Winnipeg's Osborne Village is seeing more and more businesses close less than a year after being named Canada’s greatest neighbourhood by a panel of city planners.
Since then, the face of the village has changed substantially.
The latest in a string of changes is the temporary closure of Bistrot by Basil.
The restaurant, which sits at Stradbrook Avenue and Osborne Street, is closed for "restructuring" and will eventually reopen, according to the owner.
Just five months ago in October 2012, Papa George’s restaurant closed its doors forever. That space is still waiting for a tenant.
'It’s an expensive corner, and I think it’s a challenge for somebody to come up with a big lease and an idea that is going to convince the community'— Urban studies expert Gino Distasio
And before that, in December 2011, Winnipeg’s city council approved an expansion of Shoppers Drug Mart in the area, which saw the demolition of locally-owned restaurant Vi-Ann Restaurant and the relocation of Movie Village.
The area where those businesses used to sit is now a construction zone, and the former Papa George’s space is still looking for a tenant.
University of Winnipeg urban studies expert Jino Distasio said it’s going to be a challenge for developers to fill the hole that Papa George’s left behind.
"It’s an expensive corner, and I think it’s a challenge for somebody to come up with a big lease and an idea that is going to convince the community," said Distasio.
Winnipegger Kent Mundle said he’d like to see something local move in.
"It’s more interesting to get behind. I’d much rather support a local chain," said Mundle.
'You don’t want to see closed up buildings in this neighbourhood. It just doesn’t give a good feel or a good vibe'—Kyle Matheson, part-owner of Unburger
"If it’s a coffee shop, I’d rather go there than Starbucks or Second Cup."
Kyle Matheson is one of the owners of Unburger, a gourmet burger restaurant in the village.
He said he submitted an application to open a business at the Papa George’s location but doubts he will be taken up on the offer.
He said regardless, he wants to see something go up in the space soon.
"You don’t want to see closed up buildings in this neighbourhood. It just doesn’t give a good feel or a good vibe," said Matheson.
He said he would be happy to see "anything that would make the neighbourhood thrive, even if it is competition. At least it’s bringing something to the area."