Luxalune owners close South Osborne pub to focus on brewing business

A pub that has been serving up craft beer to thirsty Winnipeggers is packing it in after almost a decade in business.

'We've kind of collected all of our eggs and we're putting them all in the brewing business': owner

Brothers Chris and Lawrence Warwaruk launched Farmery, Canada's first estate brewery, in 2012. (courtesy Farmery)

A spot that's been serving up pub grub and craft beer to thirsty Winnipeggers is packing it in after almost a decade in business.

Luxalune Gastropub opened in 2008 and will close in about two weeks, the pub management said in a post to its Facebook page Monday afternoon.

"It's really bittersweet," co-owner Chris Warwaruk said. "We're definitely going to miss it, for sure."

After a combined 17 years running two separate restaurants in South Osborne — first Lux Sole from 1998 to 2008, then Luxalune from 2008 to 2016 — Warwaruk said it's time to focus on growing another family company.

"We've kind of collected all of our eggs and we're putting them all in the brewing business," Warwaruk said.

Warwaruk and his three brothers were essentially forced into the city in the late '90s after the family farm where they were raised found itself teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. They started Lux Sole and managed to bail the farm out with profits from the restaurant.

Eventually they opened Luxalune a few doors down on Osborne Street, with a selection of more than 100 craft beers from around the world on the menu. In 2012, yearning for a return to their rural roots, Chris and his brother Lawrence Warwaruk ventured into the craft beer business and started Farmery Estate Brewery.

The pair successfully pitched their idea of Canada's first farm-to-keg estate brewery to the sometimes-ornery cast of judges on CBC's Dragon's Den and walked away with a $200,000 investment.

Lawrence moved back to the farm near Neepawa, Man., four years ago to focus on growing hops and barley while Chris stuck around South Osborne to watch over Luxalune.

After so much time spent pouring pints for friendly locals, Warwaruk said he knows the neighbourhood will be as warm and welcoming to the new owners as it was to them.

"It's time for us to move on and kind of pass the torch onto another young couple who wants to do what we did and establish a business in Osborne Street south," Warwaruk said. "They have a full tank of gas of ambition and ideas and entrepreneurship."

Luxalune closes Feb. 13.

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