It was announced this week that the province has been asked to contribute nearly 6 million dollars to the True North Square Plaza and that the city will add another 3.2 million. Sounds like a lot but really it’s a drop in the bucket for the 400 million dollar project.
Along with this announcement came the news that the space occupied by one of the three main anchor tenants, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, would not, as was rumored, be in a flagship (ie gigantic) liquor store, but rather a high-end food hall “along the lines of the Eataly and high-end European food courts… with a liquor-store component in it”.
This is exciting. For a lot of reasons.
Have you ever been to an Eataly? It’s the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school. There are 13 locations in Italy, four in America (two in New York, Chicago and Boston – LA is set to open this year and Las Vegas is in the works, even Toronto is set to get one in 2019) and half a dozen more around the world.
Wherever there is good food to be found. Count me in!
I also like this idea because the latest report promised “pop-up, local-branded food, meat. cheese, [and] liquor”, which is great because I’m always eager to try something local but never quite sure where to go or how far out of the way I’ll have to go.
Lastly, this could be very good news for people who live (or want to live) downtown. When I lived downtown the only grocery store was in the basement of The Bay, er, Zellers. Since that’s been gone, everyone I know that still lives in the core needs a car to get their groceries. This would certainly solve that problem and give people access to fresh local products. As long as the proposed eatery isn’t so high end that the people who live near by are priced out – I’m all for it.