Manitoba

Forks to get $2.5M makeover with craft beer, 5 new food vendors

​The Forks is getting a massive, $2.5-million makeover that will bring in five new vendors, install a craft beer and wine kiosk and phone charging stations.

The Forks centre court to get complete revamp, add 5 new local food vendors

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      The Forks is getting a massive, $2.5-million makeover that will bring in five new vendors, install a craft beer and wine kiosk and phone charging stations.

      On Tuesday, The Forks North Portage Partnership announced the centre court and atrium are going to be revamped with new tables, chairs, lighting, fixtures, storefronts and flooring.

      "It's time for us to refresh and move forward 20 to 25 years," said Clare MacKay, a vice president with The Forks North Portage Partnership.

      Manitoba's Wood Anchor has been tapped to make a set of tables that can combine to make an 80-person harvest table for big events.

      Construction is set to begin May 18, and Forks officials say everything will remain open while construction is underway.

      Centre court, which will be renamed the "food hall" currently has five vacant spaces for restaurants, and the Forks is calling for proposals from local entrepreneurs to fill those spots.
      A craft beer and wine kiosk will be added to the Forks centre court so people can get drinks with their food. The Forks North Portage plan to run it. (Artist rendering courtesy The Forks North Portage)

      "You can still go to Skinners for a hot dog, but what we are hoping to add is five new food vendors who will become destinations so this food hall will attract a new person to the market," said MacKay.

      The craft beer station will be open during market hours and will be owned and operated by The Forks North Portage.

      Officials also plan to install stand-up phone charging stations, chargers at tables and wireless charging stations.

      The atrium will also get a makeover with new furniture, a hockey-stick chandelier and flooring to accommodate people coming in in skates.

      "I am of course excited that it's being renewed," said Tabitha Langel, a co-owner of Tall Grass Bakery. 

      The bakery has operated at The Forks for the past 12 years, and Langel hopes the makeover will help draw more people to the market.

      The Forks is also in the process of getting plans for two vacant parking lots at the site approved. The plans would turn the giant gravel lots into a pedestrian plaza, green space and several mixed-use residential units.

      The centre court remodel should be done by the end of 2015.

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