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Hay River’s Back Eddy restaurant is closing, owners say

The Back Eddy in Hay River in February 2020
The Back Eddy in Hay River in February 2020. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The owners of Hay River’s Back Eddy say the lounge and grill has permanently closed.

A short notice appeared on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Monday.

“We would like to thank all of our customers and staff for their many years of loyalty,” that notice read. “The memories and the legacy of Back Eddy’s will live on in the hearts of our loyal clientele.”

The Rowe’s Group of Companies bought the Back Eddy from sisters Linda and Nanette Duford in 2018. Rowe’s has recently made several significant shifts in its approach, including listing its Ptarmigan Inn hotel and restaurant for sale.

Monday’s Facebook statement suggested that “Back Eddy favourites” would remain on offer at the hotel’s Keys Dining and Doghouse Pub, “to ensure that Hay River can continue to enjoy the flavours of Back Eddy for years to come.”



The Back Eddy was opened in 1974 by chef Bill Laws, who also developed the Back Eddy spice. While Laws now lives in British Columbia, as of 2018 he still made his special seasoning salt and sold it worldwide.

Laws sold the restaurant in 1987 and, when it came up for sale again in 2000, it was purchased by the Duford sisters’ parents. After their parents passed away, they sold it to Rowe’s.