Driftpile 450 Diner celebrates ‘soft opening’

Driftpile Cree Nation Chief Dwayne Laboucan cuts the ribbon to officially open Driftpile 450 Diner May 17. Left-right are Councilman Lonnie Bellerose, Councilwoman Yvonne Henry, Chief Dwayne Laboucan, Councilwoman Caroline Isadore, Councilman Derrick Laboucan, and Councilman Napoleon Collins.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Another milestone in Driftpile Cree Nation’s history was achieved May 17 with the opening of Driftpile 450 Diner.

The restaurant is part of the Driftpile Cree Nation Travel Centre on Highway 2 on the west side of the reserve which celebrated a grand opening Nov. 15, 2022.

In his short speech to open the restaurant, Chief Dwayne Thunder paid tribute to former Councilman Starr Saskakamoose, who passed away April 10.

“He was a big part of this,” said Laboucan, who then asked for and received a moment of silence in Sasakamoose’s memory.

“We’re very excited now,” said Laboucan.

“We’re proud to be here at your Driftpile 450 Diner!”

Guests then enjoyed dinner at the restaurant.

The first day open for business was May 18. Sandra Nygaard manages the restaurant. The “soft opening” occurred because everyone wanted to see the diner opened as soon as possible. Supplies are still arriving as the restaurant prepares to open to full capacity.

Driftpile 450 Diner features dine in and takeout and is expected to be in full operation around the beginning of August. The diner seats 50 and features a menu of fry bread taco, chicken, fresh-cut fries, baked goods, fish, salads, fresh delis, and assorted desserts and beverages.

And more but come check it out to satisfy your hunger.

“We focus on health,” says Nygaard. “There is no processed food here.”

Driftpile 450 Diner employs 12 staff, all local from Driftpile, Joussard and Faust.

Hours of operation are still to be determined.

“We’ll work through this as we go,” said Jonathan Giroux, master of ceremonies, and also economic development manager for the Nation.

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