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Wildcat cafe's 'stolen' range hood found in tool shed
City-hired engineers say rediscovered kitchen exhaust device won't work anyway

Lyndsay Herman
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, Sept 05, 2012

The good news - the Wildcat Cafe's "stolen" range hood has been found; the bad news - it's been deemed unfit for service, and there is absolutely no chance now that the famous eatery will be back in business before spring 2013.

NNSL photo/graphic

Mayor Gord Van Tighem, standing in what will be the restaurant seating area of the Wildcat Cafe once renovations are complete, now expects to see the local attraction open for business in the spring of 2013. - Lyndsay Herman/NNSL photo

The range hood was found in a tool shed three days after it was declared missing from outside Wildcat Cafe in August, according to Mayor Gord Van Tighem. Unfortunately, once it was found, contractors were told they couldn't use it.

Van Tighem said the problem started when workers on the site had taken the hood, part of the venting system in the Wildcat kitchen prior to renovations, to their shop to clean it and forgot to bring it back.

"The people who were supposed to clean it up, rather than clean it up on site, took it out to their shop and put it in a tool shed and forgot they had it," he said. "Once we found it, the engineers that are supervising the project looked at it and said, 'Nope, that one won't work.'"

Van Tighem said a new range hood has been ordered but will take three to four more weeks to get here, he said.

The Wildcat Cafe will "definitely" be open next spring and the city hopes renovation work will be completed by the first snow fall, the mayor said. The $525,000 restoration project was originally supposed to leave the historic log cabin building out of commission for one summer season but a second summer has come and gone with no firm end date in sight.

A plan to have the cafe open for a one-day tour event once it is completed is still on the table, said Van Tighem.

Luke Wood, owner of Thornton's Wine and Tapas Room, was awarded a two-year operating contract at the start of this year, but Van Tighem said in light of the delays, he expects the first year of the contract to begin in 2013.

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