Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boulevard Pub and Bistro Opening Soon

The White Tower restaurant had been a long time fixture of Roblin Boulevard near the Charleswood bridge. It one of a series of Greek restaurants that were mainstays of the old municipal downtown just west of the Assiniboine Park entrance. Sometime last year the White Tower quietly closed and went dark.

It is part of the generational change taking place in the neighbourhood that saw the Charleswood Hotel and Charleswood Department Store all close in recent years. The hotel is now a large Co-Op Gas while the store has been taken over by Boutique La Femme. Hopefully, the English owners there have as long a time as the last owner. Originally known as La Grand Femme when they opened in 1986, they have lived a nomadic existence bouncing around Academy Road, Grant Park Mall and Tuxedo Junction. Perhaps the old Charleswood store will give them the space they finally need.

The sudden closing of U Weight Loss Clinic on Roblin and another vacancy next door is another opportunity for a retailer or restaurant to move into the area.

It is difficult to say why White Tower closed. My opinion is that dining in Winnipeg has changed to include more sports minded choices. And by this I mean that the Winnipeg Jets are transforming the landscape. Just recently a newspaper story talked about the Ichiban did a major reno to make sure they captured some of the Jets crowd that thought eating there meant a 2 hour allotment of time. The new Japanese restaurant has a pub-like component for a sportier crowd and faster turn-around time to get to the game.

I cannot say for certain that Asahi Japanese restaurant closed because of the Jets. My impression of that Charlewood restaurant that took over KFC's old spot is that competition from other Japanese places and a higher pricer fare hurt them. It certainly was a beautiful place inside. Several days ago I mentioned that Asahi was taken over by the Capital Grill. This appears to be the sportier choice of people nowadays with beer on tap.

The old downtown of Charleswood has had it's fair share of Greek family restaurants. Only Pappas remains as Matheo's and now White Tower have closed. So what will become of the White Tower? Well, the word is that it has taken over by longtime Charleswood business owner and resident Darcy Bruneau.

Old White Tower restaurant. Next door Redeemed closed as well.
The Bruneau family owned the Charleswood Hotel for 17 years and continue to operate hotels in the province elsewhere. The hotel is now the site of a 20 pump Co-Op Gas, convenience store and car wash.

When White Tower closed, Bruneau bought the place. Shortly after that, the clothing store Redeemed closed next door. This represented an opportunity to expand the footprint of the restaurant. The signage on the build reads Boulevard Pub Bistro. By all account they have been on tap and will be an upscale pub and bistro experience. A sportier crowd will also be able to watch Jets and Bombers games inside.

It will be interesting to see how these new restaurants will do and if this is the beginning of a new trend of places geared to the sport crowd.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. As a Charleswood resident, I think these changes are great for the neighborhood.

Charleswood is a great place to live but a restaurant desert. Some good food would be nice. Now if only we could get a Vietnamese place to open up.

My understanding is that rent is hugely expensive and that caused Asahi to close. They tried to see for years but no one wanted to take on the business because of the rent.