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Asbestos delays Wildcat Cafe

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 8, 2012

An unexpected surprise during the restoration of the Wildcat Cafe has further delayed the restaurant's opening, pushing it to mid-July.

"We had hoped to be able to open for the Canada Day weekend," said deputy mayor Mark Heyck. "But unfortunately there was some asbestos discovered around some of the kitchen equipment so we have had to take care of that and that has been taken care of but it's pushed it back."

Currently, there is still a lot left to do be done before the cafe is ready for guests. The building is just a shell, with only the floors, the roof and walls in place.

The structure still needs windows, bathrooms, furniture, kitchen equipment and a door.

When reconstruction of the 75-year-old cafe started in 2011, it was expected to be finished in time for the restaurant to open in May of this year.

But, work was delayed by about a month after the discovery of a slurry of silt beneath the cabin, which forced contractor Rick Muyres to abandon his plans for a concrete foundation to make way for a new steel foundation.

The project was delayed again because of difficulties installing plumbing and mechanical elements in the winter.

Throughout the process, the budget for the cafe has increased to $525,000 from $496,200. Heyck said, it is still on track to be completed for that amount. Heyck said the city is currently working with Luke Wood, who won the bid to operate the cafe for the summers of 2012 and 2013, to plan for the opening.

Wood, proprietor and chef at Thornton's restaurant, told Yellowknifer previously that he plans to serve lunch and dinner seven days a week and breakfast on weekends. The menu will feature homestyle fare, he said.

Wood could not be reached for comment.

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