It’s oh-fish-al. A new restaurant in Yellowknife’s Old Town, replacing the Dancing Moose, will open its doors at noon on Thursday.
The Garden, run by Fishy People owners Niki Mckenzie and Jared Bihun, will offer snacks – the likes of fish sausage, fish wings, and polenta chips – and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for people to consume while sitting in its outdoor seating area.
Ahead of the restaurant’s grand opening. the pair have transformed the outdoor area to “feel more welcoming.” That includes a kitchen and bar area, picnic tables, and new seating.
“What we want to do with The Garden is create a space where it’s comfortable and relaxed on waterfront property,” Bihun said.
“It’s a nice little place where you can come have a snack, have a drink, and relax.”
Mckenzie’s menu uses all parts of the fish. Sustainability is one of the establishment’s main goals, the owners said.
“One of the things I realized when I first moved up here is how isolated the North really is, and how dependent we are on down south for all of our food – and I found that very, very scary,” said Mckenzie.
“We live on one of the largest natural resources in the world and it’s very underutilized, and a common thing I’ve found with people is they just don’t know where to buy fresh fish unless you have access to the lake, a boat, and a net.
“It’s better to support our local fishers than it is to support an industrial factory farm down south.”
The pair hope to eventually expand to include a fine dining experience.
“It’s a very common northern tale up here that we came up, saw a gap in the market – we’re very lucky to have the opportunities and resources available to us,” Mckenzie said.
“I think it comes from being in such a small, isolated place. We’ve gotten a lot of community support and a lot of people are really, really into what we’re doing.”
The typical hours for The Garden will be Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm until late and Saturdays and Sundays from noon until late on a walk-in only basis. Minors are allowed until 8pm.
The hours for Thursday July 1 will be slightly different, as it’ll be open noon until late.
People interested in trying out the new place have the option to kayak, paddleboard, or canoe up to the dock and grab a table from there.
The Garden will be dog-friendly. The pair asks that people clean up after their pets.
Fishy People also has a stand at the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market, selling a variety of fresh fish products weekly at the Somba K’e Civic Plaza.