#68: Tin Angel Cafe – Where Art And Food Create Community


There are many motivations to enter the restaurant business. Maybe you love to cook and are looking for a culinary challenge. Or possibly you are a competitive person who is looking for a creative entrepreneurial challenge. But some people just want to create a community. For Kestrel and Jerry K Leidtke Jr., community was the most important part of all. The Tin Angel name comes from very fun, but humble, beginnings. The original Tin Angel was founded by Jerry’s father in 1962, and served as a bar in the downtown area. However, Tin Angel quickly became a LGBTQ hotspot and hosted weekly drag shows. It became a cultural hotspot and served as the first gay/drag bar west of the Mississippi. Even though the bar closed, the name lived on as a community beacon bursting with art and inclusivity.

While Kestrel and Jerry have worked in the food industry for years, they always dreamed of creating something of their own that was more than just food. They wanted a space for artists, for a community to gather. They wanted to support local vendors and create an experience. When Kestrel stumbled upon a building owner putting up a “For Rent” sign, they instantly knew that their opportunity to create something of their own had arrived.

In 2007, Tin Angel opened its doors. Bursting with local art, Tin Angel is an eclectic space that offers local, seasonal, varied foods that pay tribute to the community while also taking a creative twist with familiar favorites. Join us as we hear the story of Kestrel and Jerry, and learn more about this community staple that is standing firm with the ever changing Pioneer Park area.

This episode was sponsored by…

90.9FM KRCL — Community Connection and Music Discovery

The Chocolate Conspiracy — A project in pure, raw, honey-sweetened chocolate.

Maddox Restaurant — Featuring completely from scratch recipes in Perry, UT. since 1949, sourced and crafted from the finest ingredients available.

Beltex Meats — A small butcher shop utilizing local meats and sustainable practices. Specializing in the craft of whole animal butchery at 511E 900S

GREENbike — Salt Lake City’s non-profit bike share. Their bikes are ready to ride, one-size-fits-all, and located at popular downtown hot spots. Take as many 1-hour rides as you want for an entire year for only $75.

This episode was hosted by Chase Murdock and produced by Ryan Samanka. For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us onFacebook, Instagram, orTwitter. See you next week!