Yellowknifers with a sweet tooth are in luck. Gastown plans to open a kitchen and bakery that will sell milkshakes, ice cream cakes, cupcakes and more.
The Old Airport Road business has long been a popular place to stop and grab a burger and fries, deep fried pickles, or a milkshake during the summer.
The new owners of the grill, gas station, convenience store and rental service now hope to expand their takeout offerings year-round.
Jamie Pye, who took over at Gastown in September, said the business has purchased an office trailer that will be turned into a commercial kitchen and bakery.
While the menu is still being decided, Pye hopes to offer fresh pastries, sandwiches, and an all-day breakfast, along with ice cream treats.
“We’re looking to see what people want to have here and we’re going to make it happen,” he said.
Gastown already offers 16 flavours of ice cream, soft serve, flurries and milkshakes in-store.
“This gas station is a pretty busy place. I mean, we’re on the right side of the road heading out of town. We’ve got your gas, your rentals, your food, we’ve got all kinds of options,” Pye said. “It gets very popular, people like it. So I want to continue to grow.”
Kevin MacDonald, a longtime Yellowknifer and host of Wayback with K-Mac on Cabin Radio, is among those who enjoys Gastown’s summer fare.
“I love the atmosphere, I love what they offer,” he said. “It takes me back to a place where you can go and just get a burger, fries, a shake – you know, nothing too fancy. You just want something simple, something quick, but it’s also something good and they give you a lot of it.”
Among MacDonald’s favourite menu items are the deep fried pickle spears and specialty milkshake flavours like Bananas Foster.
“It’s awesome. I wish them luck, I hope they can get it going,” MacDonald said of Gastown’s expansion plans. “I mean, who says milkshakes have to be only a summertime thing? They should be year-round as far as I’m concerned.”
The owners of Gastown have applied to the City of Yellowknife for a food and beverage permit. The business plans to expand on the north side of the convenience store, add a wheelchair ramp and siding to the building, and improve the surrounding landscaping.
Councillors were supportive of the proposal during a meeting on Monday night.
“I think this is good, especially any business right now in Yellowknife that’s starting up or expanding during this pandemic time,” Steve Payne said.
“I feel pretty happy to be able to support any and all businesses that are doing that.”
“I look forward to milkshakes year-round there,” Mayor Rebecca Alty added.
Councillors are set to vote on the permit on January 25.
If everything goes to plan, Pye hopes the expanded takeout service will be up and running in March.