Friday, March 1, 2013

Restaurant and Store Openings

1575 Regent Wild Wings Now Open
Transcona continues to host the first openings of major U.S. and Canadian restaurant franchises in the last month. In short order, Five Guys Burgers, Famous Dave's Ribs and now Wild Wings have opened up.

The 1575 Regent location for the Canadian Wild Wings location is already thick on the ground with restaurants. However, they all seem to fit in their own niche from sushi to roast beef to wings to burgers to ice cream. Probably a good idea to bring a pair of pants with an elastic waistband.

The mystery of what will replace the Sal's on the Esplanade Riel bridge is solved. It will be a bistro called Chez Sophie that will serve pizza and likely have a gift shop attached. Hopefully, they serve ice cream too for those walks across the bridge.

Target stores are under construction all over the country and they look to have a soft launch in March. The three malls in Winnipeg ton receive Targets are Kildonan Place Shopping Mall, Southdale Centre and Grant Park Shopping Centre. In the case of Grant Park, don't expect it so soon. Zellers just closed the store a short time ago and Target is doing a massive overhaul of the store. It remains to be seen if they are increasing the size of the store but in the various phases of reconstruction of Grant Park, both the Liquor Mart and Shopper's Drug Mart all increased in size.
Kildonan Place Shopping Centre
Kildonan Place Shopping Centre

After a sushi invasion on Academy Road, the Mexicans are coming. The Modern Taco Company opened in the old Frenchway location near the bridge in December. The Free Press did an interesting story about how authentic Mexican food had finally arrived in city. The old Brit Cafe on Portage Avenue saw JC Tacos and More move in last year sometime. They now have three in the city. I expect we will see more authentic Mexican restaurants emerge across the city in the next months.

Modern Taco Company in old Frenchway location
As concerns rise about available choices for food and grocery elsewhere in the city, we see another of the large Rogers stores at 3500 Portage Avenue that was closed last year put to use. Vita Health has taken over the location with a Fresh Health format that features organic food and a deli section. This extra large location should prove popular to St. James residents who have to shlep to Tuxedo to shop now.

Old Rogers becomes Vita Health
In terms of grocery stores, the Free Press has written an excellent story about corner stores and the strong connection to the Korean community. Much like on the west coast of the U.S., Winnipeg has seen and is continuing to see Koreans run these small businesses with heart and soul. Sad to see the follow-up to their story was one of the families talking about their encounter with a weapon carrying robber.

Anecdotally, I have been hearing about more Koreans coming to the city to start a new life. We need more of these hard working families here (Mexicans too) and can't afford to have them vulnerable to strong arm robbery. More community policing, please. And look out for your neighbourhood store.

In terms of new stores aside from Target, Cabela's is really shaping up. The massive Seasons of Tuxedo location by IKEA has their signage up, They still appear to be on schedule for opening a few months from now. The Marshalls store at Polo Park North is slated to open even earlier.

Speaking of Polo Park, the story is that Steve Madden will have a store in the mall soon. If true, it will be another indication of the transformation taking place inside. This footwear store is on many people's must have list.

La Vie en Rose has been around a while. It was thought that Victoria Secret would affect their sales but perhaps not. They are opening an outlet store up on Kenaston that's a fair size at 4500 square feet.

With all the restaurants going up in Transcona, it is good to know that GoodLife Fitness has put up another co-ed location in the area.

The closed Future Shop on Regent
However, those looking for Future Shop will have to go out of the area. It seems the best combination for Future Shop or Best Buy is when they are side by side. A stand alone store in this market was probably not enough of a draw.

The economy was slowing in December. The province of Manitoba had momentum coming out of 2012. Businesses are still investing but there is no doubt that North America could stand a big boost heading into March. And it is pretty painful start when gas keeps going up.


The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

Not that I know what is going there, but the empty lot where Palladin's stood on Des Meurons was being surveyed today and the For Sale sign is gone so it looks like the property was sold.

tofurkey said...

On the fast food Mexican front, Supreme Burrito opened up on west Portage Ave at Rouge Rd. It's like Subway, you build your own at the counter. They have decent vegetarian options - rubbed/roasted tofu burrito is not bad at all.

Anonymous said...

There is a Best Buy in Transcona near the Future Shop. Not right next door, but across Stapon Road leading through their parking lot. Still pretty close.

tofurkey said...

Don't forget about Supreme Burrito on west Portage. It's more like fast-food Mexican, and you order Subway-style at the counter, but it isn't bad. I had a roasted/rubbed tofu burrito that was pretty good.

Clint Shaff said...

Nice! It’s like many businesses there are up for good! Store and restaurant franchises open one after another! Well, you cannot deny the fact that with these stores on the rise, the competition also gets harder. If you want to keep up with your competitors, you have to do your best to catch the hearts of your current customers and possible clients as well.