Jack’s Burger Shack to Open Location Downtown
This expansion is a slight shift from Jack’s pre-pandemic plans. Back in February 2020, Jack’s was primed to become the anchor commercial tenant in Rohit’s Stadium Yards project, but then COVID-19 shut everything down. “I wanted to put it on hold,” said Jack’s owner Tu Le. “I had to put all our energy in the [existing] restaurant to get the take out program air tight, so I didn’t have time to open a new restaurant. I think they got tired of waiting and asking.”
Jack’s, like all other hospitality businesses, had to adapt when in-person dining was halted in March 2020. “When we created Jack’s, I never thought people would take our food to go,” said Le. “[Customers are] watching us cook, and we’re chatting with people sitting at the bar. But everything that made us a quaint neighbourhood place changed. If you look at our numbers in 2019, 35% of our business was take-out. We had to bump it to 100%.”
Le says they were fortunate that the community has to support Jack’s in spite of the changes, including still not offering dine-in services at their original location. “People embraced our take-out program,” said Le. “Burgers and fries are geared towards take-out, and we’re lucky that we’re in St. Albert and have a strong following.”
Le also credits their forthcoming move into Downtown to “pure luck”. When a real estate broker made him aware that the former Oodle Noodle location was available, Le’s low-ball offer was, to his surprise, accepted by the landlord. “With the cost being that low, if we can do a little bit of take-out and [offer indoor dining] with the vaccine passport and more space [than the St. Albert location], then we can make a go of it,” said Le. “It’s still a risk with the pandemic and restrictions, but we know more now than we did, so I feel more confident opening a place now.”
Le hopes the new shop will be open in 4-6 weeks, and promises that the menu and prices will mirror the original restaurant. The plan is to be open five days a week. “It will be a place where you can get a good quality meal that is quick and affordable, and a friendly place where you can have a chat with one of the staff,” said Le. “I can’t really do that in St. Albert [right now], but with a little more space we can get back to that and get to know everybody [in the neighbourhood]. I miss that in St. Albert.”
- At least 14 businesses in the province were issued closure orders or had their permits suspended due to failure to comply with the restrictions exemption program.
- On October 25, 2021, customers entering businesses participating in the restrictions exemption program must have proof of two doses of a two-dose series of vaccines. Some restaurants interviewed say it contributes to guests feeling safer.
- District 102’s Craft Cafe (located at the top floor of Edmonton City Centre Mall) has now re-opened.
- District Cafe is gearing up to re-open in “the coming weeks”, and they will also continue to sling Young & Restless Pizza in the evenings.
- Stanhope Eatery and Bar opened up back in August at 4208 Calgary Trail (formerly a Sorrentino’s location).
- California Pizza Kitchen has broken ground for its first Canadian location. It will be built in the Currents of Windermere. It is expected to open next year.
- Yellowhead Brewing has been closed in essence since the spring of 2020.
- Jasper Park Lodge is hosting a new event called A Weekend With…featuring Duchess’s Giselle Corteau. The event runs November 5-7, 2021 and starts at $749 per might, based on double occupancy.
- Filistix’s Kamayan Feast returns on November 6, 2021. They will have two seatings but will also offer take-out.
- The Northern Light Dining Experience will take place at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden from November 27, 2021 – January 9, 2022. Diners will enjoy their meals in domes amidst the garden’s Luminaria fixtures. Tickets are $125 per person and $50 for children aged 3-12.
- Congratulations to Ply Pasarj on finishing fifth at the World Brewers Cup in Milan!
- The Local Omnivore is closed until November 2, 2021, and will be “announcing some changes in the coming days” they are excited for.
- The Silver Skate Festival will again be offering their popular “surprise” bags filled with locally-sourced items. The bags start at $25 each.
- The Journal has the story behind the new cocktail supply store Cocktail Culture.
- Café Bicyclette’s cool weather patio is already up and running.
- Riverside Bistro’s igloos also opened on October 22, 2021.
- Edify checked out the new Wilfred’s and Made by Marcus concept.
- The Gateway paid a visit to Baekjeong Korean BBQ House.
- Jason Foster shares some highlights from the Alberta Beer Awards.
- Alberta food banks saw their usage increase 30% since 2019.
- Some non-profit groups like Meals on Wheels are recruiting additional volunteers, perhaps because they have introduced a vaccine mandate for their volunteer positions.
What I Ate
I’m on vacation next week, so I won’t be posting Food Notes on November 8. Your regularly scheduled update will return on November 15 – see you then!
- I met up with Linda last week for an outdoor lunch at The Hallway Cafe. It’s always great to support their program, which offers at-risk youth with the opportunity to learn hospitality skills through a restaurant setting. The half donair pizza was satisfying, and paired nicely with a hot soup to sip outside.
Half donair pizza and soup of the day
- I was lucky enough to be gifted an advent calendar from Evoolution. It’s great to see so many local businesses creating their own advent calendars. Evoolution’s first-ever calendar includes twenty-four 15mL oils, vinegars, blends, and sea salts, with short recipe videos that will be posted each day of the calendar to make it more interactive. It would make a beautiful gift, with artist Jason Carter lending his talents to the cover. The calendar retails for $59.95 and will be available after November 15.
Evoolution advent calendar