Wayback Burgers, The Smoked Taco, and Sip N-Drinks & Treats Ink Deals at Valley Grove

Wayback Burgers, The Smoked Taco, and Sip N-Drinks & Treats are set to open this year at the Valley Grove mixed-use community in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Wayback Burgers, The Smoked Taco, and Sip N-Drinks & Treats are set to open this year at the Valley Grove mixed-use community in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

All three concepts, together with MikeShake Factory, Shamrock Coffee, and Club Pilates, to open this year at Pleasant Grove mixed-use business community

PLEASANT GROVE, UTWayback Burgers, The Smoked Taco, and Sip N-Drinks & Treats have signed leases with St. John Properties, Inc. for a combined 6,011 square feet of space at Valley Grove, a mixed-use business community located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. All three concepts are expected to open later this year at 863 S North County Boulevard. Together with MilkShake Factory, Shamrock Coffee, and Club Pilates, St. John Properties has recently attracted six new retailers to Valley Grove, totaling more than 11,232 square feet of space.  

Wayback Burgers

Wayback Burgers is an international fast-casual restaurant chain featuring hamburgers, chicken dishes, French Fries, and hand-dipped milkshakes, with specialty menu items including Philly-style cheesesteak subs and Cajun tater tots. Its mission, according to local franchise holder Scott Beckstead is to “create a culture of belonging by uniting people through the love of comfort food.” The Valley Grove site represents Beckstead’s first franchise location in Utah. “I was drawn to the concept because the menu has something for everyone, every item is freshly-prepared, and the restaurant is truly innovative by constantly trying out new offerings. That approach keeps things interesting and encourages people to come back,” he said.

Beckstead chose Valley Grove because, “after touring many different locations, we quickly realized that Valley Grove is a top quality, up and coming project with Class ‘A’ commercial office buildings and high-end residential product.” He added, “this is the upscale type of environment we want the Wayback Burgers brand to be associated with. Valley Grove is extremely well thought-out and includes a main thoroughfare, park, and green space. We share St. John Properties’ vision to provide outstanding consumer experiences time and time again.” Ryan Stewart, Erik Hulbert, and Chris Flesner of Mountain West Commercial represented the tenant in this transaction. The restaurant is expected to open this summer with approximately 30 employees. 

The Smoked Taco

Founders Jeff McFadden and Gary Hanson launched The Smoked Taco as a food truck in 2021, and the first brick-and-mortar restaurant opened later that year in American Fork. A second site subsequently opened in Saratoga Springs, with the third location at Valley Grove expected to be operational with up to 30 employees in April of this year. Among the secrets of its success is the use of premium-smoked meats for its tacos, including beef brisket, tri-tip steak, and pulled pork. “Using high-quality meat as the cornerstone for our tacos makes all the difference, and customers with discerning tastes will immediately notice the difference in the texture, aroma, and flavor profile,” McFadden explained. “In fact, using only the best ingredients throughout the cooking process is what separates our tacos from others, and keeps customers coming back.”

The Smoked Taco supplements its regular menu with one-time offerings that “inject some fun, keep things interesting, and create different combinations for our customer base.” A recent example is its Surf and Turf taco, made with tri-tip steak, seasoned shrimp, and pickled cabbage. McFadden added, “it is vital to have steady traffic near our restaurants to remain successful, and we consider Valley Grove the hub of Utah County. The energy and the volume of people in the business community will only increase based on future plans, and we intend to be a significant food destination and important amenity to support that growth.” Ryan Stewart of Mountain West Commercial represented the tenant in this transaction.

Sip’N Drinks & Treats

Husband-and-wife team Auzzy and Shan Hone plan to open their second Sip’N Drinks & Treats franchise at Valley Grove this summer. According to Shan, “people in Utah are obsessed with their sassy sodas, but this concept offers a much wider selection of products than the prototypical soda shop. Of course, Sip’N offers sodas with cravingly unique flavor combinations, but you can also choose from loaded French fries, O’Henry bars, Oreo cookies, peanut butter bars, and other special treats that will change each month – all baked in-house.” Lattes and hot cocoa are another stand out item that is unique to Sip-N. Staple menu items include Sip’N Fav’s (like Viking Venom & Bam Bam Caveman), smoothies, ice cream floats, flavored water, shaved ice, flavored energy drinks, and more.  

The couple visited the existing locations in Utah County and “immediately fell in love with the entire operation, especially the energy of the staff and its culture. We always wanted to invest in a franchise and Sip’N matched the criteria that was important to us, most specifically the opportunity to make a positive difference in the local community,” Shan Hone added. “Valley Grove is the ideal location for our second franchise because it is growing by leaps and bounds, and area hotels and high-density housing are on the way,” stated Auzzy Hone. “There is tremendous energy throughout the business community and we love that many young people are moving to the area to live and work. We believe this is the next up and coming area.” Approximately 15 people will work at the shop. Roger Woolstenhulme and Collin Cook of Wyngate Properties, Inc. represented the tenant in this transaction.

About Valley Grove

St. John Properties’ investment in Valley Grove is expected to surpass $1.2 billion upon final build-out. The mixed-use community is configured to support more than 1.5 million square feet of Class ‘A’ office, flex/R&D and retail space, as well as a full-service hotel. The business community currently features Grove Tower, a six-story building containing nearly 190,000 square feet of office space; Valley Grove I, a six-story, 165,000 square foot building; Valley Grove II and Valley Grove III, two five-story buildings comprising 140,000 square feet of space each. Last year, St. John Properties revealed plans for the Phase VI portion of Valley Grove, a 47-acre addition featuring commercial office and retail space, as well as luxury residential product.  

Existing restaurants and retailers at Valley Grove include AT&T, Café Rio, Da Cloud Boba Shoppe, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Kolache Krave, R&R BBQ, Starbucks Coffee, Slim Chickens, Verizon, and Village Baker. A 34,000 square foot Tesla dealership is also contained within the business community.

More than 225,000 vehicles pass Valley Grove via Interstate 15 daily, with an additional 60,000 vehicles driving by the site each day from Pleasant Grove Boulevard. The business community is situated 12 miles from Provo, 25 miles from Interstate 215, 35 miles from Salt Lake City and Salt Lake International Airport.

“The addition of Wayback Burgers, The Smoked Taco and Sip-N Drinks enhances Valley Grove’s quick-service restaurant offerings and provides an essential component for residents throughout the surrounding community, as well as our tenants and their employees within the business community,” explained Daniel Thomas, Regional Partner, Utah.

Founded in 1971, St. John Properties, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest and most successful privately held commercial real estate firms. The company is distinguished by its commitment to customer service, achievements in green building, and top-rated workplace culture. Throughout St. John Properties’ 53-year history, the company has developed more than 24 million square feet of flex/R&D, office, retail, and warehouse space, and has investments in over 3,000 residential units. Expanding regionally in five Utah communities, St. John Properties recognizes the State’s economic strength, pro-business climate, quality of life, and projected growth. The company proudly serves more than 2,600 clients in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and Wisconsin. For more information about the company, visit www.sjpi.com.