A new sit-down restaurant is opening in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. after a decade without one

A sit-down restaurant is opening in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., the first in the town since the last one closed in 2007. It's the latest business hoping to cash in as the new highway opens.

End of the Road Ltd. opening restaurant as businesses prepare for new Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway

The highway is opening Nov. 15, businesses in Tuktoyaktuk are gearing up for an expected influx of people into the community. (Chris Corday/CBC)

When visitors start driving to Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., they will have a place to sit down and eat a warm meal.

End of the Road Ltd. has owned an inn and convenience store in the hamlet for nearly three years, but recently expanded into the the food industry.

It started offering takeout in July and is now planning a sit-down restaurant — the first to open in the hamlet in a decade, according to the hamlet's economic development officer.

There used to be two restaurants in Tuktoyaktuk, including the Hotel Tuk Inn, but there hasn't been a sit-down restaurant since it closed in 2007.

"I was just seeing an opportunity with the road coming, I just thought it would be great to do this," said Gary Reidford, one of the four owners of End of the Road Ltd., who has been living in the North since 1991. 

"It's been a crawling to walking type of process for us," he said. "We started off with just a small area and we sold different convenience items, [now] the final part of our business is going to be this sit-down restaurant."

Gary Reidford is one of four co-owners of End of the Road Ltd., he says he thinks a new sit-down restaurant in Tuktoyaktuk will be 'great' for the community. (Submitted by Gary Reidford )
The different business ventures are all housed in one building. There are six employees but Reidford says three more people could be hired in the future.

End of the Road Ltd.  is also catering events, including the feast for the evening celebrations that will happen when the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway opens this month.

The menu for the restaurant isn't set yet, but Reidford said he wants to serve food people in town like to eat.

"We've got to be careful, a lot of restaurants don't make it," he said.

Since opening up the takeout portion of the restaurant this summer, pizza and burgers have been the speciality. (Submitted by Ken Bliss )
Pizza and burgers have been the most popular items on the menu since the takeout portion of the restaurant opened this summer. That's because there's nowhere else in Tuktoyaktuk to get them, explained Ken Lindholm, the restaurant manager. 

A few tasks need to be finished before the dining room opens — like repairing a freezer — but otherwise things are on schedule, he said.

"It's all ready," Lindholm said,  "we just need to set the tables up and put the tablecloths on."

Once the sit-down restaurant opens for business, it will serve food between Wednesdays and Sundays during the evening.