Veteran Saskatoon fish and chips restaurant celebrates last Good Friday
Gibson's Fish and Chips forced to move locations after 50 years
For 50 years, members of the Gibson family have been busy breading fish and throwing fries into hot oil at their restaurant on Cumberland Avenue.
Soon, that will come to an end.
The original home for Gibson's Fish and Chips will soon be bulldozed by developers. The Gibson family plans to relocate, but haven't found a new location yet.
"Actually, it's pretty emotional," said owner Jonathan Gibson. "It's exciting because we're moving to a new place, but yeah, it's emotional."
We've had fellas waiting in there getting phone calls saying that their wives just had babies at the hospital. We've had people who have met here and been married.- Jonathan Gibson
Gibson's father opened the restaurant back in 1964. While the original was a narrow take-out only restaurant, the restaurant has expanded over the years into a large, full service restaurant.
The restaurant has always been a family affair. Four generations of the Gibson family have worked at the restaurant. And the clientele are veterans as well.
"We've had (current) customers coming here since the day we opened," he said. "And some of them are now bringing in their grandchildren."
Gibson said there's a strong sense of history to the place.
"We've had fellas waiting in there getting phone calls saying that their wives just had babies at the hospital," he said. "Or we've had people who have met here and been married. Gosh, I think we could write a book about it."
It might not be common knowledge, but Good Friday is big business for restaurants that serve fish and chips.
Traditionally, Roman Catholics didn't eat meat on Friday, especially during Lent, so many settled for fish instead. It meant restaurants serving fish and chips were always busy on Fridays, especially Good Friday.
While the tradition isn't practiced much anymore, the tradition of fish and chips on the Friday before Easter Sunday has carried on down through the generations.
"Good Friday is our busiest day of the year," said son Matt Gibson. "It's totally nuts. There are people lined up outside the door, and we've been accepting orders for takeout for two weeks already."
Over the years, the restaurant has learned to bring in more staff for the occasion.
"We bring in the whole family," he said. "There's probably an extra ten of us in here today."
It's not yet known when the restaurant will be moving or where its new location will be.