In 2020, several long-standing institutions in the Saskatoon area were permanently closed. Over the year, we’ve lost longtime staples, downtown restaurants, popular inner-grinding spots, one-off honky tonks, and more. These now defunct goals may have ended prematurely or otherwise, but they are still at the heart of the city.
Listed chronologically by closing date, here’s a look at the legendary Saskatoon area companies that we lost in 2020.
The Acadian Bakery
Years open: 41 years
Closed: The Acadian Bakery was closed on March 18th.
Details: Saskatoon’s Mardi Gras King Cakes bakery closed in March. On March 18, the bakery in the Montrose area announced it would be temporarily closed until March 31. It was never opened again.
Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca
Years open: 14 years
Closed: Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca closed on May 24th.
Details: The Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca, formerly 550 Westheimer in Saskatoon, served their last pizza on May 24th. Owner and chef Marco Wiles said the restaurant had been sold to an undisclosed investment group.
“I have no idea what the plans are,” he told the Saskatoon Food Finder.
Wiles said the 25 percent dine-in capacity rule set by Governor Greg Abbott’s Strike Force to reopen Texas was “tough enough.”
The artisanal pizza restaurant, known for its Neapolitan-style Italian food, opened in 2006.
Open years: 37 years
Closed: Barry’s Pizza closed on May 26th.
Details: Founded in 1983, legendary Saskatoon pizza parlor, Barry’s Pizza, said goodbye this year after hurling pizza for nearly four decades.
“Well friends, it’s official,” said Barry on her Facebook page. “COVID-19 killed Barry. We had a great 37 year run. I will always carry these memories. “
Bernie’s Burger Bus
Open years: 10 years
Closed: Bernie’s Burger Bus closed all locations on May 31st.
Details: Bernie’s Burger Bus first opened in 2010 when Chef Justin Turner put a food truck out of a converted yellow school bus into operation. In the years that followed, the Saskatoon store expanded to four locations before finally closing in May 2020.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to share this, but with the accumulation of debt, declining sales and rising business costs, we began to move into the danger zone,” said Turner. “I couldn’t afford (pay) the remaining 10 of 114 employees I had, and paying my team was more important to me than anything else.”
Turner said it was a fatal mistake to pay to build the Missouri City site instead of taking out a loan and keeping the money in the bank.
Turner also said “wafer-thin” profit margins, grocery delivery charges and rising meat prices were among other reasons for the closure.
Hard Rock Cafe Saskatoon
Open years: 34 years
Closed: The Hard Rock Café Saskatoon will be closed on May 27th.
Details: After 20 years in the city center, the Hard Rock Café finally closed its doors at the end of May.
The Hard Rock Café in Saskatoon opened on Kirby Drive in 1986. The Hard Rock moved to its Bayou Place location near the aquarium in 2000.
Closed: The Midtown Fiesta locations will be closed on July 10th.
Details: The Saskatoon location – known as “No. 17 ″ – is perhaps one of the most famous Fiesta Mart locations in the region. Thousands passed the store on the highway.
The area is under development with at least one major project underway at the former Sears site.
Marketplace of the Tree Beards
Open years: 40 years
Closed: Treebeards Market Square is closed in June.
Details: The well-known Treebeards location on Travis Street was permanently closed in June.
“We’re heartbroken, but after running our restaurant at 315 Travis for over forty years, Treebeards Market Square will close its doors for the last time on June 26, 2020,” the owners wrote in a Facebook post.
According to the Post, the restaurant closed due to a “huge increase in the rent demanded by the landlord”. The hike made it “impossible” for the owners to continue working at this location, the post said.
Wild West Bar
Open years: 40 years
Closed: Wild West Bar closed on July 30th.
Details: Saskatoonians poured out memories instead of beer after the owners of the Wild West Bar announced they had closed the bar after 40 years.
“Wild West has been a proud host to all kinds of events you can imagine. For me personally, Wild West was the place where I met my husband and raised my children, ”said owner Ticia Sly. “I made great friends and great people. So with a heavy heart I say goodbye to an old friend. “
The bar was first known as the Midnight Rodeo when it opened in 1981 on the corner of Longpoint and Gessner. The Wild West Bar welcomed many top country musicians such as Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and George Strait.
Alice’s great Texan
Years open: 36 years
Closed: Alice’s Tall Texan closed in August.
Details: 2020 was the end of an era for the legendary Heights bar.
In a statement announcing the final closure, the bar blamed the coronavirus pandemic for its death. “This damn coronavirus made us and us bad,” read a post on the bar’s Facebook page. “We are deeply sad to say that after 36 years in business, Alice’s Tall Texan will finally close at the end of August.”
The owner Alice Ward said there was just too much work being done against the business.
“I hate that we have to do it, but we have to do it,” Ward said in an interview. “I’m turning 80 and it’s time for me to close it.”
Fire station limousine
Open years: 28 years
Closed: Firehouse Saloon closed in November.
Details: “After 28 years of honky-tonkin, the Legendary Firehouse Saloon has closed its doors …” the honky-tonk said in a statement. “The property owners are pushing ahead with the renovation. But wait – the fire station will reinvent itself so you can stay tuned. You will love what comes next. “
The long-standing honky tonk bar had been owned by firefighters since 1992.
In its heyday, the Saskatoon landmark was voted the city’s # 1 honky tonk, welcoming several artists over the years.
AMC Studio 30
Open years: 27 years
Closed: AMC Studio 30 closed November 8th.
Details: AMC Studio 30 was finally shown in early November and welcomed the last moviegoers to the Dunvale Road location after 27 years.
In a statement to KPRC 2, AMC revealed that Studio 30 is the only theater in the Saskatoon area affected by virtue of a global agreement with EPR Properties, one of its best-known rental partners.
In connection with this agreement, EPR has made certain rental concessions in exchange for other rights, including the ability to terminate up to seven rental agreements. In connection with this agreement, AMC has ceased operations at six EPR-owned theater locations across the country, ”the statement said.
Franca’s real Italian restaurant
Open years: 50 years
Closed: Francas Real Italian Restaurant closed in November.
Details: According to its website, the restaurant opened in 1971 and was the only restaurant in the South Saskatoon area for miles. The restaurant has been a family affair for years with interior design, from murals to sculptures, all from Patriarch “Papa” Franco. Franca, the youngest daughter, finally took over the business and is now closing it.
“After 50 years of doing business in the Bay Area and as times change, I have made the difficult decision not to reopen Franca’s Real Italian Restaurant and Dinner Theater,” Franca said in a statement. “Thank you all for the love, support and loyalty. We will remember the laughter and the moments that we shared. I want to wish you all the best. With much gratitude, Franca 2020. “
River Oaks Bookstore
Open years: 47 years
Closed: The River Oaks Bookstore will be closed at the end of the year.
Details: After almost 47 years, the story of the River Oaks Bookstore has come to an end.
According to a Facebook post by a current employee, the River Oaks Bookstore will be closed for good at the end of this year.
“After nearly forty-seven years in business, the River Oaks Bookstore will close later this year. When our doors close, a large part of my life – all of our life – closes with it, ”wrote Whitney Carson, the bookstore employee, on Facebook.
Jeanne Jard, 90, is one of the founders of the River Oaks Bookstore. Her son and daughter-in-law now run it, but Jard is still the heart and soul of the business. Her greatest hope is that her beloved bookstore will be remembered as a haven.
“I will miss my friends. My life is here Leaving it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but the time has come. When you read a book it doesn’t matter whether you remember it or not because it becomes a part of you, ”Jard said.
Years open: 74 years
Closed: Although it is unclear when this chain will cease operations, it is about to close.
Details: Earlier this year, the ubiquitous Texas-based chain, headquartered in Saskatoon, announced that it would liquidate its assets and liquidate the company. Translation: This could just be the end of the LuAnn record folks. In the meantime, the Saskatoon-based cafeteria chain is serving its home-style cooking as usual, and even offering its turkey packages and cakes for the vacation. While it is unclear when this chain will stop operating, it is about to end.
What do you remember about those recently deceased facilities in the Saskatoon area? Whether it was a great meal or a special moment, share your fondest memories in the comments below.
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