Eddie Webster's has found ways to adjust to pandemic

Eddie Webster’s is well-known locally as a place good food and excellent dining, but during the past 2 1/2 months, it has shifted its business model to be a place where people pick up great food.

Eddie’s was forced to close down its dining room and lounge in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remained open for in-restaurant and curbside pickup.

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General manager Ivy Mababa said the pandemic has allowed the restaurant, which has been locally owned since the 1980s, to focus on its roots and reconnect with the community.

“Everyone is going through this together, and we want to let Estevan and the surrounding towns know that we are there for them,” Mababa told the Mercury.

Eddie’s has remained busy, serving customers from 4-9 p.m. daily. She believes some people have been coming in from outside of Estevan to pick up food from the restaurant.

“Every time I speak to them, they would thank us for staying open,” she said.

And they still have their weekly specials, like wing Wednesday and sushi Saturday. Their taco Tuesday now sees them provide everything people will need for an at-home taco night.

The restaurant has an online menu that allows people to see what they want before ordering. People can also place an order through Eddie’s Facebook page, which is regularly updated.

“Most of the time, they either phone us, or they order through our Facebook page. We try hard to be on the spot, answering questions for ordering and handling any inquiries,” Mababa said. 

Since they are open at 4 p.m., some people will pre-order a few hours in advance, or even a day in advance.

Approximately 30 people work at Eddie’s, and Mababa said she is impressed with how they came together during this time.

“Even though we closed our dining services, we still provide a new job for them, like doing some maintenance where we’re closed, and general cleaning just to provide employment for them.”

The restaurant has also been partnering with local businesses to provide donations to the community and drop meals off for front-line workers during the past two months.

Eddie’s staff members are looking forward to seeing their customers again. Restaurants and licensed establishments will be able to reopen to customers on June 8, although they will be limited to 50 per cent capacity, and there will be other restrictions allow for social distancing.

“We’ve been ready at Eddie’s since the day we closed. We want to make sure when the government allows us to reopen, we are really ready to reopen,” said Mababa. “We even prepared new cleaning duties, and this is a really new normal for us, just because we want to make sure every minute counts.”

Eddie’s was selected as Estevan favourite fine dining establishment by readers of the Estevan Mercury during the Best of Estevan contest earlier this year, so customers are undoubtedly eager to return, too.

Customers can look forward to a one-touch menu, which will be disposable for each customer when they dine in.

She expects the restaurant will go beyond provincial guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

Eddie’s lounge will also have a new look when the restaurant reopens on June 8. An interior designer was hired to give the lounge a new vibe.

“The lounge has been our big project. We took advantage of the time that we closed our dining to refresh everything, especially our lounge. I believe it’s been a few years since we made some changes in there, and we are pretty excited.”

They consulted the interior designer because they wanted to have a fresh look, giving them something new, but still in line with Eddie’s culture.

The restoration work just needs a little bit of touch-ups so it will be ready by June 8.

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