Not more 80s trends, but the restaurant that was once the Cariboo will now be opening up again under different management.
On a Thursday evening, Ivy Feng sat leaning on one of the red and white checkered table clothes to talk about the restaurant she would be opening with her husband.
Although the interior’s décor is still quite intact, down in the red walls, wooden blinds and mostly white tiled floors, they still want to make a few upgrades before opening up what they are going to call the D.C. Café.
It will be primarily Asian and Western cuisine, and they said they are considering serving sushi and Vietnamese food, specifically pho, the noodle soup that’s exceedingly popular in the south.
That’s if people want it, said Feng.
With her son David helping to translate, Feng shared her family’s background in the food business and what she’s hoping for this new endeavour.
“It’s going to be authentic Chinese and western food,” she said.
“There could be more (kinds of food). We’re going to open and not really tell anyone. That way, when people come, they can tell us what they want.”
“It’s good authentic Chinese food,” echoed son David Zheng.
“My dad has been a cook since 1993. They just wanted a change because they’ve been in Vancouver for almost 17 years.”
That’s where the family had driven up from less than one week ago, in the short span of 24 hours.
Although their business did well in Vancouver, they wanted a change, and there was an over-saturation in the place they set up shop.
“There were four different Chinese restaurants and three different Vietnamese restaurants all on the same block,” said Feng.
While they acknowledge the presence of other Chinese and western cuisine establishments in the area, they are not dismayed, and are still hoping to offer something different.
If they do begin to offer some different choices on their menus aside from their breakfast cuisine and their western and Chinese fare, they will be importing food not only from Edmonton, but in bulk from farther away.
Aside from some of the wide array of western and Asian options they will be hoping to offer some traditional fare as well, like special Chinese desserts, soup and tea, all at reasonable prices.
“In China, people eat soup every day, before a meal and all day long,” said Feng.
“It’s supposed to keep you healthy. It drains all the bad stuff out.”
The couple is originally from the Guang Dong region in China.
They got by speaking minimal English in Vancouver because of long working hours and presence of the largest Chinese-Canadian population, but said they are excited to get more of a crash course in English.
Although they won’t be reopening the bar section of the restaurant, they will be renting it out for events and banquets, with the possibility of opening it up for more restaurant seating in the future.
The space can hold about 100 guests.
“A lot of people were anxious to see people in the restaurant finally fixing it up,” said Feng.
“We hope for a good future in Hay River. New people, new place, new weather—people are very nice and welcoming here. We are hoping for good business.”
In the café’s name? Those are the initials of her children, Cindy and David Zheng.
The D.C. Café will be open every day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., and they are expecting to be open shortly after their renovations are completed in approximately two weeks.