Thursday, November 26, 2020

Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek has always been an aspirational series. Despite the conflict and adventure inherent in drama, the idea that humanity would work together past and through it's own difficulties of worldwide bigotry, hatred and war to become galactic explorers was good to see. Issues on Earth that were difficult to process in ordinary television or film formats were given a freer reign in a science fiction format. Race, war, nations and bigotry were all addressed.

The original Star Trek set the stage, the Trek films showed it could be box office and this paved the wave for a fully funded syndicated series not dependent on networks for financing or site to show all the episodes. Star Trek: Next Generation broke a lot of rules in 1987. It would go to run 178 episodes over seven seasons with rising ratings throughout that period. From it would spawn additional series set on the same time line and even one going back before the Original Series.

When the original series began, I only recognized two names. One was Levar Burton from Roots fame and the other was Patrick Stewart who I knew best from Dune. It was a large cast and the promotional material made it seem like it would be an ensemble work and it was. The glue that held it together was that character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Patrick Stewart, after the last movie, said that he would not reprise the role of Captain again. However, streaming TV, the money and the chance to tell a different type of story drew him back. The Shakespearean veteran did have a few demands. The series would not be him in uniform presumably captaining the Enterprise. It would be in the Star Trek world but one reflective of his age.

Hollywood routinely has a problem portraying age on the screen. They either make the characters play the role as if they were 30 or 90. There is hardly an in between. For women it is often worse. The new Trek series struggles with this mightily. Two new characters, Dahj and Elnor in their 20s, play the young, naive but amazingly skilled members of the ensemble.

The Next Generation series was poor at portraying young people. For example, the Wesley Crusher character or Worf's son never rang true as growing, fully realized characters. The closest the Trek universe ever did present a family was on Deep Space Nine but even that was a bit of a reach for the series. As far as older people went, there was never any room for them in the cast except as guest stars.

So...the Picard Trek was something out of the ordinary for a televised series in that it featured as its lead an almost 80 year old man. Since Next Generation had a more cerebral captain than the Original Series with an action packed, cavorting captain this is not a huge change. Still in a limited series, a story arc should have something that drives it forward. To that end, this Trek does.

However, Star Trek fans can be a prickly bunch. And in recent years fan boys and fan girls have been pretty vocal about what they want to the point of attacking the actors as if they were one the ones that produced the scripts that cast too many girls or denied a relationship some wanted to see on screen. Woe is the showrunner who ignores this or gives too big a nod to to those who only have single mindedness for what a character should be.

So...for the purposes of this review I am going to judge the show on this criteria of it being faithful, unfaithful or innovative to the Trek story. Not every story has to be canon. The animated series was great Trek fun not connected to story canon on Trek. Likewise, the latest Star Trek movie series is a re-imagining of the series while Discovery and Picard are canon. It can be confusing for casual fans.

The plot for Picard is that the great man has been in retirement for years at vineyard in France after resigning his commission. Since the captain has always been a man of principle, this could be regarded as a faithful version of Trek. He is drawn into an adventure to save lives along with the Federation but finds he must do it as a civilian with a new crew and a new mission.

I enjoyed the series but find that it has a hard time balancing drama and humour. This may be remedied with additional episodes but one wonder if there is patience for it to find its footing. Many Star Treks TV series seems to have to re-set themselves because they can't seem to be grow without loosing their way. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Renovations of Grocery Stores all Over Winnipeg- Charleswood

Even as the pandemic continues, it seem every grocer has been renovating. The need for pick up and collect, delivery and other service needs is undeniable. Walmarts took over their auto sections to make way for this service and almost every other grocer/merchandiser is doing the same. Safeway/Sobeys and Real Canadians Superstore/Extra Foods had too much redundancy in the market and too much corporate exposure to newcomers Red River Co-Op Grocery and Save on Foods. Hence, the conversions all over the city to Fresco for some Safeway/Sobey's locations and some No Frills for Extra Foods locations. 

Charleswood Safeway in the picture is getting a makeover inside and out. Most Safeways have had alterations inside for their produce areas as well as deli but many have not had the full exterior and interior work we have seen going on nearly everywhere. Tuxedo Safeway is also going through it.
Red River Co-Op Grocery has new buildings going up at Seasons of Tuxedo and St. Norbert. There probably won't be a grocer that hasn't had a makeover by spring. And at that time, we might be out of the pandemic but will we have created new habits of click and collect or delivery.
Food prices have spiked and it has been bad but hopefully, a lot of of competition into the new year will see Winnipeg benefit in having better prices. A vaccine can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

646 Kingsway

From fall of 2019 till mid October 2020, I went to my parent's house and spent hours renovating, clearing things out and preparing the house for sale. Yesterday the check arrived a month after possession. The last thing cleared today. Thanks for all the help people have given when I really needed it.

I have posted many of the pictures of the renovations. Possession was October 15. Hit snags on that day but it finally over.

My cat appreciates that I'm not there hours every day,

My mom and dad really didn't get to see it those last days. My dad was able to have a tour but he was anxious. My mom would have cried about the stairs and then have forgotten about it and ask to go back.

The last day I went to every room and looked at it. The last of the family in 50 years of ownership to see it. It was sad.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Burger King and Tim Horton's Coming to Seasons of Tuxedo

Even in the pandemic, construction in Manitoba never abated. And at Seasons of Tuxedo north and south of Sterling Lyon  there was no let up even as the Outlet Collection Mall was closed or on reduced hours.

On the south side of Sterling Lyon, adjacent to the Rec Room and across from the mall is construction of a Tim Horton's with drive-thru. It is likely that from an apartment window, you will be able to see two and possibly three Tim's already.

Just south of the Tim's (which this week is just working on the drive-thru part) will be a Burger King also featuring a drive-thru.

It might seem like no big deal but keep in mind the majority of River Heights and Tuxedo has no drive-thrus. No Tim's till Charleswood and that has only been in recent years. It is for this reason that two Tim Horton's are so close to each other on Kenaston. Demand is high for those who work, shop and live in the area.

Even with the pandemic on, work has not stopped on the Seasons of Tuxedo north and south of Sterling Lyon. Retail and restaurants is the least interesting from a demographic point of view. What has been interesting is how many multi-unit housing units have been going up. Since the population in the area 10 years earlier was zero, this represents a significant lift in density and is affecting transit in ways that is likely to see growth. 

Still, this is a car world we live in and without a doubt this will cause more cars to pull in and out of this side of Sterling Lyon. While there is talking of synchronized lights, you cannot turn off Kenaston heading west without hitting two lights that will always stop you. And the wait times are getting longer.
To date, there is still no sidewalk or bikepath on the northside of Sterling Lyon at Seasons of Tuxedo. It is an oversight that is having real consequences for safety because it means unnecessary crossing just to use the east/west sidewalks and bike paths.
I have no problem adding restaurants to the area but more has to be be done for those who now actually live right in this retail hotspot.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Music Man February 26, 1982 Kelvin High School

I was not part of this production despite many years in musicals over the years. In 1982 I was played on three soccer teams and one hockey team. I wasn't even in the choir till the 1982/83 year. Most people probably don't know I was attending art school at Forum Art for credit in Mr. Cramer's class in addition to my course load. That, and working for VPW on camera and location work starting at River Heights Junior High and throughout my entire Kelvin High School years.

Still, many of my friends were in this production of the Music Man based on the Broadway musical of 1957 by Meredith Wilson. I heard the music so much that I bought the LP of the musical featuring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones from the 1962 movie.

I will let those who were part of the production tell their stories about it. I was periphery at best although Doug Finlayson and I can tell some stories about the choir exchange and a later bus trip and week of holidays in Burnsville in 1982. It was he and Tom George who encouraged me to take up choir again in Grade 12.

The Burnsville choir came in from Minnesota and wowed Kelvin with Birdland by Manhattan Transfer. I think a few dozens students went and bought the album after. I know I did. Kelvin wowed Burnsville as well. Mr. Standing had several numbers that each year that were tops at the Manitoba Music Festival.

It was there that I learned that whoever felt the most guilty for disruptive behaviour in Mr. Standing's class got the boot. I recall one time we were using paper over combs for some harmonica type experimental number we were doing (kind of like the PDQ Bach we used to do). I remember saying aloud: Don't blow, suck.

Mr. Standing bellowed: Get out!

He stared at the boys in the back and pointed at the door. Doug felt most guilty and left. Think we all took turns in the doghouse.

Kelvin would sweep awards at the Manitoba Music Festival in 1983. The school would go on to win the nationals as well when the recorded program at The Playhouse went to Ontario for adjudication.

To the troupe of Music Man, I want to say how expert the costuming, make-up, performances and overall show was. The humour, the tremendous acting were all a credit to the highest level of commitment and I was pleased to have been in the audience.

I'm not as well versed in the arts of some my talented high school grads are. I've seen great plays and musicals in a  number of countries. I've worked in TV and film occasionally but I can say beyond doubt that I was privileged to see such talent at Kelvin in such a short time. The Music Man was simply a great night.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster Party 1983 in River Heights

At the end of of June of 1983, the graduating class of Kelvin High School was not done. Many were headed off to university at U of W and U of M in the fall, some further afield. Some were working already. 
However, there were a few concerts to attend, a few house parties to go to, work to earn money before school and 60 days of renting Star Wars to watch.
The concerts attended. Some local acts too. Think I saw Elias, Schritt and Bell several times. 
August 27, 1983 The Police
September 14, 1983 David Bowie
I took a miss on Hall and Oates which had a reputation as one of the worst concerts in years and made fans of the group turn into critics. Smarmy was used to describe Hall at that event.
Like a lot of high school students, Kelvin kids watched the re-packaged BBC series Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which began in December of 1982 and ran through the winter of 1983. That, and a whole lot of Monty Python, Fawltey Towers and some Doctor Who gave the class a plethora of useful material to disrupt classes. 
Run away! Run Away!
What? Behind the rabbit? It iiiiisss the rabbit!
Every sperm in sacred.
Upon graduation in 1983 from Kelvin High school and the interim to what was to come next, Tom George had the Brock Street home address to himself as the parental units made a pilgrimage to the home land. The result of this was a determination to bbq and to find the formula for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the drink favoured at Milliways, a bar at the end of the galaxy. 
It was described as thus:
"...having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."
At the time, there was no way to know what the recipe was. Lots of experimenting ensured.
This is what some say it is:
  • 1 oz vodka (that Ol' Janx Spirit)
  • 1 oz Clamato (oh, those Santraginus fish)
  • 1 oz ice cold gin (Arcturan Mega-gin)
  • 4 oz Zipang Sparkling Sake (Fallian marsh gas)
  • 1 oz Creme de Menthe (Qalactin Hypermint extract)
  • 1 Jalapeno (tooth of an Algolian Suntiger)
  • Sprinkle with lemon zest (Zamphuor)
  • add an olive
We used several of those ingredients minus the sake. Somehow a Tom Collins ended up being made many nights.
Regardless, a formula was devised, tickets were sold to the initial tune of $115. However, more tickets were sold at the door when supplies ran out. In the end the tally was north of $300 for a high school/university party. A punch bowl was filled, the formula made and the dress code of bathrobe and tie loosely enforced on a lovely night in July.
Tickets were printed up on Jeff Thomas' ancient printing machine along with our business cards of Angus Corporation which caused problems at the border a few times.
Angus Corporation hosted the party. Angus was Tom's dog who was more less held together by steroids and alcohol. He was a springer spaniel with perennially blood shot eyes and pissy attitude about how his dinner was prepared.
Road construction was taking place on Brock so it was a mess on the street with hundreds of students coming to Tom's house. Cars were parked down three streets.
All in all a successful event except for one neighbour who called early in the morning and got hold of Tom's brother who took the heat for the late night festivities. Tom was fast asleep. And would remain so till mid-day when we would watch Star Wars rented from Video Zone on Academy for the 17th time of 60 days of rentals.
In less than six weeks, university would start for many. I'd be off to University of Winnipeg, Tom and Jeff off to University of Manitoba and some off to work and places beyond. 
You never really think where everyone might be. For many, it would be the last time we'd all be together for those that made it.
In the end, Milliways will always be there and perhaps will be again. I have my bathrobe ready.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Dale Hawerchuck Memorial True North Square

Had to go. Very warm night in August in a square with a newly minted video wall. People grieving Hawerchuk who came to the Jets as a teenager and never lost the love of the city the rest of his life.

People coming and paying their respects, laying flowers and posters, watching the video wall of an impossibly young Hawerchuk in Jets uniform and Team Canada uniform.

Hawerchuk came to Winnipeg in 1981 after the Jets spent first years being punished by the NHL with expansion rules aimed to humiliate the team and the city. The arrival of number 10 would mark the beginning of and end of the bottom ranks.

Hockey sticks being laid at his memorial in True North Square. Lots of security present. Always is there. Hawerchuk's number and jersey is just legendary. I suspect more sticks all day tomorrow.

Jets players generally don't live in the cities that drafted them anymore except during the season. Hawerchuk was a legend in the summer too tearing up at his golf club. He probably formed as strong relationships on the course as on the ice.

One note: Just before the sun went down Mark Chipman could be seen sitting on the steps mourning. We all were. 

Hyatt House Seasons of Tuxedo Now Open

The second hotel to open on the Seasons of Tuxedo site after the Hilton Garden Inn opened in 2017 beside the Outlet Collection Mall. Hyatt House joins the the development on the south side of Sterling Lyon Parkway in front of Cabela's.

The hotel features a large number of apartment style rooms with kitchens attached. Ideal for hotel goers who are longer term stays. With an overall 135 rooms and $25 million in construction costs, it should make a fair splash in the southwest which has seen only two hotels built west of Pembina since the 1960s. 

This is Canada's first Hyatt House and the second hotel built in the city by the Kothari Group owned by Anupam Kothari who also owns the Hampton Inn in the Polo Park area. The hotel industry has been hit bad by the pandemic and hotel since their soft opening July 25 has been running at 25 per cent capacity when 70 per cent is considered profitable. Recovery is not expected for another year or until a vaccine is found. Nevertheless, Hyatt House is positioned strongly for long term.

Winnipeg's burgeoning movie industry seeks out extended stay hotels with kitchens and Hyatt House has 80 with full kitchens. The 24 hour bar and market should also be appreciated by those in entertainment who could be coming back after a night shoot in the wee hours.

Other amenities include a pool and a 900 square foot gym and a barbecue area outdoors for bookings. No hotel survives without meeting rooms and the hotel has 3000 square feet of those which should be useful for the many organizations out there who have had to search outside the area for meeting spaces.

Food should not be a problem either for a banquet or prepared in one of the kitchens in hotel rooms. Complimentary grocery shipping will be done or a guest will be able to shop at the Red River Co-Op going up across the street.

The decor in the lobby look good and bought in the province from Defehrs. Otto Cheng Architecture in Winnipeg did overall design.  What can't be designed is the amazing west view of the entryway to Fort Whyte Alive. Beautiful.

This won't be the last hotel built near Kenaston. Kapyong Barracks is coming soon but given the residential and commercial growth in Winnipeg's south end, hotel space in the area is a long time coming.

It is just around 7 years ago that the entire area was rail and industrial land with brush and new constructed Sterling Lyon Parkway. Prior, it was a two lane asphalt Wilkes and a few side streets of gravel. Quite the change and mostly likely a person visiting a decade after an absence would not recognize the place. At least now they have a hotel or two to stay at.

Monday, July 27, 2020

CJOB Returns Downtown

On Monday, July 27, CJOB returned to downtown for the first time since 1962. They will be go to 201 Portage Avenue on the 30th floor where they will join their colleagues at CKND Global Winnipeg. It will bring together a significant number of broadcasters in one building on the same floor. In the picture above, 201 Portage is the slender of the three Portage and Main towers. With a touch of green.

The station operated in downtown Winnipeg Lindsay building where they baroadcast at 1340 on the dial from 1946 to 1957. They de-camped to 930 Portage Avenue in 1962 into the basement of what once was a Sun Life insurance office built in 1956. The 10th floor of the Lindsay was pricey and also too small for the growing station.

By 1957 the station was operating at 680 on the dial and Winnipeg was booming. Polo Park was built in 1959 and the second span of the St. James Bridge was complete in 1962. The feeling must have been that all of Portage Avenue was becoming a High Street for the city. The location at 930 Portage in a building still very new must have seemed like a no-brainer even if Postal Station D got the main floor and the windows.

The station grew from its crowded basement surroundings and moved upstairs when Postal Station D moved. From 1948, CJOB always had its sister station with it. It was western Canada's first private FM station. It initially just simulcast the AM signal but eventually came to have its own identity and programming. In 1960 it changed from 103.1 to 97.5 on the dial and took on the Town and Country format. In 1965, the sister station became Canada's first true country station. However, by the late 1970s the format became rock and has been soft to hard to classic as the times dictated.

Peggy FM joined the group of two as a jazz refugee from Canwest in 2007. It went through various incarnations from smooth jazz to Christmas music but currently is a soft rock station. If there is one true-ism it is that radio is a dog eat dog world. Big money can be made and lost. And private radio has felt the influence of satellite, Internet and loss of certain types of advertising as much as any in the entertainment business.

In 2011, all three Corus stations moved to the site of the former CKY TV and radio building. The move was instigated by the need for space and to bring the whole operation into the digital world. At 17,000 square feet and a full floor it was larger than their old site at 930 Portage Avenue

Why the move to 201 Portage? It is likely the space open that can been shared with sister TV broadcaster CKND Global Winnipeg. As part of the Corus Network, the 30th floor of the former TD/Canwest building might bring about a new synergy between radio and TV. Once part of the Asper group of companies, the top floors had Canwest executive offices, newspaper offices and CKND Global Winnipeg.

In 2020, can there by synergy between TV and radio companies? They are different animals and attempts have been made with varying degrees of success. A clever company might be able to utilize the talent they have for commercial success. A dumb company might attempt to gouge and forget that the whole thing falls apart if you don't work on content.

In the end it is very interesting that not since near the end of World War II, media is beginning a slow but steady return to downtown Winnipeg.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

St. Vital Centre in 1979 After Opening

From the air in 1979. St. Vital Centre after being built. The anchor stores were Eaton's, The Bay, Woolco and Safeway.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Original Stores in St. Vital Centre 1979

I often get asked what the original stores were in St. Vital Shopping Centre were and where was the foodcourt before. Here it is.
Some of this information is available but not easily searchable so I'm posting because then people will be able to find easier. It will tun up in Google searches better.
Posting about Woolco opening in St. Vital Centre. It remained there till Walmart took them over in 1994.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

CBC's Ismaila Alfa to Host Toronto's Metro Morning

The plum jobs for local radio broadcasting are morning slots in both private and public stations. While there are very good afternoon and evening broadcasts, if a radio station doesn't have its act together in the morning it will suffer the rest of the day.

Two radio hosts came on board in 2013. Marcy Markusa became host of Information Radio and Ismaila Alfa became host of Up to Speed. They had plenty of time to know the Portage Avenue studios of the radio station since they had been working for years there already making the 990/89.3 the top station in the city.

It was not easy. Nearly two decades earlier, CBC Radio was middle to lower end of the ratings. While there was excellence in programming, it was hard to shake the music-only habits of many listeners.

There is much that can wrong trying to come up with the right hosts for radio stations. First you want to build an audience. Get too impatient on that and make changes and it is like not waiting for talent on a hockey team take leadership.

By the time Markusa and Alfa came on board, they were able to slide into chairs with teams that would go into the corners for them. Ratings have been solid. However, morning shows are still everyone's key to success. But what do you do with two hosts that came on in the same year? In radio, you wait for a golden opportunity.

Sometimes that doesn't come in your market. Matt Galloway, the longtime and beloved host of Toronto's Metro Morning was bumped up to CBC's The Current, the national broadcaster's big joint in the AM. This left a huge hole top fill because the morning radio gig can turn into a decade or longer job.

Markusa, a lifelong Winnipegger has her dream job. But Alfa, by way of Nigeria, Edmonton and then Winnipeg must have been thinking: Morning jobs don't come up too often. Is Toronto the right fit? Given his musical background, genial disposition and advocacy, Alfa probably thought how exciting it might be to explore Toronto.

Auditions happened with some of the biggest names in TV and Radio CBC land and today Alfa announce he was taking on the spot at Metro Morning.  It is quite possible we'll still hear Alfa from time to time nationally. That's how it goes with CBC. You are fill in host for holidays and such so don't be surprised to hear Alfa on Q or The Current in years to come.

Winnipeg's loss is Toronto's gain. There are a list of people who might be good in the Up to Speed slot. I think CBC Manitoba has their eyes on someone already but they are likely letting some auditions take place before they announce.

It doesn't hurt to have CBC Manitoba people in the Big Smoke. In recent years they are often the first to correct Toronto born and bred types about Winnipeg and have zero tolerance for nabobs of ignorance.

Congratulations to Alfa. There is a reason why Winnipggers land top jobs. They are usually well rounded because they learn their craft with skilled people who take pride in what they do.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Mr. Mike's Steakhouse Casual Kenaston Reopened

Mr. Mike's SteakhouseCasual is under new ownership as of October 2020 and is back open within pandemic standards. Delivery is the order of the day until restrictions are dropped.
I got tip about this. I waited because after I heard the tip was told that a deal might be in place once restaurants opened. But we here we are in July. Mr. Mike's SteakhouseCasual is closed and it won't be re-opening.

Even before the pandemic, there were rumours of trouble. At $25,000 per month rent you have to be busy from day 1. By January rent was not being paid.
Perhaps Keg-like prices without Keg-like service was just not going to work in a city like Winnipeg that loves its steaks.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Kildonan Place in 1980 Original Stores

The anchor stores are all gone but some stores have remained this entire time. Hello Coles Books. Sad to say that Coles Books at Cityolace didn't survive. The both opened within a year of each other.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Four Safeways to be Converted to Freshcos

The Safeway at McGillivary and Pembina last Thursday on one of my last walks. It will be the site of one of the four new Freshcos.

Some time ago I reported that Safeway/Sobeys was going to be converting stores into Freshcos. So far Winnipeg has two which are operated as franchises at Regent and Lagiomediere and at Jefferson and McPhillips.
Aside from the Pembina location, the other three Freshcos will be Safeways at Niakwa Village and on Sargent that will be converted to Freshcos and a former location at Bronx and Henderson that has stood empty since 2015 will be renovated and also be a Freshco but not till 2021.
All Freshcos will have pharmacies and be locally owned. The re-opening of the Bronx and Henderson location will create 100 new jobs while 100 jobs will be retained with the other stores.
There were far too many Safeway/Sobeys when the merger took place. Even when the combined company was forced to sell four stores by the federal government they still have stores across the street from one another operating under the same flyer and the same corporate policy. It made the overall company vulnerable to new competitors.

The benefits of local ownership have been demonstrated often by having Food Fare, No Frills and others here. They choose to sponsor different things, give chance to other products and more keyed in to local needs.

Obviously some union people will be affected. They will lose their jobs with the corporation and I'm assuming will be re-hired by the franchise owner. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on wage or working conditions. It will depend on the person. However, in the end there will be more jobs to be had that what existed before.

In all, some great news and for Winnipeg consumers, it could mean better prices overall for groceries.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Addition Elle, Thyme and Walmart Tire and Lube Express to Close

The retail collapse that existed before the pandemic continues even as stores slowly re-open across Canada. Reitman's which owns Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores will be closing on of them coast to coast before end of summer.

In Winnipeg that will be affect Addition Elle's Kenastton Smart park location and the location across from Polo Park on Empress. Thyme Maternity has a location in St. Vital Centre.

Walmart is closing its Tie and Lube Lube Express. across Canada. The only one that appears open in Winnipeg is at the St. Vital Walmart. Others at St. Vital Centre and Portage Avenue West appear to have already closed. And some Walmart seem to have never had them in the first place,.

There is little doubt Walmart will be able to re-purpose the space but this should as an example that even the mighty merchandiser has a tough time competing in this market.

Total number of jobs lost is unknown. However, it is the spaces left that might be hard to fill with the closure of Reitman properties. The power centre at Kenaston has been hot over and over recently. Could they be the one that starts converting to residential first in Winnipeg?

Monday, June 1, 2020

High and Lonesome Club to Open Huge New Patio

Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club will be opening a patio between the Fortune Building and the Winnipeg Hotel. I saw it on my walk on Saturday and checked their website and indeed there is an announcement there plus a zoning announcement.
Construction is taking place this week. The placed will be called The Beer Can and in one fell swoop, it can help change the summer on Main Street. A large patio allows for distancing, creates streetlife and is a great use for a space without turning it into a surface parking lot.
It is not immediately in front of the High and Lonesome which makes it unique. It is on the far left.
The site being prepared in this picture. Big enough for music too?
High and Lonesome Club has gotten a second life from its building being preserved. The Beer Can could take it to a whole new level.  I suspect there will be huge excitement about this the day it opens.

We may have entered Phase 2 today but there is nothing normal about this summer. The patio on Main will be the most exciting thing this section of street has seen since the turn of the century.