Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Roblin Boulevard Part 3 Charleswood Motor Hotel
Pictures of the present and future location of the Red River Co-Op Gas on the site of the Charleswood Hotel
I have been writing about Roblin Boulevard as it runs through Charleswood in a series of posts.
A week or so ago it was reported that the Charleswood Hotel would be demolished for a Red Rive Co-op Gas bar and carwash. The gasbar would replace a small Co-op kisok father down the street.
The old "downtown" of Charleswood had one major landmark. It was the Charleswood Hotel and anyone who lived in the neighborhood knew about the bar that resided inside it: The Charlie.
I have no idea how many people stayed in the hotel. Not many is my guess. The vendor was a little run down and the laundry/commercial in front and over top it of it had sat empty for many years. The banquet rooms might have done some business but the major cash cow for the hotel had to the the bar simply known as the Charlie.
The Charlie was probably the first place some local Charleswood people bought their first drink. The name Charlie's was ubiquitous with the Charleswood Hotel and most people who lived in the south part of the city in River Heights, Tuxedo and Charleswood had heard of. With the closure of the bar, the nearest hotel pub is out at the perimeter highway in Westdale, across the river on Portage Avenue or far to the east along Pembina Highway or Osborne Village.
The two acre site that the Charles Hotel occupied was too good for some other businesses to pass up. It was a deeper lot than other commercial property on Roblin. It is easy to see to why Red River Co-Op which is expanding in the city was interested. Charleswood Hotel owner Jason Gauthier was unlikely to do better for offers.
In media interviews, Gauthier indicated that he would look for a new hotel to buy. For him it is smart business decision. For the neighborhood, it is the loss of the local watering hole and gathering spot.
Truly for Charleswood, it is the end of an era. With all due respect to Red River Co-op, the addition of a gas station to the neighborhood does nothing to add to the colour of the neighborhood.