Yellowknife’s Wildcat Café set to reopen this summer

Wildcat Café
A photo of Yellowknife's Wildcat Café posted to the restaurant's Facebook page.

Yellowknife’s historic Wildcat Café, which remained closed throughout 2020, is expected to reopen this summer.

The City of Yellowknife has issued a request for proposals to run the café for the next two summer seasons, which ordinarily begin in May and run until September.

Originally opened in 1937, the latest iteration of the café is owned by the city, which farms out operation of the Wildcat to local businesses that pay at least a $2,000 monthly fee.

The city calls the Wildcat a “major drawing card for Yellowknife’s Old Town” and one of Yellowknife’s “best examples of living heritage.” The request for proposals, first reported by NNSL, outlines standards any operator must meet, including running a menu broadly in keeping with the original one offered when the café opened almost 85 years ago.



Interested parties have until April 21 to submit proposals, leaving roughly a month for the city to make a decision and the chosen operator to prepare before a planned May long weekend opening.

The Wildcat did not open for the summer of 2020. Though no specific reason was given at the time, the announcement in June that year came at the height of the restaurant industry’s struggle to adjust to the onset of Covid-19 in the North.