A new restaurant is now open in Servus Credit Union Place.
After sitting largely unused for two years, the space overlooking Mark Messier Arena and the indoor soccer fields is now home to Skybox Grill.
The new restaurant caters to families and is a totally different concept than its predecessor, Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, said partner Neal Seifeddine.
“Although it looks a lot like the same with the dĂ©cor, the concept is completely different and the food is much better and the service is better, I’d like to think,” Seifeddine said.
Don Cherry’s opened in January 2007 but closed down after struggling for a year.
Currently the space is the same as it was under the Don Cherry’s banner, with a long bar and shelves well stocked with liquor bottles. However, the management is planning to make the space more kid-friendly. One idea is to hang uniforms from local youth teams to make young athletes feel like they’re coming home, Seifeddine said.
“If you want to be a family restaurant you have to actually be a family restaurant,” Seifeddine said.
“You can’t market a sports pub by calling yourself a family restaurant. A duck can’t say he’s a chicken just because he’s clucking.”
The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. daily and stay open until about 11 p.m. This closing time is flexible based on how busy it is, Seifeddine said.
He acknowledged the restaurant’s location, on the second level at the very south end of the complex, will be a challenge to overcome.
“It’s going to be tough to draw a crowd but we’re working on a few things to get out the exposure,” he said. “Hopefully we can work with Servus Place to try and get a separate entrance to the place.”
“We’re thrilled to have such an experienced and enthusiastic restaurateur join the Servus Place family,” Enger said. “We just know that they provide exceptional food and customer service and we know they’ll do well.”
The ownership group has successfully opened eight other businesses in Alberta, including Orlando’s II Pub & Grill in Edmonton. The operators are also operating the kiosk outside the restaurant’s doorway and the concession in Performance Arena.