A local restauranteur is eager to finally start serving customers in person, as the province enters Stage 2 of Alberta's 'Open for Summer' plan.

Saurabh Joshi and his wife Shweta Sethi are the owners of Cochrane's newest East Indian restaurant, Curry ‘N’ Fizz. Joshi says that launching a brand new restaurant during a pandemic has been a challenge, to say the least.

"It was kind of a topsy-turvy ride," says Joshi. "We opened on December 16, 2020, and just before we opened the restrictions were announced-- I think a week or 10 days before that. That was quite a big setback but we collected ourselves and decided to move on and stick to our opening date."

With no dine-in service, and being limited to takeout and delivery, it wasn't the grand opening they had hoped for.

Two months into their launch, COVID restrictions eased slightly and Joshi says they had a taste of what it was like to serve customers in person.

"We were open at 50 per cent capacity for about a month and a half," says Joshi. "Things were good at that time. The turnout was good and we received a lot of support which encouraged us a lot. It gave us a glimpse of what things would look like once we opened up."

Unfortunately, that buzz inside the restaurant fizzled out as dine-in service once again came to a close across the province. Joshi says that due to their location, patio service wasn't an option for them.

Now, as the province enters Stage 2, Joshi and Sethi are excited to welcome customers back into their restaurant. Joshi says that although their situation hasn't been ideal, they've received tremendous support from the Cochrane community.

"The town folk has been very kind to us, they've liked our food and we have repeat customers," says Joshi. "There were times when we did feel a bit low, but the kind of love and support we've received from the community has been great and has kept us going so far."

Curry ‘N’ Fizz is located at 109- 519 1 Street West in Cochrane, and they're open for dine-in services Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m.