2010 marks our eightieth anniversary and makes us the second oldest Restaurant in Utah. Unfortunately, Ruth didn't live to see it. She passed away in November of 1989 at the age of 94. She was a great story teller--a spirited woman whose language could make a gangster blush--and what follows are a few stories from her life as observed by friends or told by Ruth herself.
As a young woman, she was very handsome. The pictures on the wall of the diner show that much. Ruth performed in some of the bars around Salt Lake City as a cabaret singer from about 1912 to 1916. She tells of being dragged off the stage one night by a jealous woman with a fierce grip on her hair. Ruth recovered quickly and "the biddy regretted herself for some time to come."
In 1930 she started the diner as Ruth's Hamburgers downtown in the Meredith Building at 120 East Second South. At some point her location was directly across the street from a very small house of ill repute and Ruth kept a keen eye on the doings across the way. She fed the girls and listened to their stories about various police, politicians, judges and other clients.
After many years of flipping burgers downtown, her building was sold and demolished. So she bought a Salt Lake Trolley car and moved it up Emigration Canyon where she reopened in 1949. Ruth built an apartment onto the back of her trolley car (it's now the lower dining area and kitchen) and lived on the property alone with her little Chihuahua dogs for almost f
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