Business & Oilsands(Archives)
A Fresh New Look and Feel: Earls Fort McMurray
Food, fun and a friendly atmosphere; it’s what Earls restaurants across Canada are known for, and the Fort McMurray Earls located in the downtown core is no exception. From a prime location right next to Highway 63/Memorial Drive to the enticing menu, Earls Fort McMurray has been a staple of the local dining scene for years. In late 2017, a new look is coming that will take this staple right onto the cutting edge.
Stu Wigle, Managing Partner of Earls, explains that the restaurant has seen some “lipstick renovations” over the years, but the first major renovation since the restaurant’s opening took place in 2005. In 2017, it was determined the time had come for a second major renovation, with the big reveal tentatively scheduled for November.
“It’s always a big decision to close a restaurant for an extended period to accomplish a major renovation,” says Wigle. “There is the lost revenue to consider, but we knew that these renovations will improve customer experience and allow our visitors, both regulars and new patrons, to enjoy an exciting new atmosphere.”
The renovation began when the restaurant closed to the public on October 1. While a traditionally slower time of year, the six-week renovation still required the closure of the entire restaurant and lounge in order to achieve the many new features and ambience which will be revealed upon reopening.
“Basically, the interior has been torn down to the studs,” says Wigle of the ambitious renovation project. The only features that will remain similar in format to the old restaurant design will be the bar structure on the lounge side, in addition to the dividing wall between the lounge and restaurant. “It has been redesigned and rebuilt from the very walls in, which creates an opportunity for some exciting new décor and interior design.”
Included in the design are feature walls, including textured walls, which add to the atmosphere and create a modern and updated feel. The restaurant will have a slightly more open feel, and a warm and friendly ambience designed to please both current regulars and attract repeat visits from new patrons and guests.
“We are really fortunate to have a strong group of regular patrons,” says Wigle. “And while it is always difficult to close for a period of time, we knew these updates were needed in order to keep providing that warm, friendly and customer-focused atmosphere we work to achieve with every visitor.”
Earls Fort McMurray has been built on the foundation of not only fantastic food and friendly service, but community commitment as the home of many events contributing to fundraising, awareness and other community initiatives. The strong partnerships Earls has developed with local individuals and organizations has created a committed clientele, who will be welcomed by the same smiling service staff and warm greetings, but also a slightly new menu to match the new look and feel of the restaurant.
“There will be some new items on the menu,” says Wigle. “This is really part of the rebranding we are undergoing as we work to remain current, modern and attractive to our visitors and guests.”
The restaurant scene in Fort McMurray continues to grow, with new restaurants occasionally popping up, and staying fresh and competitive is integral to ensuring continued business success. One thing that will not change is Earls’ commitment to their guests and the community.
Says Wigle: “We are dedicated to that great experience for every visitor. Whether they are coming for a meal, a drink or to attend an event, we want every person to walk away delighted by their time spent with us. Time is one of the most precious commodities we have, and at Earls we want to ensure your time is spent well in a great atmosphere, along with excellence in service and food.”
Earls Fort McMurray will host a VIP reopening when the renovations have been completed as a way to say thank you to the many regular patrons who patiently waited for the renovations to be completed, and to welcome them back to a new, refreshed and re-energized Earls’ experience.
“It will be great for our staff to see our regular guests again, as well as welcome them back into the restaurant,” says Wigle. “We are excited to reconnect with them and welcome them into the same warm and friendly experience they have always enjoyed, but now with an updated look and feel. And we are so excited to showcase the new look to all our guests, including those who may not have dined with us previously.”
Wigle says they have been fortunate to have a good contractor who has kept the renovation on schedule, as well as great local tradespeople who have an opportunity to help create the new atmosphere at a popular local dining location.
“When it’s all said and done, we are looking at a $2-million renovation,” says Wigle. “So it is definitely an investment of time and money, given the final cost and the six-week closure for renovation; but we also know it will be worth it when we are able to open the doors and welcome guests into the newly-renovated, updated and exciting Earls. We are so grateful to the community for their patience during the renovation and their support over the years; and we are so excited to see you as we reveal the next phase for Earls in our community!”