Inuvik café re-opening doors, but only one day a week

'There’s a long history in having the café in the community and it just made sense to try and make it happen again and come together,' said Chris Sharpe, co-owner of JamPaks with his wife, Sonya Sharpe.

JamPaks and Aru Saturdays to offer Jamaican and Pakistani cuisine

Aru Vashisht and Chris Sharpe will offer Jamaican, Indian and Pakistani dishes to Inuvik residents on Saturdays. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Inuvik's only café is set to re-open - but only one day per week with what is being called "JamPaks and Aru Saturdays."

"There's a long history in having the café in the community and it just made sense to try and make it happen again," said Chris Sharpe, co-owner of JamPaks with his wife, Sonya Sharpe.

The café's new iteration will specialize in Jamaican, Indian and Pakistani food. It's a business space that has become a staple in Inuvik, but has gone through quite a few owners.

JamPaks and Aru Saturdays will offer Jamaican patties, butter chicken poutine and samosas. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Peter Clarkson said he and his wife Sue originally opened the café in 1994 as a coffee shop and art gallery. They sold the café in 1998, and since then it has gone through 10 different owners and managers.

The building has been vacant since Gebie Pedroso, the past owner of the café, died suddenly last year.

Building manager Deb Karl said she had been thinking of what to do with the café when the Sharpes approached her about opening it up one day a week.

She says going forward, she wants to slowly expand to allow other groups to take over the space as well.

"It's going to take some time to work out how it will be open to the public and tourism on a full-time basis, but I think in the long-term, it can," she said.

From market to café

The Sharpes and Aru Vashisht, who makes Indian food, have become well known for their cooking in the community.

Both have sold their food at Inuvik's bi-monthly Arctic Market.

"Arctic Market was a good route, but I have been looking at the café for a very long time, but just didn't know how to go about it," Vashisht said.

JamPaks and Aru Saturdays will feature Arctic Market favourites like jerk chicken, samosas and chicken biryani, but it will also offer a couple of items such as Jamaican patties and butter chicken poutine.

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