Pizza Hut en route
New dining facility to seat more than 100

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 22/97) - Pizza lovers can get their comparison shopping list ready -- there's a new Pizza Hut restaurant coming to Yellowknife.

The foundation is going in and the franchisees are aiming for the restaurant to open Nov. 1, said Darren Bilinski, the establishment's general manager. Of course, that date is flexible and depends on actual construction of the building.

"As soon as the building is built, we'll go into high gear," he said.

Bilinski will be moving to Yellowknife from Brandon, Man. He'll be looking at hiring 10 to 15 full-time employees and another 65 to 85 part-timers.

"Plans have been in the works for about two years," he said. "It was supposed to have been done years ago, but those involved put one elsewhere."

The new restaurant will seat about 130 people. Take-out service will also be featured.

Bilinski -- who's been a Pizza Hut employee for 11 years -- along with several partners, owns the franchise.

The new Pizza Hut will be next to Saan Store on Old Airport Road in Frame Lake South.

"I work for a gentleman who has opened several Pizza Huts. He offered me a franchise in the South and said, 'We're also looking at Yellowknife.' As soon as he said that city, I said that's where I want to be," said Bilinski.

I went to a Whitehorse Pizza Hut and someone told me it's the curse of the North that once you've been up here, you always return. I quite enjoy the outdoors and everything I want is up here."

The menu will include pizza, salads, pasta, buffalo wings and other Pizza Hut servings.

"There's a great opportunity for delivery because of the huge residential area and its on the way home from work -- that's a couple of benefits. We looked at five different locations before deciding," said Bilinski, who came up here last year to scout a new location.

The specification equipment will come from Calgary and Edmonton. The food distributor is in Edmonton.

"As many things as I can buy locally I will, as opposed to Edmonton," promises Bilinski.

"Personally, I'm looking forward to the first year and getting to know the community and business-wise, meeting everyone as well."