Only three and half years in business, and the Big Bend Cafe is already a community favourite.
“I always thought this was a fine location, and it finally became available, so we took it over three and a half years ago,” said owner Roddy MacIsaac who opened the restaurant with his wife Alison.
Locals and tourists alike gather in the Big Bend on the corner of 9th Avenue North and 6th Street North every morning and early afternoon for some home-cooked food.
Originally from Calgary, MacIsaac has an extensive background in restaurants and bars, has worked as a chef, and was the food and beverage manager at Sunshine Resort for years.
“The menu here is mine, I created it. It’s a fun thing to do for sure,” said MacIsaac. “I love doing breakfast, that’s my specialty, my passion.”
Home-cooked food is also his passion and MacIsaac tries to make his menu as natural as possible.
“We try to make our stuff from scratch as much as possible. The only thing our deep-fryer is used for is our hand-cut french fries. We don’t deep fry anything else,” he said.
“We make our own sausages, burgers, buns… the only thing that comes in a can is basically ketchup.”
MacIsaac not only owns the cafe, he is in there five or six days a week serving and cooking to make sure everyone has a good experience in the Big Bend.
“I try to be here as much as possible. That’s what you have to do to be successful. You have to make sure the quality remains the same. If you leave the place then you’re leaving it in other people’s hands, and you don’t have you stamp on it,” he said.
Even though he likes to be in the restaurant as much as possible, MacIsaac said he is very lucky to have such a loyal and reliable staff.
“I’ve got awesome people working for me. My staff is outstanding,” he said, adding that many of his employees have been there for two to three years.
After a few years in business, in which sales have increased every year, word of mouth has started to get around that the Big Bend Cafe is great place for breakfast and lunch.
“We get a lot of locals and a lot of tourists, things are growing… we get a lot of word-of-mouth. We’ve had a lot of people come in for the first time and say that three people they asked told them this was the place to eat,” said MacIsaac.
The decor of the cafe has also given them the reputation of a good, comfortable, local hang-out.
“We came in and decided we wanted a place where people could come in and feel comfortable, look at the pictures, and relax. That’s why most people think this place has been here a long time, because of the character of the wood. When you walk in there’s a nice warm feeling to the place,” said MacIsaac.
He and his wife have filled the place with antiques they have accumulated, and photos depicting the history of Golden and Donald.
If you haven’t had a chance to go in yet, head down to the Big Bend Cafe for some breakfast, open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.