Monday, December 21, 2009

Grapes restaurants

Above: Kenaston Grapes with its purple awnings.

Top Picture: Original Joe's 26th restaurant in Calgary.

Grapes Kenaston closed back in April of 2008 after 28 years in operation. At one point, there were six Grapes in the city. For some time, it was one of the few casual dining places closes to River Heights, Tuxedo and Charleswood.

I ate there a few times and at a few of their other locations. The menu as well as the ambiance was okay but nothing was outstanding. It is probably one of the reasons that they are reduced to their one location in Winnipeg at Pembina in the old Red Lobster building.

Month after month, the old Grapes at Kenaston has sat empty while signs have promised that Original Joe's, a Calgary-based restaurant, was coming soon. It didn't look like much work going on till now but new signage has gone up where the Grapes awning stood above the windows. Don't know when the opening is coming but it is the most activity seen yet from the papered over windows of the former Grapes.

Back in January, we were told that it was going to be a $300,000 reno of the old place. I don't believe work took place though until now. Given that the Linen and Things conversion was announced at the same time last year, we can see that a reno can and does happen fairly quickly when the client is driven to get the job done fast.

Good to see though that something is happening in this once successful restaurant location.

By the way, next door the Real Canadian Superstore was putting up its own huge lit up signs. The colour scheme is red, white and blue and the Superstore lettering is in huge red letters.

I mentioned that Grapes was down to one location. The Grapes Leon's location is now the second location for Hu's on First. Radio ads have been heavily promoting it as Hu's Bistro. It might be a good location for them.

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