The Wildcat is taking a long nap.

Yellowknife’s historic Wildcat Cafe will remain closed in 2021 due to lack of interest in operating the eatery.

Bids opened for its operation in April, though no one expressed interest by the city’s intial deadline of April 21 so it was extended to May 14 and still, no bids.

The Old Town cafe has been run seasonally since 1937 under contracts with the city, which owns the building and location.

The cafe normally runs from the May long weekend (May 22 to 24) to the Labour Day long weekend (Sept. 4 to 6).

The last time it was open for customers was the summer of 2019, when Bullock’s Bistro owners Jo-Ann Martin and Mark Elson held a two-year contract to operate the Wildcat.


The pair would have run the Wildcat Cafe in 2020 as well but the municipality didn’t open the cafe because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city offered to extend the contract into 2021. But after some consideration, Martin and Elson decided to opt out due to their busy schedules running the restaurant and managing their new Kam Lake bottling plant project.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.