NNSL Photo/Graphic

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Restaurant round-up
Lots of new food venues and offerings this summer around the city

Karen K. Ho
Northern News Services
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This summer is going to be a busy one in Yellowknife's restaurant and food scene, as several establishments are set to open and Fuego's fully takes over the Wildcat Cafe. Here's what is happening around town so far.

NNSL photo/graphic

Javaroma co-owner Rami Kassem at his downtown location. The company is expanding with a new outpost at the Yellowknife Airport this summer. Kassem said he plans on a start time of 5 a.m. for customers with early morning flights. - Karen K. Ho/NNSL photo

A diner for Twin Pine Hill

Robin Wasicuna is finally getting his own restaurant. The longtime Northern chef behind the Wise Guys food truck and Numbers at Bayside is planning to open The Twin Pine Diner the third week of June this summer. Wasicuna's dream was realized after he secured the year-to-year lease in the space formerly occupied by Epic Grill at the Arnica Inn. Feedback from his customers made the classic diner seem like the most obvious choice.

"It's simple food, but it takes a lot of skill," he told Yellowknifer.

Wasicuna still needs to buy glassware, plates and cutlery, as well as decorations and paint for the building. However, he doesn't have to worry about staff, as many of the people working at the diner will come from the food truck and Numbers.

While money has been budgeted for additional supplies and equipment, Wasicuna said friends are lending him money for the new venture so he didn't have to turn to the Business Development and Investment Corporation or banks for additional financing.

Wasicuna stressed that he wants to provide a reasonably priced experience. He won't offer things like chicken fingers and boasted that the diner will offer a brunch the city has never seen before, with items like a bacon waffle with bourbon peach compote and pecan whipped cream.

As for his Wise Guys food truck, Wasicuna said that even with the demands of the new restaurant, he hopes to carry it throughout this year, completing his fifth season.

Javaroma's expansion plans take flight

Bleary-eyed travellers at the airport will soon have another option when it comes to their coffee. Javaroma is opening an outpost there. Co-owner Rami Kassem confirmed that he's signed the lease and the architecture plans for the approximately 23-metre square space are nearly finished.

"We're hiring people and training them downtown already," he said.

Kassem hopes to open in the beginning of July.

In addition to the company's different coffees, customers will also be able to pick up most of Javaroma's items like bubble tea, smoothies, grab-n-go bagels and sandwiches as well as fruit and vegetable salads.

Kassem said the location will open at 5 a.m. because the airport's first flights often take off an hour later. "It's the best time and it'll be more convenient for customers," he said. "Everybody wants to have a cup of coffee in the morning, and they can enjoy their time before going on their flight."

NWT Brewing Company

While the grand opening was originally set for June, NWT Brewing Company's owner and head brewer Fletcher Stevens has been working at the site of his new brewpub in Old Town every day. He told Yellowknifer things are definitely happening. On Friday the company is set to undergo their first hearing for their liquor licence and on Sunday more equipment will arrive. Stevens said they're definitely aiming to open in July, especially for an important private booking later in the month that he would be loathe to be unable to fulfil due to additional delays. "It would suck if we wouldn't get to open by then," he said.

An Irish pub is set to land to in downtown Yellowknife

GNWT budget analyst and first-time restaurateur Bob Stewart hopes to open The Kilt and Castle in the space where Sunny's used to be on 49th Avenue. Stewart's plan is for a dining establishment with fine dining on the top level and European pub fare on the main floor.

"I'm still in the process of negotiating the lease," he said, "But I have all the building and construction permits."

Stewart is currently developing the menu as well as actively hiring staff and servers. His goal is for The Kilt and Castle to open in July.

Time for Old Town's famous patio

The Wildcat Cafe is now fully open. The well-known Old Town restaurant, now under management by the team behind Fuego's, posted on its Facebook page a photo of their current menu and that they hope to start weekend brunches by June 6.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.