Silver Star Café opened in March of 2009, part of the Silver Star Village (Winner of the Utah Heritage Award). Jeff and Lisa Ward purchased the Café in March, 2010. After tremendous growth and support from the community, they purchased the building that houses the cafe in November of 2012.
Part of the Silver Star Village Community
Silver Star Village is a quaint, historic, arts and recreation-focused community located at the historic Spiro Mine site in the Thaynes Canyon area of Park City. The development was honored with the Utah Heritage Award for its accuracy in maintaining the historic heritage of the area, protection of the site's historic buildings, and use of appropriate materials consistent with accurate renovation and redevelopment of the site's structures.
In addition to Silver Star Café, the village includes the world-renowned Sundance Institute, the Spiro Arts/ Artist in Residence program, Silver Star Ski and Sport, and the Resorts West property management company. There are hiking, biking and snow shoeing trails launching directly from our plaza, including the Spiro Trail and the Armstrong Trail. The plaza itself is a frequent site for concerts, markets, weddings and events. Silver Star residences include stunning high-end condominium homes as well as beautifully designed controlled cost residences built specifically for working community members including teachers, nonprofit leaders, artists, and public service personnel. We are proud of our diversity, and celebrate our vibrant Silver Star community.
The History of the Spiro Mine and Silver Star
The Silver Star village sits on the historic Spiro Mine site in Thaynes Canyon, which a century ago, was mined for its rich ore of precious metals, primarily silver. Mine owner Solon Spiro spent his fortune and 20 years digging for the rich ore he was certain was buried in the earth. Alas, his efforts were sabotaged by huge volumes of icy underground water that continually battled against the digging effort. Ultimately, he went bankrupt in the attempt, and tragically for him, the mine's subsequent owners dug only a few feet further, to find the fortune. When the area's mining economy faded and winter tourism took its place, the Spiro mine tunnel was transformed into the world's first and only underground ski lift, with a Skier Subway train that transported skiers three miles into the mine tunnel, where they boarded a mine cage elevator that ascended 1,800 feet to the surface of the ski hill.
Soon after, the Spiro Tunnel housed an underground mining museum, 1,300 feet below the surface, and 11,000 feet into the mountain, featuring old mining artifacts, equipment, miners' clothing, and even a replica of an underground horse stable. The former Skier Subway became the Silver King Mine Train, transporting visitors to the museum. When the museum closed in 1975, the mine was sealed, and the surrounding mining buildings fell into disrepair.
In 2003, the land was purchased by Rory Murphy, Chris Conabee and George Bryan, who pledged their vision for restoration of the site, restoring existing buildings, and constructing new ones that would complement the old and remain true to the site's history. The result is the Silver Star Village, with a combination of ski-in/ski-out vacation homes, affordable housing units for working community members, office space for small businesses and non-profit organizations (including the Sundance Institute), the Spiro Artist in Residence program, Silver Star Ski and Sport Shop, and the Silver Star Café. In winter, the on-site ski lift transports skiers and boarders to the resort slopes. In summer, Silver Star hiking and biking trails welcome access to over 300 miles of trails in the surrounding mountains. The water that so plagued the mining efforts of Solon Spiro has become a rich community resource, with nearly 40 percent of Park City's culinary water derived from the Spiro Tunnel.
Today, the wealth of Solon Spiro's land lies in its beauty, reflection of history, and recreational access to the richness of wilderness that current Park City residents and visitors so revere.
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Fall hours: Weekday lunch Tuesday- Friday 11-3; Brunch Saturday- Sunday 9-3; Dinner Tuesday- Saturday from 5:30.