Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is, as they say, “surprisingly unexpected.” A city of under 40,000, it’s a mere 45 minutes from Regina, which is the capital of Saskatchewan and Queen City of the Plains. Moose Jaw, though small, offers visitors many diiferent experiences. You can do everything from soak in the natural mineral waters of the Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa, to relive the bootlegging days of prohibition in the Tunnels of Moose Jaw.
History, as you might guess from the tunnels, is important here. There are over 20 buildings on the Canadian Register of Historic Places and Hopkins Dining Parlour is one of them.
In fact, if you combine the elegance of a 1905 Victorian mansion, a reputation as Moose Jaw’s most haunted historical building, and a versatile menu, you’ve got Hopkins Dining Parlour.
Prezi with the History of Hopkins House
Hopkins House is owned by the Wayne Pierce family, who purchased the building in 1978. Various Classical Revival architectural elements, such as the wood-dentil cornices and symmetrical composition, made it a great choice. The Pierces began collecting antiques from around the province (the Antiques Road Show appraised one as being from the 1600s), including pictures, stained and leaded glass, collectibles, and furnishings. They helped turn the three-story structure into a unique dining location.
Inside the house, an open refinished hardwood staircase leads from floor to floor through spacious, open concept areas. Of course, there need to be walls to maintain the integrity of a building this large, so what were once walls separating rooms are now half walls that create cozy alcoves. Here, wooden tables and chairs slide into inviting private spaces that leave lots of room for serving staff in front of them.
And if you’re wondering about the ghosts, well, many will tell you that Minnie Hopkins, the original mistress of the house, wanders the rooms. Minnie, it seems, was a big fan of prohibition, being a teetotaler herself. And some days she just has to make her feelings known today. Indeed, one staff member even reported feeling a strong poke in her ribs while she was serving drinks to customers!
On my visit, I figured that if Minnie was out and about, she secretly enjoyed the night’s cocktail special, an Alabama Slammer (Southern Comfort, Amaretto, and fruit juices). Sigh. No trace of Minnie all night.
Learn more about Minnie, the tall man and child that wander through this historic spot in this Creepy Canada video.
Creepy Canada: Hopkins Dining Parlour
Dinner at Hopkins Dining Parlour
The menu at Hopkins Dining Parlour is a great mix of prairie favourites, like prime rib and barbeque pork ribs, to cultural specialties like Cajun Chicken Caesar salad and Thai Chicken. I ordered the Steel Head Trout, sourced from Saskatchewan. Trout is a favourite with local fishers, especially from the cool, clear waters of nearby Lake Diefenbaker.
There were a number of potato options, so I selected potato skins with cheese sauce. Yum! And while the Chocolate Eruption looked positively decadent on the dessert menu, I couldn’t eat another bite by the time I finished the main course.
Visit Hopkins Dining Parlour
Hopkins Dining Parlour is situated on Main Street, Moose Jaw, which is also #2 Highway. You can’t miss it, whether you’re going for a meal or to check out this National Historic spot.
Online at: https://www.hopkinsdining.com/