Our chef and co-owner Jerry Liedtke Jr. grew up in the bar business. His Father, Jerry Sr., owned bars here in Salt Lake in the sixties and seventies. The year Jerry Jr. was born his dad opened a quiet little bar on State Street between Third and Fourth South on the East side of the street and named it The Tin Angel. The area is a parking lot now but in its day it was a bustling part of downtown and the foot traffic didn’t end when the sun set. Next door was a little place called The Copper Kettle. But Jerry Sr. was just starting out and business was slow so when a man approached him about doing a show there on Friday nights he thought he didn't have anything to lose. The night of the show came and the man arrived to get set up but his hair was piled up in a tall beehive and costume jewels glinted from his ears. In poured a bar full of 1967 Drag Queens with Bitch Sticks, Bouffants and Feather Boas. Jerry Sr. was surprised to find that the planner of the event had neglected to mention that his show was a transgendered extravaganza and came with an audience hungry to see the routine. What was a bartender to do but surrender to the party and The Tin Angel became famous as Salt Lake’s main venue for Cross Dressing Cabaret. Eventually, the lease ran out, the party died down and The Tin Angel was torn down to make room for the present parking lot. Jerry Sr. moved on to other projects. (Some Utahns may remember Jerry’s Brown Bag across the street from the old Tin Angel location). But Jerry Jr. always loved the name of his father’s famous hot spot and when, almost forty years later, he and his wife and their best friend opened a restaurant just a few blocks from his dads old place, The Tin Angel was the only name they ever considered.
We are looking for memorobelia from this era of Salt Lake history. Drop by and tell us your story (preferably in drag) or photos of the old Tin Angel, stories from customers or performers, hand bills and etc. can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org