Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Stores and Restaurants

7/Eleven and Little Caesar's to be Joined by Five Guys

Original Joe's to Unicity
Five Guys Burger and Fries has built in the east of the city and the south of the city. Well, St. James...you are about to get your big burger joint for your own. Located at Rouge and Portage, it next door to D-Jay's which recently got the squeeze in its parking lot by a landlord next door. A McDonald's is almost directly across the street as well.

I think in this neck of the woods, there will be no limit to your burger choices.

My recollection is that there used to be a Japan Camera location at this corner and maybe a Presto Pizza. In the last years, Japan Camera has retreated from the market of Manitoba. Likewise, Presto Pizza might be one of the casualties of the Pizza Wars as they are no longer in the western part of the city after abandoning Charleswood and St. James.

Another new arrival to St. James is Original Joe's. They will be located in Unicity adjacent to a Domo gas station. It would appear that Original Joe's, a western based restaurant chain has found success in the old Grapes location on Kenaston and is ready to expand to Portage Avenue.

As for the menu of Original Joe's, it is a mix of burgers, chicken finger, poutine and the like. More for adults who want a drink and after work or sport social occasion. I don't know if kids are not allowed but word is that some places like this and Earl's are not the place to bring them. Heard Hooter's has high chairs though.

It really looks like the secondary stores and restaurants are close to throwing there doors open. Bouclair's is probably ready soon although their signage is not up. Last week, worst kept secret that Dollarama will be next to Ikea was revealed. They sought approval for a sign on the fascia. They will be located next to Bouclair's.

Cabela's at the back of the site very much looks like the exterior is nearly done. Completion is expected within four month.

For those concerned that HMV was going to close, they had a very successful Christmas in Canada and now looked to to rescue troubled parents HMV UK which has gone into bankruptcy. It just goes to show that people still do like DVDs, music and accessories in a store front if priced and arranged properly. One wonders what might have happened if more successful Blockbuster Canada had taken over mismanaged Blockbuster USA.

Some have made the case that there is no business model for non digital rentals or purchases. Red Box has proved there is a business model for renting. However, I think Blockbuster blew it by not putting kiosks outside their stores. And by outside, I mean right outside their doors and every other location willing to host a machine. Not everyone wants to pay a subscription fee for Netflix if they don't watch more than two movies a month.

Harvey's Restaurant fight to take over the old Chicken Delight location at Stafford and Corydon has reached an ending. Council has approved the takeover by Harvey's. Site improvements are part of the deal.

The restaurant had been on site since 1981 but the rules on drive thrus changed after it was open which prevented any others from opening. The location could be used for the same use but only if it was done within one year of closure. That deadline passed by two months.

There may have been some trickery to prevent a seller and buyer from meeting.

I don't like trickery and it appears council felt there might have been some of that happening. The deal was approved despite opposition from civil servants.

I didn't want to see a repeat of what happened across the street when a gas station closed and the old building remained there for YEARS. Nothing was developed there for a long time. More than a year empty was long enough for the Chicken Delight building.

Corydon in recent years has received a lot of pushback from residents about business on the street,. It remains to be seen if a Harvey's will be a good neighbour. I think an empty lot with decaying building is a worse neighbour.

Edit: I forgot to mention that Original Joe's is opening opposite St. Vital Shopping Centre. The Wendy's is up and running in the same area opposite the mall.

Edit: Updated on Council vote today on Harvey's.


Anonymous said...

You didn't mention anything about Swiss Chalet :-(

John Dobbin said...

Anon: Never been my fave of places Swiss Chalet but this town and the country seems to love them to bits.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say that the Harvey's deal on Corydon has been approved.

Marty Gold said...

There is nothing 'sad' about it. The site was by rights able to be grandfathered and city bureaucrats seemingly did not advise the parties about the time limitations for that to be enacted.

Furthermore, no one in the mainstream media has bothered asking how it is that Coun. Gerbasi was able to vote - and oppose - the drive-thru when her sister was the leading voice of community opposition. How was that not a conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

@ Marty: Wasn't Shindico the listing agent for the former Harvey's? Those guys aren't amateurs and I doubt this was their first time handling this issue. They should have known the clock was ticking on the drive through. There is no way the city would ever take on the responsibility for advising would be buyers on grandfathered rights issues.

Once again the city proved its "rules" mean very little when you have friends in high places who can help you override them.

Anonymous said...

Harvey's restaurant is not a good fit for the Corydon neighbourhood. I have nothing against Harvey's itself... just that specific location is not well suited to a fastfood burger joint.

Anonymous said...

Corydon Ave in "Little Italy" is just about ready to jump the shark,just like Osborne Village has.