The owners of the Fat Fox Café, which is to close at the end of this week, say they are working to secure a new downtown location.
A persistent water leak has forced the business to abandon its leased premises on Range St and shut down for the foreseeable future.
However, co-owner Jeremy Flatt told Cabin Radio a plan to move elsewhere is advancing.
“We have some really interesting long-term plans in place. We’re looking to own a space somewhere downtown and we’re working with a few people on that,” Flatt said on a Mornings at the Cabin special broadcast from the Fat Fox.
“I have a tendency to say too much and be too optimistic too early. We’re fairly close but it would be irresponsible of me to say too much at this point.
“There are always moving parts to these things and it would be a shame to jeopardize something by blabbing about it too early.”
Even assuming the potential move goes to plan, Flatt cautioned it’s extremely unlikely the Fat Fox will reopen in a new, permanent home this year.
However, the business will look to keep its catering program running and could yet open some form of service in a temporary location.
May 19 will be the Fat Fox’s last day in its present building, where an incurable water leak made running the café too troublesome for the owners to persist.
“You can’t have water leaking into your kitchen when you’re selling food to people. It’s also a bit disheartening – there are days when you think of yourself as a real chef and there’s water leaking into your kitchen,” said Flatt.
“We tried to fix it. We tried a couple of different things – we closed for a week last summer to put a more permanent fix in place – but it’s been very difficult to do. At this point, we don’t even know if the problem is fixable.”
Flatt – who has an eight-week-old child with partner and co-owner Emma – thanked other members of the restaurant business in Yellowknife for their support following the announcement, earlier this month, that the Fat Fox would close.
“We got emails from all sorts of other restaurants in town offering ideas for sharing space so we could keep our catering going,” he said.
“Rami from Javaroma got in touch offering advice about contract opportunities, Robin at Twin Pine, Graham from Thornton’s. It was something that really highlighted how you have a community of small businesses.
“Although we do compete with each other, we also, in a sense, rely on each other to keep the whole scene vibrant. There is a camaraderie from knowing how bloody difficult it is.
“To be brought down by something you have no control over is a little bit tough. I’m definitely going to be following up with some of those people in the next couple of weeks, once we’ve got over the chaos of closing the operation down.”