Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

Restaurant Happenings - October 2004

Eddie McStiff’s
57 South Main Street, Moab - in McStiff’s Plaza
435-259-BEER (2337)

Get Stuffed at McStiff’s!
by Annabelle Numaguchi

Not many visitors to Moab pass through without a stop at the town’s oldest pub and brewery, Eddie McStiff’s. Perhaps this is because McStiff’s has managed to blend bar atmosphere and family dining into one establishment. Or perhaps it’s because this was one of the first restaurants to cater to the outdoor tourism that revitalized our desert town, and it’s still standing, in fact, thriving and expanding.

In the spring of 1991, when Moab was just emerging from its slumbering neglect after the uranium boom of the Fifties, three guys came out here and had a vision. Eddie Snyder, Mike McTigue and Steve “Stiff” Patterson envisioned creating a microbrew-slash-pub in the heart of a little dying desert town. This vision must have seemed more like a hallucination considering this brew pub would exist on the inside edge of a state known for having liquor laws only slightly easier to comprehend than gymnastics’ Olympic scoring.

Nonetheless, the three men persevered and opened Eddie McStiff’s thirteen years ago. Each contributed a part of his respective name and has left an indelible mark on this successful venture.

Eddie McStiff’s has expanded from a micro microbrewery whose operation took place in a glassed-in “fishbowl” surrounded by the dining area. Six years ago, the brewing part of this enterprise had grown large enough to warrant moving it to its own location south of town.

McStiff’s has evolved into a restaurant that offers an outdoor patio and multiple environments indoors. A large room features family dining, while a smaller atrium full of natural light and leafy plants offers a quieter atmosphere.

The main dining area reflects the beer origins of McStiff’s, in part because the center of it used to act as the “fishbowl” where the beer making operations took place. The lighting is more subdued in this area and it borders the long bar and open-mike stage, where live music frequently entertains patrons.

Although many people associate the name of Eddie McStiff’s with eating, the establishment has managed to expand its restaurant while retaining its pub origins. The full-service bar offers an exceptional variety of liquors and cocktails as well as twelve beers on tap, all hand crafted McStiff microbrews.

The selection includes expected beers, like Hefewiezen, ales and stouts, but also features some out-of-the-ordinary choices, like a Moab Raspberry Wheat, a Moab Lime and a Jalapeno, which has only a mild kick, but leaves a pleasant residual taste of pepper.

An upstairs room features game tables ranging from Foosball to Blackjack. Casino night takes place every night and offers patrons a chance to play or learn how to play a variety of gambling games. Although professional in-house gamers offer tips and explain the rules, the Casino is just for fun, no gambling takes place.

Entertainment for kids takes place downstairs in the form of a weekly magic show. A magician visits tables throughout the restaurant performing convincing illusionary deceptions to regale young diners.


Darwin Barker

Eddie McStiff’s caters to so many interests that it would be easy to understand if the food took the back burner in this enterprise. Thanks to the vigilance of Darwin Barker, who has been the general manager since 2002, and a well-staffed kitchen, the menu keeps current and interesting. Darwin began his career with McStiff’s as head brewer in 1992, moving to the position of Master Brewer a few years later, and has a great appreciation for the quality of both the brews and the food.

Although the fare consists primarily of dishes one would expect to find in a pub/restaurant, the quality is higher than usual. Darwin adds seasonal entrees as different produce becomes available, particularly locally. The kitchen no longer serves farm-raised salmon, only wild, since reports have shown the wild fish’s superiority. And the burgers are fresh ground 1/3 pound USDA chuck hand packed by the reputable local butcher, Ye Ol’Geezer’s Meat Shop.

The menu offers a great variety of meals, including salads, burgers, pizza and pastas. It also features heartier possibilities, such as Ribeye steak, Rosemary Chicken Parmesan and Grilled Wild Salmon Puttanesca (see recipe). The array of seafood includes trout, halibut, shrimp, cod and wild salmon.

Because of its diverse menu and ambiance, Eddie McStiff’s is a good fit for most parties, including dinner dates, family dining or group outings. This in part explains the restaurant’s popularity with visitors and locals alike. This brew/pub restaurant seems like such a natural extension of this small tourist town in the desert that it’s easy to see why the three entrepreneurs established it. However, at the time that they envisioned opening Eddie McStiff’s, it must have been mostly imagination fueling this endeavor. Fortunately for the diners, beer-lovers and night owls of Moab, they were able to brew their dreams into reality.

Eddie McStiff’s is located at 57 South Main Street, at the back of McStiff’s Plaza. They can be reached at 259-BEER (2337). They open for dinner at 5 p.m. every night and serve lunch on Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. Prices of entrees range from $5.50 (Chile Con Carne) to $17.50 (Ribeye Steak).

Recipe of the Month

Eddie McStiff’s

Salmon Puttanesca

2 oz. Olive oil
10 Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp. Capers
2 anchovies
1/3 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. Garlic
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
8 oz. Wild salmon
1-2 cups cooked Penne pasta

Broil or grill salmon until cooked through. While the salmon is cooking, heat olive oil in a separate pan. Add anchovies and cook until they are dissolved. Add garlic and cook until it is translucent (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add olives, capers, tomatoes and cayenne and sauté until hot and aromatic. Add the penne pasta and mix well with other ingredients. Put the pasta and sauce on a plate and place the salmon on top.


Return to Archive Index
return to home
Return to home