Photo: Chris Swainston
Since 2000, Blue Plate Diner has been a favorite of local scenesters of every age, providing a friendly, retro atmosphere along with traditional and vegetarian/vegan-friendly grub. Owners John Bouzek and Tamrika Khvtisiashvili attribute the unique diner’s style to falling in love with an old 1940s soda fountain in Salina, Utah while they were passing through on a road trip. Inspired, the two combined their fondness of mom-and-pop cafés and appetite for authentic American cuisine with Bouzek’s cooking skills, and Blue Plate was realized. With its awesome staff and delicious eats for people from every walk of life, it’s no wonder that Blue Plate has bellied into a Salt Lake City landmark.
SLUG: Tell us about your first experience with SLUG Magazine.
Khvtisiashvili: I remember SLUG when Gianni owned it. I was in high school and I thought it was cool and fun, and in fact it was some of my reading material as I learned English. In high school, Angela Brown took me under her wing and we became good friends. After Angela became the editor of SLUG, John and I were delighted to extend supporting help from one small business to another, when we could, through advertising.
SLUG: How have you seen the magazine change since then?
Khvtisiashvili: Over the years, SLUG has become more diverse in its content. The quality of writing and visual presentation has become more professional as well, but that said, SLUG has been able to maintain its spirit. It has not become ‘too glossy’ or ‘irrelevant’ to its readers. It is still raw, providing something to our community that no other publication does. That, we appreciate.
SLUG: What is one of the most memorable SLUG articles that you have read?
Khvtisiashvili: I used to love reading “What is up with George.” Also, I have read many band interviews. In more recent years, anything by Mr. M. Brown.
SLUG: What is your favorite SLUG cover?
Khvtisiashvili: In 2000, there was one with Gentry’s [Densely] face all over it. I liked it, because I like Gentry. I also liked having Tom Waits on the cover and all the cool graphics with it.
SLUG: Tell us about the most memorable SLUG event that you’ve attended.
Khvtisiashvili: I was a judge at the SLUG Queen Contest. It was good times! Super fun!
SLUG: How has SLUG affected your life?
Khvtisiashvili: It has provided great, fun, useful information about the local scene in general, specifically local music. That is one thing that I love.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant in Utah for the last 22 years?
Khvtisiashvili: It is relevant because it covers Salt Lake in a way that no other publication does. It continues and changes as our city does, without losing its underground spirit and its support of everything outside of the mainstream and everything local.