GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – A familiar restaurant in central Newfoundland is poised to make a triumphant return.
The Badger Diner is set to reopen at a new location, previously called Frank’s Place, along the Trans-Canada Highway in Grand Falls-Windsor. The original location was destroyed by a fire earlier this year.
“The main reason I want to set up here is because my parents owned this building before,” said Lillian Saunders. “Because of the divided highway they had to close the doors to their restaurant. It was their dream for this place to work.”
Saunders said that everything people loved about the original Badger Diner, which burned down the night of Jan. 14, will follow it to Grand Falls-Windsor.
“Not a thing,” said Saunders when asked if anything was going to change. “I’m going to bring my quality of food, my portions, and my pricing; staff and all is coming.”
Saunders mentioned that although most of her staff is coming along, she is still looking for more help.
“I’m known for Badger Diner,” said Saunders. “It’s where I won the award for best fish and chips in Newfoundland and Labrador, because I beat out the top 100 restaurants, which I never even dreamed of happening.”
Saunders, who co-owns Badger Diner and Frank’s Place with her husband Frank Saunders, said it was good to see the overwhelming support on the business’s Facebook page when they announced the reopening April 5.
“When the diner burned, rather than build back into Badger at our age now, I feel that it would be better for me to come to Grand Falls because it was my parents’ dream to make this work again,” said Saunders. “And I think I could make it work.”
The only things Saunders managed to grab before the diner burned down was an ornament her mother made back in China, and an ornament her father gave her when she first started the business. Nothing else was salvageable.
“That’s all I got after 35 years of working,” Saunders said.
She added that she misses her customers, the chats and the hugs.
“I miss a lot of things about not having work,” she said.
Saunders is hoping to be open for business by the end of April.