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Kekuli Cafe just days away from opening in Kamloops

Kekuli Cafe in Kamloops is set to open its doors at the end of May.
Kekuli Cafe in Kamloops is set to open its doors at the end of May.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kekuli Cafe Kamloops

The long-awaited bannock-based restaurant Kekuli Café in Kamloops is set to open next week.

Owner Elijah Mack-Stirling has worked hard for several months overcoming permit issues, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding in his hometown of Merritt, supply issues and delays brought on by general staffing shortages.

He is now putting the final touches on the new venue, bringing in food and training staff.

“’When is the opening’ is the question I am getting every day,” Mack-Stirling said.

READ MORE: Kamloops restaurant cites lack of staff, reliance on delivery apps for closure

After so many setbacks he's hesitant to announce an exact date and time but confirmed the doors will open Monday, May 30, or Tuesday, May 31. He has a more formal grand opening in mind for later on but does not have a date yet.

“We are all excited but it is a lot of pressure,” he said. "People in the community have been patient and supportive, and they are excited.”

Mack-Stirling is planning a grand opening ceremony next month at the Tk’emlúps Powwow Arbour.

“There will be singing and drumming,” he said. “It will be a place of gathering because that is what Kekuli is. The culture and atmosphere of our restaurant is more of a family one where we invite anybody and everybody to share a meal with us.”

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When asked what the biggest lesson he has learned in setting up a new restaurant, Mack-Stirling pointed to the shortage of labour.

“It slows a lot of things down so now I know to order supplies and make arrangements further in advance going forward.” 

Mack-Stirling is already the owner of the Kekuli Café in Merritt.

The new Kekuli Café is located in the former Starbucks space across from Royal Inland Hospital.

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