Joseph Smith said he knew that Porter Rockwell didn’t shoot Missouri Lt. Governor Boggs because Porter wouldn’t have missed. And much like “the Destroying Angel,” Porter’s Place doesn’t miss the mark when it comes to steaks and beverages.
Porter’s Place is the closest thing that Rockwell—one of the first converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bodyguard to church founders Joseph Smith and Brigham Young—has to an official museum. The restaurant’s Old West facade beckons patrons to enter a time warp, and once you’re inside the dimly lit interior, you’ll wish it were a saloon. There’s mildly eerie Rockwell memorabilia on dark wood and exposed-brick walls. But at the bar—built circa 1881 and shipped from a Montana saloon—the drinks of the house are sarsaparilla, Ironport and nonalcoholic “cure-alls” named Gundown at Sundown, Skull Valley and the like.
Replicas of the four photos known to exist of the long-haired, bearded Rockwell—Smith promised that if he never cut his hair, no bullet or blade would ever harm him—look down upon patrons. One painting, brushed by now-famous church painter Clark Price, is said to be worth $25,000 (pictured). Upstairs, there are framed photos from the 1940 film Brigham Young, with John Carradine playing Rockwell, a role that changed the life of Bob Trepanier, Porter’s Place’s third and current owner. He became so intrigued with Rockwell after watching the film that he later named his son Porter and bought Porter’s Place in 1986.
Over Porter’s Place’s 41-year history, it’s become a curious tourist stop. Yet, folks also come for the satisfying food, like the Destroying Angel (a 1-pound burger served with fries or sweet and savory house beans) or the Apostles’ Choice (a chicken sandwich with Swiss and ham, served individually or in a set of 12, for when you’re bringing the whole Quorum).
24 W. Main, Lehi