Funny story: Cortney Johanson has actually been fired three times from the restaurants where she is now managing partner. Granted, she did start working for 350 Main and Spur when she was just 14, so long ago she can’t really remember what she did to get herself fired from the family businesses.
Now 36, Johanson has worked as a busser, hostess, server, bartender and manager, all while juggling a career playing soccer for the University of Utah, ski bumming in her 20s and, now, raising a family. To say she has practically grown up in the restaurants that her stepfather, Aaron Hofmann, founded as a way to feed his friends really good meals is an understatement. She even met her Brazilian husband, Fabio, at 350 Main, where he was a server and she was a manager. They now have a 2-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. We sat down with Johanson to find out how this boss lady does it all.
You are married and have two kids. How do you make it all happen?
I spend every morning with the kids and put them down for a nap in the afternoons. They go to bed at 7, so there are only a few hours that they are with the nanny and not me. My role is actually more flexible than if I worked 9-5 and was gone the entire time the kids are awake.
When you have time off, where do you guys go eat?
It’s really important that Fabio and I have date nights, especially with two kids, two businesses, working together, living together. We do it every Tuesday night. We go to Prime Steak House and sit at the bar. If we want to hide, we go up to Goldener Hirsch, where the food is good and we aren’t going to run into someone we know. With the kids, we go to Maxwell’s for mac and cheese. We get Java Cow cookies almost every day. For breakfast, we like Woodland Biscuit Company before going to the Kamas pool.
What do you cook when you are at home?
We mostly cook breakfast and lunch. We are rarely at home at night. We love big Brazilian barbecue. Fabio loves to grill a bunch of ribeyes, sausages, marinated chicken, asparagus, anything you can pick up with your fingers. We even have a cover for our barbecue in winter we love it so much.
What do you do for fun?
We take the kids to the pool and to the zoo. I am really into CrossFit. I take an hour out of every morning to do that for myself. It’s important to have time for myself.
Do you have any tips for other women in business?
Take one hour for yourself every day. Sometimes that is going to the gym, or going to get a yummy coffee. Or even if it’s only 15 minutes to take a deep breath. You need something. Date nights help a lot, and we have gone to the Montage for staycations.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
It’s weird for me to be in this boss position. I don’t really think I’m a grown-up. I do these adult things. I think my parents are adults, but I don’t think I’m an adult yet. I am pretty wild. No one here knows that. They think I am this uncool mom boss. I am actually really fun. I cry. I am a big softie who likes hugs. People think I am this hard person, or they are scared of me. I’m not scary. Let’s go take a shot!
What’s your advice to a first-time visitor to Park City?
After you go skiing, get an appetizer and a cocktail at the St. Regis outside by their firepits. Also go listen to live music on Main Street. I also suggest exploring the quietness of the trees on cross-country skis or snowshoes. I love the serenity of this town in winter.
Name two dishes someone must try at your restaurants.
The elk sausage. It’s served over a Mediterranean kamut, and it’s a really cool balance between mountain town and the Mediterranean. The feta and pickled ramps are such an unlikely pairing with the elk. And the venison pho, a classic Vietnamese dish that is done so different from anywhere else.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A slice of white sheet cake with buttercream frosting and a glass of milk. I look forward to going to kids birthday parties just for the sheet cake.
What’s next for you?
I’ve always said I want to have three businesses, and so I am really excited about our partnership with Alpine Distilling to launch a new whiskey and tasting room on upper Main. I am proud to have collaborated on the blend with my stepfather, my husband and Rob Sargent of Alpine. It’s this really cool, old-school bourbon very much like the back of Spur. But it is mixed with this nontraditional single malt for a more modern feel, like the front of Spur. The story of this whiskey is like the story of Spur and Main Street in general. It’s like this old mining town meets this posh, upscale western town.
Enjoy live music every day at the Spur through the shoulder season! Check out their music calendar HERE.
Currently Closed for renovations. Check website for updated information. |350 Main St.
435.649.3140 | www.350main.com
The Spur Bar and Grill
Open 10-1 a.m. daily | 352 Main St.
435.615.1618 | www.thespurbarandgrill.com