Pal’s to be Next Piece of Old Strathcona Restaurant Empire
Slated to open in August, Pal’s Sandwich Bar is the latest restaurant from the team behind The Next Act, Meat, and Pip. The classic sandwich shop will be the group’s fourth venture within a one-block radius.
Co-owner Saylish Haas said monopolizing the intersection of 104 Street and 83 Avenue was never a grand plan; it just gradually happened that way. “There were never long-term plans to take over the block, but it has come through opportunities that arose,” said Haas.
Last year, the owners’ realtor sent a listing for the building east of their other properties, which formerly housed Packrat Louie, among other restaurants. “We looked at it more as a joke with the partners, but then we said, ‘Why not?’,” said Haas. “Pip doesn’t have enough seats, and with the space we would conquer that issue.”
Shifting Pip across the street will more than double its size from 28 seats at its current location to about 80 seats in the new one. Expect its doors to open in September, with minor tweaks. “We will stick with our current menu when we launch,” said Haas. “It will be Pip as you know it.”
During the design phase, they soon realized the new space could house an additional concept, made up of 40 seats and a large patio. After identifying a gap in quality sandwiches available in the area, Pal’s was born. “Our whole concept is comfort food,” said Haas. “Pal’s will be an intimate sandwich shop, with great food, desserts, cocktails, and wine.”
Pip chef Brad Tebble has moved over to lead Pal’s, which is how the name came to be. “Brad calls everyone ‘pal’ and signs off e-mails that way,” said Haas. “So it is an ode to our head chef — this is where you can hang out with your pal, and it is a nice way to capture that you’re going to a place that is casual and easygoing.”
Haas was quick to emphasize that while Pal’s will have some takeaway options, the focus will be on dine-in service, with daily hours tentatively spanning from 11am to 10pm. “We will have a night business and hope that people will come for dinner, and the patio will be a part of that,” she said.
The menu will be made up of hot and cold sandwich options, including meatball, egg salad, chicken club, and muffaletta, an Italian meat and cheese standard. Sides will include items such as pickled cauliflower or mortadella served with house-made focaccia, and desserts will focus on pies and cakes.
In addition to making baguettes, rye, and focaccia in-house, Pal’s will also bring in some bread from local bakery Bread + Butter. The Italian Centre Shop will be the main source of meat and cheese.
The target opening date for Pal’s is August, hopefully midway through the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.
As for the vacancy that Pip will leave, Haas said the ownership group will be keeping the space, but doesn’t yet have a solid plan. “We honestly can’t think about that space until this one is done,” said Haas. “But it will be a different concept altogether.”
Although they were able to come through the last two years with all three restaurants intact, Haas acknowledges that it was hard, requiring constant modifications, customer support, and government funding. She hopes things are moving towards more pre-pandemic-like conditions.
“We’re trying to be optimistic,” said Haas. “We like to serve people and entertain them and host an experience inside our restaurants.”
- The Colombian’s third brick and mortar café in Parkallen opened this past weekend, located at 6529 111 Street.
- Fawkes Coffee & Doughnuts opened their pop-up at 10137 104 Street last week. Check them out for bottled cold coffee drinks (for now), and vegan donuts.
- Powerage Wine & Spirits bills itself as an “independently owned rock ‘n’ roll bar”, located at 10643 124 Street.
- Hirondelle Bakery, which has been vending at the Al Fresco Market on 104 Street on Saturdays, will be opening up a pick-up location in the same building as Taco Nova, at 10505 106 Street (on a related note, Taco Nova also announced that they will be offering indoor seating, soon).
- California Pizza Kitchen’s first Canadian location will open in Edmonton on August 1, 2022 at 5260 Windermere Boulevard (is it strange that the reason I want to try it is because of Succession’s Cousin Greg?).
- Blue Plate Diner announced its permanent closure after 18 years of operation in Edmonton. They intend to stay open until the end of August.
- Eats on 118 guided tours are back, running August 10, 24, and September 7 and 21. Tickets are $45 and will include food samples at three stops.
- MilkCrate’s Feast in the Field returns this year on August 20, 2022. Tickets are $95 for a family-style meal. Mack and I had the privilege of attending last year and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
- Congratulations to Ply Pasaraj of Rogue Wave Coffee who placed in the top three at this year’s Canadian National Brewers Cup in Regina.
- K-Days announced the winners of their annual new foods competition: the cheesy Korean rice dog by Corndog King won first place, followed by the Fisherman Poutine by Poutine King and the chili lime popcorn shrimp perogies by International Perogies.
- The Journal provided an overview of what to expect at this year’s Taste of Edmonton, in addition to sharing some reviews of the food.
- The Hallway Cafe located in City Hall has timed some $1 menu items during festival season, available from July 21-31, 2022.
- Linda has put together a great list of 30 drinks to enjoy in Edmonton.
- Phil shared a post about his most recent Best Dish feature, Waffle Bird.
- Edify paid a visit to Vish, which brings a new way to enjoy hummus to Edmonton.
- Also, Edify’s Best Things To Eat continues with linguine vongole from Chianti, turkey sandwich from Fifendekel, and steak frites from La Petit Iza.
- Happy 15th birthday to The Carrot Coffeehouse!
- Summit Sourdough is a home-based Sherwood Park business that is selling small batches of 125-year-old sourdough starter.
- Senator Paula Simons put together a short video about Rosy Farms, a u-pick haskap farm just outside of Edmonton. Edify has a list of 7 other u-pick farms in the area as well.
- Have you heard the term “boulevarding”, or informally gardening on boulevards?
- Local agencies are noticing that inflation is exacerbating food insecurity in Edmonton.
What I Ate
- It was a beautiful night for Taste of Edmonton on Friday! I definitely missed the Hotel Mac, but we were happy Pikante was back this year, and Emily can never pass up Little Bear Gelato.
Family outing to Taste of Edmonton
- My friend Su invited me to Get Cooking’s bun cha patio pop-up over the weekend. It was the perfect afternoon to enjoy Mai Nguyen’s food outdoors. The herbs and greens were especially refreshing in the dish.
Bun cha from Get Cooking