The Big Lake Eatery and Cafe in downtown Hay River officially closed May 7 but new owners will be taking over the establishment to give it a brand new look and feel.
BHB Food Services, a new restaurant company is scheduled to take over the location and offer a Caribbean flavour. The owner of the company, who asked not to be named for this article and would only go by Henry, said a soft opening will take place May 17 followed by an officially opening at some point toward the end of the month.
Mary Zhang has been running the restaurant for four years. She announced the closure of the cafe in a Facebook post on May 3.
The establishment will offer a daily breakfast and lunch menu and a tapas selection in the evenings to complement a board game room. A weekend brunch list of foods are expected to be offered as well.
“The idea of the game room is to offer someplace for people to come and choose thousands of different board rooms and for a small fee for each person, they can play board games however long they want,” the owner explained.
“What one of our key things that we are open to offer is Jamaican patty and jerk chicken - these will be our staple that you can get anytime except on the weekends.”
Originally BHB Food Services had intended to open at the Caribou Centre on the Mackenzie Highway, however when the Big Lake Eatery space became available it tended to be more suitable for the purposes of the small restaurant and game room.
“For us I think the Big Lake Eatery will be a good spot, but it will be just a matter of building it up and having someone dedicated to it,” the owner said.
“Originally our old idea had been with a board room cafe not to make money but just to give families and young people a place to go and play a game.”
The owner explained that his son, an avid board game player often found in recent years that he and his friends had few main places to play board games.
“They were going from one house to another to play board games and would play all night,” he said.
With a bit of research, the company felt that a board game cafe could be a beneficial service for the community and also provide a much needed service for families and children.
The company asks that people watch for Facebook announcements in the coming weeks as dates become more solid for openings.