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The Imperial Hotel, circa 1968

Last fall, one of Park City’s most beloved structures, the old Imperial Hotel at 221 Main, became the venue for a café and market dubbed Riverhorse Provisions. An espresso bar and seating for about 25 occupies the cozy street-level space; upstairs, in the second-floor marketplace, shelves and coolers are stocked with fresh produce, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, fish, eggs, cheese, oils, and gourmet packaged items. Requests for made-to-order breakfast and lunch options—selected from the overhead chalkboard menus—can be made at the counter and delivered to tables on this level or downstairs in the espresso bar.     

The Imperial had stood empty for the better part of a decade before Seth Adams, chef and co-owner of Riverhorse on Main, purchased and began renovating it more than a year ago. “It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, which is really cool but a designation that also makes it really hard to change things,” he says.

John and Anna Bogan built the prominent structure in 1904, which they appropriately dubbed the Bogan Boarding House. Miners were the Bogans’ primary clientele, though it was used briefly as a hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic. Sometime along Park City’s economic transition from mining to tourism, the name was changed to the Imperial, but its function remained as a lodge.

This winter, when you stop in at Riverhorse Provisions to grab a latte, a copy of The New York Times, or a piece of halibut for dinner, don’t be surprised if you feel an eerie presence. “The ghost’s name is Lizzie,” Adams says. “She lived in the boarding house and was apparently shot by her husband when he found her in bed with another man.”

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