‘I got older as everyone else has gotten younger’ Yellowknife bartender leaves town after 14 years

Jenna Conrad, left, and her former boss Toni Enns prior to Jenna's going away party (photo courtesy of Toni Enns)

A well-known Yellowknife bartender said her goodbyes on the weekend as she bid an emotional farewell to the city and the bar she has called home for the past 14 years.

Jenna Conrad has tended bar at the Raven Pub in downtown Yellowknife since 2005.

She says she came here following a family member who had settled in Yellowknife.

Jenna crossed paths with thousands of customers during that time, many of them regulars as well as others such as tourists and workers in from out-of-town and just passing through.

CKLB caught up with her at her going away party at the Raven on Saturday night.

“I got older as everyone else has gotten younger,” Jenna laughed when CKLB asked her what has changed in her 14 years at the Raven.

The dance club remains a staple nightspot in the city for people of all ages but is the hotspot for young adults who like to dance or play pool.

She was impressed by the turnout for her party, which included friends, bar regulars as well as past and present Raven employees.

Jenna seemed somewhat surprised that she had made that much of an impact on Raven customers.

Jenna hinted that the city’s downtown may have become a little rougher and tougher during her almost decade and as half tending bar but chose not to elaborate.

She’s returning this week to her hometown of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, not too far from Halifax, but she has left the door open to returning to Yellowknife.

“I went home for a vacation and was around my family and I thought to myself this is where I want to be,” she said. “I want to try it. I may be making the worst decision but I might be making the best decision. I may be back in a year but I’m going to give it a year.”

Toni Enns, manager of the Raven, was also emotional as she said goodbye to Jenna.

“Jenna will be missed by so many in Yellowknife! She is not only family to me but family to the Raven Pub,” Enns told CKLB.  “She is hilarious, with a big heart and has done so much for the community.. we will truly miss her in every way!

Jenna thanked her bosses and her customers who were getting ready to chow down on food provided by the bar.

“I’m going to miss Yellowknife. I love you,” Jenna said.


About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.