Rock Creek Tap and Grill opens in Esterhazy

November 30, 2022, 11:44 am
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The franchise restaurant Rock Creek Tap and Grill has opened a new location in Esterhazy. Owner and chef Apoorav Joshi of the restaurant in Esterhazy, said he looks forward to offering a new space for people to come and eat in the community.

The well-known Rock Creek Tap and Grill restaurant has officially opened a new location in Esterhazy.

This is the franchise’s first location in a small town. There are currently a few spots in Regina and Saskatoon.

“We officially opened on October 13 of this year. We’re planning to do a grand opening sometime next year,” said Apoorav Joshi, owner and chef of Rock Creek Tap and Grill in Esterhazy.

“It’s been good so far since we opened. People have enjoyed the quality of food. Because we’re a franchise, the food you get in Regina is what you’ll get here.

“We did do a little bit of a change because Rock Creek has never been in a small town before, this is the first time it has come into a small town.”

Right now the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and offers take-out. In about a week, they will also be offering a breakfast menu.

As well in January, they plan on opening the restaurant’s drive-thru to customers.

Joshi spoke about the different food options the restaurant has to offer.

“We have nachos, chicken and bacon dip that you don’t easily find at other places,” he said.

“We carry wings, we have asiago garlic fries. We try to offer different foods that are new in town. We also have very good quality steaks.”

He was asked why he chose to open the restaurant in Esterhazy.

“Esterhazy is a small town, but because of the mine it has a very good cash flow,” said Joshi.

“If you compare it to other towns whose populations are around 2,000 to 3,500 people, they don’t have an A&W, Tim Hortons or other restaurants, but Esterhazy does.

“That’s one of the reasons why I chose to do it in Esterhazy because it is my first business.”
Joshi has been working in the food industry for over a decade and felt it was time to open up his own business.

“I started cooking 12 years ago. When I was in Grade 10 I started a part-time job as a helper doing the dishes and being a fry cook,” said Joshi.

“Then for my bachelors I did a professional cooking course and in my masters I did business management, I did both of them in Canada.

“I also worked at Boston Pizza, I was the general manager at Humpty’s in Moose Jaw, and before this opened, I was the manager at The Canadian Brewhouse in Regina.”

He was asked what made him decide to start his own business.

“I wanted to just start somewhere. It’s not a problem to work for someone, but because I’m only 27 I thought it was a good chance to start something at this age,” he said.

“If it’s successful that’s really good, if I fail I have enough time to make up for it. Right now the response has been great so it’s been really good for me.”

Happy to receive support from community
Since the opening of the restaurant, Joshi said the community has shown a lot of support.

“The response has been very good, the community has been really supportive,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of people who have come and I would say 95 per cent of the people understand that we are a new business.

“It has been very hard to find staff. I’ve hired a few people who don’t have restaurant experience who are still learning, but they’re still doing very good. We can always train them because people have to start somewhere.”

Aside from having experience in the food industry, Joshi said he also works in construction and helped build the restaurant.

“I moved to Esterhazy at the start of March,” said Joshi.

“I also help in construction, I did a lot of construction work for the restaurant so I have a personal attachment to it too. I tried to make it a family restaurant as well as a sports bar because I want to make everyone comfortable and for it to be a place that everyone can come to.

“I think that balanced approach is working very good right now, it’s great to see.

“Another good thing is we already have a lot of Christmas party bookings, a lot of businesses have booked their Christmas parties with us and I really appreciate that.”

Joshi said he looks forward to welcoming people to the restaurant.

“Because it’s a new restaurant and a lot of people have already come, if they have a good experience I hope they definitely come back,” said Joshi.

“If the food is up or down, I have a Facebook page with our number, people can message me any time if they have any problems with the food.

“If I have 10 customers coming, I try make sure they’re all happy, but if one of them isn’t happy, I will take their feedback and I will try to change it. Whatever people tell me, even if it’s positive or negative I take it as feedback.

“We just want people to come in and try our food, if you haven’t come definitely come and try our steak. If you like Indian food we have butter chicken and samosas.

“We have a rib rack, and based on the feedback we’ve had, people really like our burgers.”