It turns out not everything about 2020 was bad. Park City carnivores got a gift toward the end of the calendar year with the opening of Chop Shop (chopshopparkcity.com) in the Newpark Town Center, making it Park City’s first full-service butcher shop yet so much more.
Chop Shop is the creation of business partners John Courtney, Chuck Heath, and Dan Ibach. When asked about opening a butcher shop in Park City, Ibach said, “We recognized there was a big need for quality meat in Park City and decided to make our dream of creating a European-style butcher’s shop a reality. We want customers to enjoy a variety of meat and cheese offerings, sourced from Utah.”
In addition to serving the highest-quality cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and poultry—including both common cuts of meat and harder-to-find ones—Chop Shop features a wood-fired pizza oven and will serve custom artisan pizzas to eat in or take out. The butchery’s market also offers burgers and sausages—such as merguez lamb sausage—made in-house, as well as charcuterie, pâtés, sandwiches, and grab-and-go items. Plus, Chop Shop provides customer services such as spatchcocking a chicken or butterflying a veal breast, if requested.
“One thing you learn running restaurants is you don’t want to say ‘no’ to customers all the time,” says Courtney. “You want to create an experience that they remember and come back to. We want Chop Shop to be a relaxed, inviting, neighborhood place.”
Courtney, who was trained in the culinary arts and worked in a Michelin 3-Star restaurant in France as well as with renowned chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud, has launched many restaurants in this country and elsewhere, including award-winning eateries such as Yardbird in Las Vegas. He says that whenever possible, Chop Shop meats are sourced locally. “We believe the farmers and ranchers are the cornerstone of our business, which is why we pick the best of the best when it comes to our purveyors,” he says. “We pride ourselves on knowing each purveyor we work with personally.”
He’s not kidding. A truly hands-on guy, Courtney recalls hand-feeding a 2,300-pound bull named Johnson on a ranch in Kamas that he was exploring with its female rancher/owner. “She names all her bulls after parts of the male anatomy,” says Courtney, laughing. (Think about it.) “These animals were so gentle. They’ll take feed pellets right out of your hand and won’t bite you.”
The butchery’s commitment to quality extends to working with ranchers who have adopted humane raising protocols, including those developed under the guidance of renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin. With the roster of local farmers, producers, and ranchers Chop Shop works with, including Ballerina Farms in Kamas, Wasatch Wagyu in Coalville, and Gold Creek Farms in Woodland, tourists visiting from out of state as well as Park City locals can literally get a taste of Utah at Chop Shop.