The City of Winnipeg is looking for new tenants to take over the old Salisbury House location on Esplanade Riel – but one city councillor wants it turned into a public space.

"I think we’ve got to get out of that little box that it’s got to be a restaurant," said Coun. Dan Vandal.

He said he’s worried there won’t be much interest in the space from the private sector, and the space should be used as more than just a restaurant.

"It’s got to be a public space," said Vandal. "There’s nothing wrong with interesting public amenities, public spaces. All great cities have them."

Vandal said he thinks a group like The Forks North Portage Partnership would be an ideal fit for the area.

"They’re right there. They have maintenance people. They have the expertise to operate public plazas for sure," said Vandal.

The city has put out a call for expressions of interest in the space. The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. Thursday.

The space has been sitting vacant since Dec. 31, when Salisbury House closed its location there.