Function restaurants gear up for the Games 

Millar Creek Café expecting athletes, sponsors and family members

When relating the types of opportunities that exist with hosting the Games, the story of the small pub across from the athletes village in Torino has been brought up time and time again. By the end of the Olympics the pub had more than tripled in size by taking over businesses next door and was running 24 hours a day as a convenient place where athletes, family members, media and the public could hang out together.

Whistler's eating and drinking establishments are also anticipating huge crowds through the Games with virtually every room in the resort booked. Those anticipating include a handful of licensed establishments in Function Junction. With the athletes' village across the highway housing over 3,500 athletes and officials, businesses are expecting to be busier than ever.

Marie-Hélène D'Anjou, the owner and manager of the Millar Creek Café, said they have already obtained a liquor licence for the Games and are now looking to extend their hours from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

"It's a little bit hard to know what to do because we don't really know what's going to happen. But right now we're expecting to be open at night seven days a week, and we're asking about being allowed to open to 1 a.m.," said D'Anjou.

"We've also been approached by some groups, like one representing the parents of athletes because we're right in front of the athletes' village, although we don't know what will come of that."

The cafe is also undergoing some renovations to change into more of a restaurant before celebrating their one-year anniversary next week. D'Anjou said they are also looking into enclosing the patio if it makes sense with their budget.

"We don't know if it will happen, but it may be part of the plan as we go forward," she added.

They will also put in a television so athletes and visitors can watch the Games. That's something the café has never done before and that will likely be temporary.

"We're not going to fill the room with TVs or anything like that but it's a big project to get a flat screen in there for people looking for something to do during the Games at night."

The Millar Creek Café will also start to open one or two evenings this winter, based on demand. And that will be increased to at least three days a week by January as officials begin to arrive at the athletes village - something D'Anjou says locals living in Spring Creek and Function Junction have requested as well.

The one-year celebration is on Friday, Nov. 20, and may also include dinner service.


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