Pop-up restaurant takes shape on Assiniboine River in Winnipeg

RAW:almond, Winnipeg’s pop up restaurant on the river at The Forks, is returning for its third year with a new design.

Pop-up restaurant at The Forks an architectural ode to Winnipeg winters

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      RAW:almond, Winnipeg’s pop up restaurant on the river, is returning for its third year with a new design. The winning design from architectural firm OS31 began to take shape Tuesday at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers.

      The pop-up restaurant started in 2013 by Mandel Hitzer, of Deer + Almond, and Joe Kalturnyk, of RAW: gallery. Kalturnyk has been building the structure since it began in 2013, but this year the design was opened up to a competition.

      "It kind of makes a rail bridge, I think that was part of their design theme. Taking cues from some of our rail yards." said Kalturnyk.

      Kalturnyk will be braving the cold over the next two weeks to ensure the restaurant’s completion before the first seating. Winnipeggers are encouraged to embrace winter and dress the part.

      "This is a way to show off your winter gear. It’s fine dining for true Winnipeggers with big boots and fur hats" said Kalturnyk.

      The structure compliments the existing river trail at The Forks and was an extension of the design competition for the warming huts, which are also going up along the trail.

      "It just brings a completely different feel to what can happen on the river,” said Kristin Pauls, marketing and communications co-ordinator at The Forks. `

      “The excitement around winter in Winnipeg has started to change the mentality of ‘you stay inside, you bundle up, you just hibernate for those months.’ Instead, it’s ‘come out, enjoy, experience, and taste and see what winter can bring and offer.’”

      Winnipeggers will dine in the pop-up structure from Jan. 22 to Feb 11. The space seats 42 people, and an additional eight at the bar. There will be three separate seatings per night and brunch on the weekends.

      Tickets for the main seatings are already sold out, but there will be 24 bar tickets released every morning.