IF Esplanade Riel is the gateway to St. Boniface, what better way for people to be greeted than with French crepes?
La Creperie du Pont on the Esplanade Riel's east plaza is opening on Thursday, a throwback to the former La Creperie on Provencher Boulevard that was a favourite before the new bridge was built.
Entreprises Riel, a private non-profit organization whose mandate is to undertake and foster francophone economic, community and tourism development initiatives in St. Boniface, St. Norbert and St. Vital, is La Creperie's proprieter.
The organization also has the mandate to manage the Esplanade Riel and develop ways to mesh the bridge with the plaza.
Normand Gousseau, CEO of Enterprises Riel, said on Friday, "This (La Creperie) is the project going forward. We always maintained that we wanted to create this gateway into the St. Boniface area. When people are crossing the bridge we want them to feel they are seeing something different. So we created a traditional French creperie like you would see on the streets of Paris. That is what this is about."
Housed in a street-stall structure made to look like one of the turn-of-the-century trams that used to run on the old bridge across the Red River into St. Boniface, it will be operated by a real French chef.
But Gousseau would not reveal his identity.
"You'll have to wait until Thursday," he said. "The creperie is part of a bigger concept, one of three ideas we have about creating the gateway concept."
Gousseau said the full plan will be disclosed at the grand opening on Thursday.