

This is an exciting time for us, with new opportunities at a new site. Our hope is that old friends will enjoy the similarities and the differences of our new building. We think our customers will approve!”

 

The grand staircase on West Temple will enter into Caffé Molise’s main dining room while the upper floor will offer expanded seating options including banquet space and increased capacity for private events. An original antique awning on 400 South covers the entrance for BTG Wine Bar. With a nod to Caffé Molise’s original (current) fabled patio, a landscaped courtyard and two balconies will be open for dining al fresco during patio season. A portion of the patio will offer BTG Wine Bar’s patrons an outdoor option as well.

 

As a Wine Spectator-recognized bar, BTG Wine Bar has gained local fame as a grown-up place to relax, and enjoy excellent wines and cocktails, for novices and wine snobs alike. BTG Wine Bar’s new space will have the same upscale, elegant yet un-stuffy feel. With sommelier Louis Koppel, they will continue to host their wine pairing dinners, with the new space affording new opportunities for tasting events and wine education. BTG will be offering a new and expanded menu.

 

Fred and Aimee have been working with architectural firm Chris Layton and Associates, contractor Roger Knight Construction, and Suzette Eaton Design to build and design a unique space for their businesses to grow.