A local culinary institution has returned to downtown Moose Jaw.
“Everybody is happy we’re back and they seem to love the food,” Veroba’s manager Tanya Veroba told the Times-Herald on Thursday — the first day of operations in a new location for the family-owned restaurant, which finally reopened after a not-so brief hiatus.
In 1997, Darlene and Gary Veroba (Tanya’s parents) opened the first Veroba’s restaurant on Main Street North, at the location currently occupied by Saigon 75. After 11 years in operation, Tanya said her parents sold the business, as she was going back to school and their cleaning business kept them too occupied to run the restaurant without her.
“They immediately regretted selling it,” Tanya said, adding within six months of the restaurant closing, the family was already looking for another property so as to reopen. She said the eating public was quite vocal about wanting Veroba’s to return. Tanya attributes this customer loyalty to good cuisine and great service.
“Nothing is fast food. It’s real food with friendly people around.”
In April 2010, the Veroba family started renovations at their new location on the zero block of Fairford Street West (right next to the Times-Herald). It was a long renovation process, which only ended on Wednesday.
“It took a lot of work… We wanted it to be a surprise,” Tanya said, adding family and friends helped decide every detail of the new restaurant — giving it a down-home feel to match the food.
According to Tanya, who returned to manage the new restaurant, Veroba’s specializes in soulful cuisine made from scratch. She said the hamburger patties are handmade, the French fries are cut fresh and the soups are daily creations.
While the lunch menu is somewhat sparse at the moment, Tanya said a much fuller menu is in the works. However, she said the restaurant already carries a full breakfast menu.
Currently, Veroba’s doesn’t have a liquor license, but Tanya said the hope is to be able to sell beer and other alcoholic beverages in time for the Warriors next hockey season.
For now, Veroba’s is only open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. However, once the restaurant hires a third chef and has all the staff (which includes five servers) properly ready, Tanya said the plan is to stay open until 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, starting around the second week in July.
“So nights will be coming, but we want to make sure our kitchen staff are properly trained.”
Keeping with the tradition of it being a family business, Tanya said her daughter would be joining the Veroba’s staff after she finishes high school exams soon.
“So we’ll have three generations of Verobas in here.”
To contact the 28 Fairford Street West restaurant, call 693-5943.
Carter Haydu can be reached at 691-1265.