Thursday, June 13, 2024

New Original Pancake House Coming Soon To Grant Park Festival

Many were so sad faced in the post pandemic world when the Original Pancake House location at Pembina near the Jubilee underpass closed. After enduring the endless construction on the rebuilt underpass and the Southwest Transit Corridor, the pandemic hit. And in the aftermath, staff shortages led to the various locations trying to cover one another. When the owners of Vic's  Fruit Market came from across the street in 2021 and asked about a potential sale of the property, the owners of OPH accepted and transferred staff to other three locations who were in desperate need. Vic's Market now has the space they've wanted for years.

The iconic Pancake House sign came down and it was a little heartbreaking for many who had seen it to the entrance to Fort Garry for decades. Such sign are rare to see now. The old sign was up from 1958 on when the Original Pancake House opened. The love affair with the restaurant only grew when they added the Polo Park location, now beside the mall. And adding a Forks location put them in the heart of the tourist area downtown.

It would appear family owned restaurant group has recovered from the job shortages that plagued it not too long ago because they have announced they are soon to be open in Grant Park Festival at 1170 Taylor. A Sobey's is the major anchor there and down the street is the largest city Walmart. In a few short weeks, the Original Pancake House will join Burger King and Boston Pizza in the south River Heights, just north of Fort Garry location.

Restaurant recovery is still in progress. Some days such as Monday are not great for the business still. Late night meals which were common have really reduced as people retreat to their homes much earlier. The area should be fairly good as most people in River Heights are used to driving out of their neighbourhood since there are very few restaurants in the area proper. And people in the area love their breakfasts and love pancakes.

The new location will have 170 seats as well as a 38 seat private meeting area ideal for birthdays and group events. Catering will be included as a service. A few specialty areas on the menu and within the location are promised as well. A cocktail and mocktail bar is mentioned. 
Old Pembina location above. Pembina Highway used to have some of the local commercial and restaurant gathering places. Fort Garry has a lot of residential area that makes Pembina the only place to go food. Quite literally some places in the city are food and restaurant deserts. The loss of the Pembina Hotel, Pancake House and the Legion makes for longer drives for local residents for breakfasts, vendors and meeting places.
It may not seem like it at first but the commercial strip along Pembina Highway is pretty narrow. The rail tracks limit expansion west and the residential areas of Fort Garry limit commercial growth east. It is just recently, we have seen a building upwards. The area north of the Jubilee underpass was low rise for years but no longer. Around the university are soaring towers with more to come. It easy to see why the Pembina location of the Original Pancake House might be in demand.

Just sound of the underpass and running west along the rail tracks, growth along Taylor was limited by hydro lines. What usually was built (if there was anything at all) was low rise structures. That changed when hydro lines were moved and in the years around 2010 and beyond development plans were made. Walmart was an early tenant as was Sobeys. Other restaurants, stores and a lot of apartment buildings have gone up since.

It is in the section where Sobey's is that the Original Pancake House will go back to four locations in Winnipeg. And people couldn't be happier.

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