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“We're going to be downtown or nowhere,” says Fat Fox Cafe owner

The Fat Fox Cafe is closing after two years of operation at its Range St. Location. Avery Zingel/NNSL photo

Yellowknife's popular kitschy coffee joint, Fat Fox Cafe, will close May 19 and relocate after operations became untenable due to persistent water leaks in the kitchen.
“We're going to be downtown or nowhere,” said Jeremy Flatt, one of the owners.

On Monday, the owners of Fat Fox announced they would close their doors and look for a new long-term location after two years at their location across from the 50/50 parking lot.

“Even though this is happening, we're still really glad that we did do it because I feel like we learned tonnes,” said owner Emma Atkinson.

The Fat Fox is the first business that Atkinson and Flatt had ever run.

“It's lots of mixed feelings. We're optimistic but also tired, also sad. You look around and you know that everything we built, we built all of this,” said Flatt.

In the interim, the business is looking for space to continue its catering business.

In an interview with Yellowknifer, Flatt said he's heartbroken to close a location they designed to be warm and self-described as “off-kilter.”

“We realize the atmosphere here is a really important part of our business. It has to be the right spot because we don't want it to be a step backwards,” he said.

Unusual features and hand-made pallet floors are just one of the many aspects of the business that Flatt said will be missed.

“People have been amazing and there is nothing I hate more than telling our staff and customers, 'No more scones for you.' We really love this and it's been a great experience,” said Flatt.

On Facebook, the owners wrote: “We are deeply grateful for the support and appreciation that this community has shown for our business and for the hard work and loyalty of our staff. This is not the end for us, and while we are heartbroken we will be channeling all of our energy into planning the future with a new location. Thank you Yellowknife.”

Comments rolled in after Fat Fox Cafe made the post, with customers voicing their appreciation for the cafe, and hopes that they will reopen quickly.

A new location would ideally maintain the Fox's "rickety old vibe" that draws customers in, said Flatt.

Though the closure is a tough decision, both Flatt and Atkinson share a sense of optimism about the future of their business.

“It's making us really optimistic about how to approach something when we have a blank slate,” said Flatt.