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This article was published 11/2/2010 (2603 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — Louis Mathez, who ran the Wagon Wheel restaurant on Hargrave Street for more than 50 years, died Sunday at the Health Sciences Centre.
He was 75.
Mathez started cooking at the Wagon Wheel when he was 22, working for his dad William and uncle Louis Chatelain, who both bought the lunch-counter restaurant a short time earlier.
In time his signature meal became the clubhouse sandwich, stuffed with real turkey cooked earlier in the day.
"Fresh turkey has almost become a thing of the past," he said in a 2003 interview. "Most places serve the processed stuff and people order it, even though they know it's not very good."
Mathez's routine didn't vary much over the years: Open the door at 5:30 a.m. Turn on the lights. Fire up the old grey Garland gas stove. And cook four big turkeys. His day ended at 6 p.m. when he closed up.
Mathez battled cancer in 2007 and returned to the kitchen when he was healthy enough. His wife Marina of 35 years died of cancer in 1994. She was 59. They had two children, Jill and Gary.
A private family service for Mathez has been held. A longer obituary notice will be in Saturday's Free Press.