After so many years of construction at Grant Park, so many changes, it is not surprising that some businesses inside were just not able to survive. Autumnbee's Pizza in the former Pizza Place location just down from the Landmark Theatre has closed. It might have been inevitable that this would have been the fate. Almost all full service restaurants in malls that don't have their own entrances to the outside are gone now.
It probably was particularly cruel to see Fionn Macool's going up in the parking lot, yes another casual dining competitor so close.
It used to be that the old Pizza Place was one of the few places in the dense neighbourhood where you could get a bite before a movie or the Grant Park arena or in the restaurant desert that was River Heights.
For the first time in a very long while it appears that Grant Park has achieved a final lay-out that should be sustained for a number of years. Winners, Canadian Tire and Goodlife are all in place and should be there for some time to come.
Neighbourhood changes south of the mall are also likely to bring more people to the area and the mall is well positioned now with a complete fresh look.
It is sad to see the longtime pizza joint close down but is just a matter of time that we see the movie theatre become licensed and begin serving more diverse food samplings. They may have closed just in time. It remains to be seen in another restaurant takes over the site or whether it will go retail.
The recent closure of Sears Home store at St. James and Ellice triggered almost immediate renovation. At the start, it looked like the property would be sub-divided as the old Sears location was fairy sizeable since it sold appliances. In August the first of the two places put up their signage and it is open now. Spirit, the seasonal Halloween store will be open through till October selling costumes and the like. Obviously, a temporary store and it might be a good candidate for the always end of season Bomber store as well.
The big news is that other spot is leased to a more prized catch. Staples has moved from their St. James Square location down the street to1450 Ellice, Sears Home's old location. The store has already had a soft opening and the official opening this weekend.
Staples in St. James has always been a fairly busy store and the new location will bring more parking and situate them on a busier corner. The old location has papered over windows. I suspect it won't remain empty for long.
All season long the Winnipeg Goldeyes have been playing well, putting up wins, being entertaining as can be and affirming they are the best of the best in American Association ball. Frequently this year they have had "wow" moments in Shaw Park and throughout the league. Ultimately, the great play led to another play-off run where the defending 2016 Goldeyes champions would once again play their rivals the Wichita Wingnuts.
Goldeyes have become comeback specialists in play-off baseball. Game 4 in the series was a marathon 17 innings assisted by luck from an umpire's call and amazing pitching. Game 5 was delayed a day for weather and probably to rest two extremely weary teams. The result was of the one day wait was a 6,300 crowd with standing room only. This was a huge improvement over the lesser crowd on Monday's game 4.
In the game 5 final, the Goldeyes bats came alive and the big hitters sent the score into the stratosphere. Crowd favourite Reggie Abercrombie played a very big game. Edwin Karl as pitcher kept Wichita off the scoreboards. Ultimately the score would end 18-2 and the Goldeyes would be able to rush into the field in front of a hometown crowd claiming victory. It was a first in 18 years at their downtown location.
Back to wins are never easy and Winnipeg Goldeyes found new ways to stay alive several times over the course of the season. It takes a lot to have a winning formula, It is built with coaching and management, great players, fans, supporters and community and business support. Congratulations to the champions of the the 2017 American Association of baseball!
It has come down to Game 5 in the championship of the American Association of baseball. The Winnipeg Goldeyes, defending champions from last year, played Monday night against the Wichita Wingnuts down 2-1 in the best of five series and in a must win situation. The Fish didn't disappoint. It was the bottom of the 9th, two out and Casey Turgeon up to the plate with Wes Darvill at second base hoping to be the tying run in a 3-2 game,
The pitch came and Turgeon swung and it appeared to a ground out. The Wingnuts came out on the field jumping up and down thinking they had won the game. It was not to be. The umpire had called balk and the last pitch didn't count and a clearly dejected Wingnuts had to head back on the field. With no time to even think about it, the inning continued and this time, Turgeon blasted it and brought Darvill in for a run tying the game.
The incredibly exciting Goldeyes had done it again. They had taken the game to extra innings. What happened after that was history making baseball. Just as the Winnipeg Jets game ended in overtime shoot out down the street and people were headed home, the Goldeyes were battling it out with the Wingnuts in front of 3.500 fans for three more hours!
It was around midnight that social media picked up the fact that game was still on and people started to watch on streaming video from the league's website. The excitement grew as inning after inning went by and clock ticked close to 1 AM. It was then that Goldeyes finally got a walk that advanced them to home plate and they took the game.
Tuesdays thundershowers have postponed the final to Wednesday, September 20 at 6 PM. The forecast is for sunny and 19 C.
The Goldeyes have been playing inspired ball all season and never say never. It has been a wonderful season and it comes down to game 5. Go Fish go!
After 30 years in business in western Canada, Wholesale Sports is closing all 12 stores in four provinces including Winnipeg's St. James location. The Calgary-based sport, hunting and fishing store says 545 workers will lose their jobs. It is a tough business and only recently Cabela's was swallowed up by Bass Pro Shops.
The Winnipeg location down the street has a property developer in Winnipeg who was planning some enhancements to the site but now they will have a major vacancy with the closure. Still, now with St. James Street roadwork nearing an end, the site could prove lucrative for another business.
Wholesale Sports has been around since the 1970s but the Winnipeg location is a more recent arrival. Online sales from companies like Amazon continue to change the market for bricks and mortar stores. Some stores have thrived while others have shown significant weakness in the last years. Department stores and big box stores have proved to be vulnerable.
It is sad to see a Canadian retailer fail and lose jobs. Winnipeggers have till December to shop as the store liquidates stock.