Bit & Spur renovations
Image: David Rachlis

The Bit & Spur Restaurant and Saloon in Springdale has been an iconic watering hole in Zion Canyon since the 1950s (with a hiatus in the ’70s). It has undergone multiple changes—new owners, construction, and upgrades—but it is unlikely that it has ever gone through as an extensive a remodel as it is undergoing now.

The demolition is done and now we’re into the construction part of it. They’re pouring cement in the next couple days and hopefully walls will start going up.

—Alex Pelton

Co-owner Alex Pelton closed the Bit & Spur on Nov. 1 after a grand sendoff on Halloween night, and since then walls have come down, furnishings and decorations have been packed away in three shipping containers, and a bulldozer has reworked the landscape outside.

Pelton says the need for a major remodel was overdue. When the restaurant began its present incarnation in the 1980s, they were cooking 100 dinners a night, and now that number is closer to 300.

Bit & Spur renovations
Photo: Alex Pelton

“We’ve outgrown our infrastructure,” he said. “We’re making the kitchen much larger, with a separate prep kitchen so we’re able to do more catering and weddings. That’s the big emphasis. We’re also expanding and rebuilding the dining areas. We’re doing an 850-square-foot covered patio off the back. It will be covered but open air, with beautiful views of the West Temple and the mountains. There will be great rock work by the local rock guys and fountains and things like that.”

Pelton says that 75 percent of the existing building has been torn down, along with the trailer in the back. He said that there were some sections of the building that were not slated for demolition but were found to be falling apart and needed to come down.

“It’s continually morphing,” Pelton said.

The pool room, bar, and original bathrooms remain standing, but virtually everything else has been gutted, Pelton added.

“The demolition is done, and now we’re into the construction part of it. They’re pouring cement in the next couple days, and hopefully walls will start going up,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, the Bit & Spur will reopen sometime in mid-March of 2016.

Bit & Spur renovations
Image: Alex Pelton

“We’re hoping to have construction done by the beginning of March and then give us a couple of weeks to put everything back together. There’s a lot of things to line up. We need to order new walk-in fridges and freezers, hood systems. There’s a lot of great upgrades.”

Pelton stated that the residents of Springdale have had a difficult time adjusting to life without the Bit & Spur.

“All the locals are kind of freaking out,” Pelton stated. He added that while it may be difficult for locals to accept it being closed for half a year, the wait will be worth it.

“We’re still going to be the same place; we’ll just be functioning a little bit better. We’ll still have the fun party nights. We’ll still be that place. The vibe will still be there. It will just be a little cleaner and bigger. It’s going to be awesome.”