SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City community is mourning the loss of prominent restaurateur and philanthropist Tom Guinney, who died on Sept. 6 in Oregon City, Oregon.
Guinney developed the menu and recipes at Market Street Grill, one of Salt Lake’s foremost restaurants, and was a mainstay in the industry for decades. He also served the community and spent time on the boards of many Utah organizations including the Downtown Alliance, Visit Salt Lake, the Utah Restaurant Association and the Salt Lake County Board of Health, according to his obituary.
Guinney moved to Salt Lake after meeting local legends John Williams and Tom Sieg in 1979, joining them as partners in Gastronomy, Inc., according to the obituary. He grew up in Orange County, California, and served three tours in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
In 2017, Mayor Jackie Biskupski awarded Guinney the Key to the City. She issued a statement Thursday on his passing.
“When I talk about my dear friend, Tom Guinney, I love to tell people we can enjoy eating fresh seafood every day in Salt Lake City because of him,” the statement says. “As a successful business owner and community member, he was generous with his time, talents, and resources. Kind to friend and stranger alike, and always looking for ways to improve this community through his work.”
Biskupski said Guinney’s impact will continue to be felt through the downtown buildings he helped restore and the countless people he impacted in the restaurant industry.
“Mostly, you can feel it in the deep respect many in this community continue to feel for a man who brought people together and made everyone feel welcome," she wrote. “My thoughts are with Tom’s family, especially his daughter Alex, granddaughter Faye, and son-in-law Jon, whom he loved deeply.”
The Downtown Alliance called Guinney one of downtown’s “greatest developers and restauranteurs.”
“Tom and his partners planted a flag on Market Street that is Salt Lake’s epicurean ground zero. Gastronomy elevated dining in Salt Lake City,” its statement reads.
Neil O’Donnell and Sons Mortuary will host a visitation for Guinney on Monday, Sept. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., according to his obituary. A funeral mass will be held Sept. 17 at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, followed by a committal service at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Avenue and T Street.