It’s the time of year when many businesses around Haines are limiting their hours or closing their doors for the winter. But one local restaurant owner is just getting started.
Robert Gibson says he’s not worried about opening a new restaurant in the off-season.
“I’m for the locals,” says Gibson. “I’m not worried about the tourists. I’m worried about the locals. I want them to have a place to come and relax and take it easy and enjoy themselves.”
Workers are banging away on renovations inside the Frontier Tradesman building on Main Street, where Gibson plans to open later this month. He currently owns the BBQ Shack, a seasonal restaurant in Skagway. But the vision for his Haines establishment is a little different.
“It’s going to be called the Moose Caboose Café,” says Gibson.
It will be a casual dining experience open year-round. Nothing fancy, says Gibson. He says he wants to create a space where locals can sit and talk with family and friends.
“We’ll have family dining and we’ll have a barista,” says Gibson. “You can come in in the morning and sit in a nice couch or chair and drink a latte or mocha and just enjoy yourself.”
He hasn’t completed the menu yet, but Gibson says he has an idea of what he wants to serve.
“We definitely will do our signature baby back ribs, our barbeque beef, pork and chicken,” says Gibson. “But we’ll also have regular family meals like steaks, burgers, alfredos, just different things.”
They’ll also have pizza and lunch delivery. Gibson plans to gear some of his services toward young people in the community.
“We’re going to have an afternoon special for kids that get out of school,” says Gibson. “We’ll have a nice special for them every day if they want to come and grab a burger or french fries or onion rings or whatever.”
On Saturday nights, he hopes to use the space as a makeshift movie theater.
“It’ll be a second run,” says Gibson. “So that means it’s two or three weeks been out. We’ll show the movie, it’ll be donation only.”
And, he says he wants to participate in fundraising opportunity for school groups.
“I want to work with the school, with the different clubs and organizations, like the volleyball team or robotics,” says Gibson. “They can come in here, sell food to raise money. Every week a different organization will be able to come in here and raise money for their school things.”
The restaurant will be open from 6am-5pm to start, and Gibson hopes to serve dinner within a few weeks of the official opening. That day, he anticipates, will be October 15.
Gibson is currently hiring for restaurant staff, and can be reached at 612-0497.