The Fat Badger innovates to keep patrons safe while dining downtown
Since 2014, The Fat Badger on Scarth Street has been supplying Downtown with wholesome plates of pub fare sourcing from local suppliers whenever possible and avoiding the deep fryers that are generally synonymous with this type of establishment.
We’ve come to know them as a place to gather after work for drinks and appies, and a fresh plate for a quick noon hour business luncheon or an informal meeting. More than a few times we’ve gathered to celebrate milestones – new jobs, new chapters of life. The Fat Badger is a place we love to be.
In the denouement of the COVID-19 shutdown, and in midst of the re-opening of Regina’s economy, we had a fun, fresh (and really fast!) conversation with The Fat Badger’s owner and operator David Waller. We talked about business adaptations and discussed advice for patrons and other restos in these strangest of times.
“We’re so happy to see government workers from SaskTel, SGI and Worker’s Compensation returning to work downtown,” said David. “With the overall numbers of people downtown reduced these days, it’s great to see some friendly and familiar faces.”
Patrons of The Fat Badger will notice two significant changes at their favourite pub. First, of course, is capacity and distancing of tables to comply with public health measures – seating is set further apart, and capacity is reduced.
“This is likely our biggest adaptation,” said David.
To make up for the loss of seating capacity inside the pub, The Fat Badger doubled its patio space on the Scarth Street Mall after receiving a permit from the City of Regina earlier this summer. If it hadn’t expanded the patio space, The Fat Badger would have been operating at half of its regular capacity.
As David told CTV news when the patio was completed, “The bigger patio creates a little more energy downtown. People can still feel part of a community, but they are socially distanced and safer.”
As for that second change, beyond adapting to new health regulations, the pandemic has forced businesses to innovate and find new ways of ensuring their customers feel safe. In the case of The Fat Badger, you might find yourself spending a few more moments in the loo, admiring their new foot-operated door lock that further reduces points of physical contact in the pub. Pretty cool right?
Outside of these adaptations, David says The Fat Badger’s daily operations are not too different. They are offering their patrons the same regular hours, and the same great tastes in-person, far apart and for curbside.
“We have reduced our staff somewhat, and streamlined the menu a tad, but mostly we just want to see things adapt rather than significantly change,” said David. “We’re not as busy – perhaps that’s the biggest change; we’d like to see our regular stream of folks come through again.”
What advice does David have for other businesses going through this time?
“It’s tough and it’s a stressful time right now and it’s hard for everyone, so we all deserve to take a breather and then get back at it. In the restaurant industry, we’re used to change and stress – this is just another season of our business.”
To returning and future patrons, David says, “Try our appetizers. We want to serve you!”
The Fat Badger
1852 Scarth Street