Mary Gets the Gold: The Bistro Changes Hands

After almost 10 years as a much-loved waitress at the Gold Range Bistro, Mary Colborne has taken over ownership of this classic Yellowknife eatery. Though a new beginning for Mary, it represents the end of an era for the Bistro, which has thrived under Chinese ownership since its opening in 1958. She was approached by Lee Chan, the previous owner, who asked her if she wanted to take over the place. “I figured I’d earned it, that I’d worked there long enough,” she tells EDGEYK.com.

She has plans to change the menu, but nothing too dramatically. “I won’t change the type of food, but I’ll be adding a few options to the menu,” she said.

“I’d also like to clean it up a bit, do some painting,” she added.

Originally a resident of Truro, N.S., Mary moved to Yellowknife in 2006, though she hadn’t originally planned on sticking around. “I was in an unhappy relationship, and came up to visit my sister,” she said. She packed up her two boys, Anthony and Dylan, all of their stuff, sold her car for $500, and came up. The money from selling her car was all the money she brought with her. Once she got here, she decided she liked it, and has been here ever since.

“It was because of the people,” she said of her decision to stay. “When something bad happens, everyone comes together, as a family.”

“I plan on doing the same stuff too. You don’t just take, you give back.”

And when something bad happened to Mary, so too did the coming together. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November of 2009, and promptly afterwards, the morning crew at the Bistro took up a donation for her. “I got $6,000 in a sock,” she said.

“This is what kept me going, this place here.”

She was in treatment for three and a half years, before finally being declared cancer-free in June, 2013.

Now, she lives with her partner, Shawyne Lemouel, who she plans on marrying. “I’ve just been so busy, I haven’t had the time,” she said.

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