Earl's post-flood opening good for business, say Mission restaurants
Flood-damaged restaurant underwent $4M facelift following last June's disaster
One more flood-ravaged restaurant on Fourth Street has finally reopened roughly eight months after floodwaters washed through the Calgary community of Mission.
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Earls Tin Palace, which sustained major damages last June and had to be gutted, opened Tuesday after putting the final touches on a $4-million renovation.
"Tonight's a night to celebrate," said manager Rielly Whitman. "It's been a long haul. The year's been hard for the community and people around. We've had a lot of partners that their personal lives have been affected. So tonight's a night to celebrate."
Co-founder Stan Fuller says it's been an emotional journey.
"We've had a real close connection to this neighbourhood over a very long time," he said. "We've renovated it many times and to have it drown in the flood was dismaying to say the least."
But nearby restaurants owners say having the establishment back up and running is good news for the whole street.
"Earls Tin Palace has been in this location in Mission for 25 years, and that I think makes it a real cornerstone of Mission and the dining scene in this area," said Calgary Herald food writer Gwendolyn Richards.
Foot traffic sought
Dean Symonds is a manager at Wurst down the street, which reopened in December.
He says the regulars are back but they're not seeing the kind of foot traffic Fourth Street is known for.
"There might be some strolling. I think there will be more of that once the other places get open and there's sort of one long line of open businesses."
Phoebe Fung, who owns Vin Room, managed to reopen her doors 40 days after the flood but agrees that the Earl's reopening is good for business.
"Especially on Fourth street where people like to walk, maybe not -30 C, but most of the time they like to walk and this is a very walkable street," she said.
"So the more people who come down here to Fourth street, the better it is for all of us."
The Joyce On 4th pub is eyeing a March reopening and hopes to welcome patrons back before St. Patrick's Day.