Falling for Ogden, Part 1


This picture is of a tiny little broken down building on the corner of Washington Ave and Binford.  It is attached to Tanner Transmission and has pretty much sat there much as it looks since I moved to Ogden.  Although, I think that the awning was a little higher then.  You can make out that it used to be called the Snappy Service Café.  I just love that name!  I wonder who worked there.  What was the menu like?  Was the service really snappy?  Because if it wasn’t that would be really embarrassing.  This little building made me fall in love with Ogden.  This place could still be something wonderful.  If I had won the recent lotto millions, I would have bought this little place and returned it to what I can only imagine was its former glory.  A place to get a delicious breakfast in a hurry or a soup and Panini on a chilly Utah winter day.  The possibility is there and that is what I love about Ogden… It has possibility.

I was raised in California, in a small town of no consequence to any but those who were lucky enough to live there.  It was a regular Southern Cali suburb with schools and grocery stores like most American towns, but Whittier had a special secret… Uptown.  It was an area of the city that was given over to artists, quaint shops, restaurants ran and owned by people who lived nearby and you always had the feeling that just being there on those streets meant that something exciting was happening.

Now, when I first moved to Utah I was a little homesick for my California sunshine.  I was living near Salt Lake City and while I liked the area, it just didn’t feel like home.  I learned to enjoy my time there and figured I would settle in eventually.  After a while I decided to move towards Ogden.  I was told “Why do you want to move there?  It is awful!” “Ogden?  That place is scary.” “Are you sure about this?”  All of this had me a little apprehensive, but the plans were made and it was too late to change my mind.  If I got too scared I figured I could just move again.

A few days after I moved to the Ogden area, I decided to get my bearing and head out on the town.  I drove around a bit and had heard that 25th Street was a good place to go, so I went.  When I set foot on the pavement in front of Moore’s Barber Shop, I got a feeling I hadn’tg had in a really long time.  I felt like something exciting was happening just because I was standing there.   I looked at the store fronts and the signs.  I scanned the windows and watched people walk here and there waving and stopping to talk like old friends.  Was this the scary Ogden people were talking about?

Now I know that Ogden has seen some crime and I am not trying to minimize that, but as the daughter of a man who lived in Compton, CA for a year… I have a different level of scary than the good people of Utah I guess.  This town was amazing and for the first time in a long time I felt like I could actually feel at home here.  That was 6 years ago and I have made a home here.  I have two beautiful children and an awesome husband.  We love living here and I hope that you do too.


About the author:

Jillian Hanes is a wife and mother of two who transplanted to Ogden 6 years ago from California and loves it here.  She owns a small business making wraps to carry your baby in and cute fluff to cover cloth diapers.  She has a soft spot for silly pop culture and loves to belt out some Mr. Big or Journey at karaoke.  She loves spending time with her family, taking terrible pictures and laughing at her own jokes.


Guest bloggers are locals who love Ogden! To become a guest blogger, email Mikaela@indieogdenutah.com.