attractions activities lodging + campgrounds area info services transportation events submit an event moab snapshot contact search Visit Utah

98 Center Relaunches in Moab!

Once upon a time along the Wasatch front in Salt Lake City, Utah, a couple of chefs became friends working at the Arie Sushi Bar at Snowbird Ski Resort.  They worked for years together in different kitchens and shared an inspiration for Asian cuisine.  

They were both into skiing and snowboarding in the winter in SLC. In the summertime Alex was a river guide in Moab and Frankie spent a lot of time mountain biking in the red rocks of the region.  With the exception of a couple restaurants, the food scene in Moab at the time was mostly burgers, pizza and pasta. 

98 Center in Moab
98 Center in Moab

Frankie Winfrey and Alex Borichevsky thought Moab needed something more in the culinary scene, and something Moab didn’t already have.  After working many years rolling sushi they decided that Moab was prime for a new and different experience.  That’s when Sabaku Sushi was born.  Bringing fresh fish to the desert was a task, but not as difficult as one might think as long as the best product is sought after.  Convincing the public took some time, but the initially skeptical customers left pleasantly surprised with the quality of the product and the laid back chefs behind the bar.  After creating some success in the first 5 years, a small deli next door was moving out and a new space on the corner was about to become available. Frankie would continue to run the sushi bar and Alex would jump into the new space.

98 Center is the name they chose for the new endeavor because of the address, 98 East Center St.  The numbers were inspiring and who doesn’t want to be on Center? The Asian background and experience in the sushi bar plus the inspiration to bring more diversity to the town helped create the concept of 98 Center.  For the first year it was a bit dynamic and a cuisine they affectionately called Con-Fusion.   They had Pho, Banh Mi, a few salads and Philly Cheesesteaks, Vietnamese coffee, specialty cold brew in a Yama tower, not to mention fancy cocktails and mocktails.  All things Moab did not previously have.  They had procured a family recipe from a good friend for the beef Pho.   The deli history of the space and Alex’s background in the steak shops in the Philly suburbs inspired the Banh Mi and Cheesesteaks on Amoroso buns (from Philly) that were reminiscent of the ones found in Vietnam.  Having quality, unique cocktails and mocktails was paramount to completing the meal and having a cool night life vibe.  The service was always customer forward and tailoring to dietary needs.  Mostly, 98 Center was a gathering place for locals to feel at home and tourists to feel like a local.  The mission was to elevate your palate by offering fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients and dishes made from scratch.

Alex and his wife Natali spent many moons cultivating 98 Center to what it is today.  They worked, they listened, they created.  For real inspiration, they went on a tour of Vietnam shortly after opening 98.  They compared the pho in different localities and ate banh mi’s off the street, had noodles on Lantern Street and iced Vietnamese coffees whenever possible.  Experiencing part of SE Asia was integral in the evolution of 98’s menu, adding a few new dishes and refining others.  They tried this and that, drawing requests from the customers and constantly refined dishes and added gluten free and vegan options.  Most of the menu is made from scratch in house, from the pho and proteins to the kimchi, pickles and vegan desserts.  All the cocktail mixers are made daily and weekly with local, seasonal, and inspiring herbs, citrus and spices.  They are always searching for the next concoction, combination and balance of flavors, and fitting names for beverages.  

98 Center in Moab
98 Center in Moab

For many customers, the service at a restaurant can make or break a meal whether the food is good or not.  98 Center welcomes every customer with grace, attends to their table and fulfills every request.  The service is phenomenal and the food and drinks are there to complete the experience.  

98 Center is open for lunch and dinner 5 days a week.  They are closed for a short winter and  summer break, in between the busy Spring and Fall seasons.  There are some local events where you can find Bar 98 shaking cocktails, mocktails and pouring draught beer for happy folks enjoying the outside.  You can visit them at Art Fest, Street Fest, Folk Fest and the Block Party at Center Street Square.  


For a more optimal web experience, please view our site on Microsoft's recommended browser, Edge. You can download it here.