Yellowknifers dreaming of dining at Bullocks Bistro can’t order a plate of fish and chips any time soon, but they are lining up in droves for a taste of that memory.
Co-owner Jo-Ann Martin said the restaurant, closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, received plenty of calls from customers asking about their signature salad dressing and fish sauce.
That prompted them to start taking online orders for the condiments this week.
“I decided we had a lot of requests so we could put it out there and see if people wanted to order some,” Martin said.
She posted an announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Friday morning. It wasn’t long before requests came flooding in.
While the restaurant usually makes about 35 bottles of sauce at a time, in less than a day Martin says she received 196 orders.
“The amount we’re going to have to make this weekend is… we’ve never made that much at one time,” Martin said. (Despite the challenge, she thinks it’s doable.)
Martin said this is the restaurant’s “first kick at the can” selling the sauces during the pandemic. She’s not sure how often it will continue, but suspects Bullocks may take orders on a monthly basis.
“I’m grateful to Yellowknife for their support – and continued support – even in these tough times,” she said.
Those who have ordered the sauces can pick them up at the restaurant early next week, while maintaining social distancing. Bullocks fans across Canada have asked if they can have orders shipped, but Martin said they’re not yet certified with Health Canada to do so.
When the restaurant is open, customers regularly bring containers to fill with sauce or buy it ready-packed in a recycled beer bottle. The owners are in the process of commercially bottling the sauces but Martin said that’s on hold due to the pandemic.
So what is it about Bullocks’ sauces that make them so popular?
“Obviously it’s the taste, the flavour and everything, but I always say it’s the sweetness. People love sweet things,” Martin said.
“I always joke everybody loves a little bit of sweetness in their life. Our sauces give you that.”