2020 was a devastating year for Saskatoon’s restaurant industry. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed dining rooms with shutters, forced take-out and delivery hubs, and curb revenue, Saskatoon restaurants struggled to survive year-round.
And unfortunately, some of the city’s most popular facilities just couldn’t weather the storm. This episode of the year in Eater, we reached out to the best chefs and food writers in town to see which permanent closings have hit them hardest.
Erin Smith, Cook / Owner, Feges BBQ: All of them. Answering this question gives me sadness, anger, heartache and tremendous fear all at the same time. I’ve never felt more connected to a community than I do now to every restaurant owner, waiter, bartender, dishwasher and cook. We are all on the verge of collapse.
Mai Pham, contributor, Eater Saskatoon: It really hurt me to see Dolce Vita around. The same goes for Blackbird Izakaya. I loved both places so much!
Chris Shepherd, Chef / Owner, Underbelly Hospitality: Too many to say.
June Rodil, master sommelier and partner of Goodnight Hospitality: I’ll be so sad when Morningstar closes at the end of the year. It was my neighborhood coffeehouse and just a walk from my house. I’ve never had this before and I’m sad that I was only able to experience it for such a short time. They are wonderful people and we will continue to support their other concepts and proudly serve their coffee at our locations.
At the national level, when it burned down, Meadowood was just an exception. You’re lucky and will have the resources to rebuild – which is wonderful – but I remember watching the footage of it burn to the ground and having such a sinking feeling for the industry and thinking, “Is this damn serious, 2020 ??! ?!?! ”
There is still a little time left to get a Morningstar Donut Morningstar [Official Photo]
Alex Au-Young, Chef / Owner, Phat Eatery and Phat Kitchen: Burger-chan.
Caroline Fontenot, Photographer, eater Saskatoon: Indica and Penny Quarter.
Brittanie Shey, Associate Editor, Eater Saskatoon: Closed a number of spots in The Montrose, including some neighborhood icons like Guava Lamp, Acadian Bakery, even Disco Kroger and some newer spots like Dolce Vita. It’s just a clear reminder that the character of this neighborhood is changing. Change isn’t always bad, but homogeneity is bad.
Ryan Lachaine, Riel: Uncle Boons Thai Restaurant in New York. It’s one of my favorite places in the United States. If I ever go to New York I usually eat there twice.
Megha Bhandari, contributor, Eater Saskatoon: I was very disappointed to hear that Tropicales has closed. I’m a big David Bührer fan, and it had become a regular hangout for coffee, cocktails, and a thoughtful all-day menu. I was also sad to hear Night Heron shut down. It was a great gem in the neighborhood and the hidden location is really something special.
Nick Wong, Head Chef, UB Preserv: The most personal was Momofuku Ssam Bar. But on-site Burger-chan.