Heidi Harwood’s love for cooking and entertaining, her husband’s extensive Beatles memorabilia collection, and a case of good timing led to the opening of the City Club, a Beatles-themed social club in the heart of Ogden City. Although most people wouldn’t think of a club as a mom-and-pop business, that is exactly what Harwood said the City Club is.
“My husband and I are partners. I run the kitchen, and my brother works back there too,” Harwood said. “This is very family-oriented, very mom-and-pop, just like really the rest of 25th Street.”
Harwood grew up in Ogden, and she said she knew she wanted to open the club in Ogden. During the time when she and her husband were looking for a good location, Historic 25th Street was being revamped. According to Harwood, it was the perfect opportunity to get her business there, and the City Club was just what 25th Street needed.
“It was good timing,” she said. “I knew this is what I wanted to do and I knew this was the perfect location.”
The City Club opened its doors in 1991 on the second floor of a building that has been standing since 1898. Harwood said it had the charm and personal vibe she and her husband were looking for. The club was very popular from the moment it opened its doors, according to Harwood. Since then, because of the amount of business they get, Harwood and her husband have purchased the rest of the building, and the City Club is now a two-story club, covered from ceiling to floor in Beatles memorabilia. The bottom floor is usually reserved for private parties, and the club is run on the top floor.
“My husband, Bill Parker, has been collecting since he was really young,” Harwood said. “I’d say this is probably one of the biggest personal Beatles collections, at least that I know of.”
Parker began his collection after seeing The Beatles’ landmark television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964. The very next day, he purchased a pack of Beatles-themed pencils, and has since collected enough artifacts to cover the walls of the City Club and his 4,000-square-foot home. He also owns three out of the four linen doilies The Beatles signed during their concert tour in 1964.
The club also plays classic rock music and serves food. Although the City Club’s kitchen serves around 5,000 items per day, Harwood said she is trying to stay away from the restaurant scene.
“We are famous for our wings,” she said. “Right now we are serving an appetizer-only menu and drinks, because we are a social club really; we aren’t a restaurant, but people just love our food.”
Harwood attributed a lot of the City Club’s success to the support group that is the 25th Street community. Many of the owners of 25th Street businesses have come together and created the Historic 25th Street Association.
“We have worked very closely with everyone here,” Harwood said. “There is this feeling down here (that) everyone is very committed to the street and to these businesses.”
Historic 25th Street began with the opening of the Union Station in 1869, upon the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. It was known as the Crossroads of the West. The street has been home to small shops and clubs since the early 20th century. The Historic 25th Street Association aims to keep with the historic aspect of the street by mostly featuring local businesses.
“Here on 25th Street, we have a wide range of local businesses, anywhere from small boutiques to clubs and restaurants, and the one thing we have in common is that we are great partners,” said Matt Inckley, president of the Historic 25th Street Association and owner of the Imaging Depot. “We work toward beautifying and keeping the authenticity intact, but also, in the last few years, the street has taken a life of its own and really grown into a family-friendly place with something for everyone to do.”