Casa de Cobre — which translates as Copper House in Spanish — has opened as the new restaurant in the legislative assembly.

The eatery serves Mexican food under the guidance of head chef Guillermo Acosta and manager Sarah Van Stiphout.

“Copper House took over the contract at the (legislature), which usually lasts two to four years,” said Van Stiphout, “and because the head chef was from Mexico City, they decided to make it into a Mexican restaurant. It’s all authentic food and ingredients that’s ordered from Mexico.”

The dining area in the territorial house of politics had been vacant for several months. The former occupant, Cliff Café, was shut down after experiencing staffing difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Casa de Cobre shares a similar name and ownership with Copper House, it is run independently, according to Van Stiphout.

Acosta was previously a chef at Copper House, and the management team there saw an opportunity to utilize his skills in the new location.

Having been in Yellowknife for almost a full year, Acosta said he’s grown fond of the city.

“I love it — small town and nice weather for me,” he said. “I like the cold weather.”

Casa de Cobre is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but they are examining ways to expand their hours, offer online ordering and provide a delivery option through DoorDash.

“We are working on the next step,” said Acosta.

The menu, which Acosta created, features Mexican street food, including tacos with four different kinds of proteins: chicken, beef, pork and vegetarian.

In addition to its food, Casa de Cobre features decor that reflects its Mexican heritage, with vibrant colours and traditional artwork adorning the walls.

Acosta is passionate about sharing his love of Mexican cuisine with Yellowknife residents.

“I want people to experience the flavours of Mexico,” he said. “There’s so much more to Mexican food than just tacos and burritos.”

Kaicheng Xin

Kaicheng Xin is a Multimedia Journalist with NNSL Media. You can reach him at

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