Where is Yellowknife's Japanese style bakery?

The bakery's grand opening was supposed to be early December, but Seiji Suzuki says getting a permit is difficult because "the building is so old."

Seiji Suzuki hasn't given up on the bakery, despite difficulties getting a permit at Centre Square Mall

Seiji Suzuki inside Sushi North, his current business. Suzuki hopes to start up his Japanese style bakery inside the Centre Square Mall in the new year. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Yellowknifers were promised a Japanese style bakery after the Win Your Space competition over the summer. But where is it?

Seiji Suzuki won the competition's first place prize — a free one year lease in Yellowknife's downtown.

He picked out a space for Ja-pain at Centre Square Mall after winning the competition, and has been trying to get a building permit ever since.

The space inside Centre Square Mall where Ja-pain is expected to open, once the permit is approved. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Part of the problem is that the "building is so old," said Suzuki. The location he picked used to be a travel agency, and it was not designed for food preparation.

Suzuki says the permit hasn't been authorized by the Fire Marshal because there are issues regarding the air flow.

CBC contacted the Office of the Fire Marshal, but hasn't received comment yet.

Grand opening deadline missed

The Win Your Space competition rules state that the first place winner needs to have his grand opening on or before December 1, 2017. If that isn't achieved, the prize is handed to the second place winner.

But second place winner, Sarah Kalnay-Watson, has not been offered the free space.

Suzuki said the City doesn't want him to give up. So, they have given him a little more time to get the business up and running.

In an email, Kerry Penney, the City's director of Policy, Communications and Economic Development, said it's "working closely with the owner/operator and we anticipate having a bakery in the City's downtown early in the new year."

Suzuki is hoping to open the bakery sometime in January.

"That's my deadline for myself," he said.

But he can't make any promises. He has all the materials and workers prepared to start construction, and he has hired the bakery's staff; but it's all "dependent on the permit."

The Centre Square Mall is right across the street from his other downtown business — Sushi North.


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