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Temporary, pricey eatery headed to river

YOU calling Winnipeg cheap?

Meet two local entrepreneurs willing to make the leap of faith in the idea hundreds of Winnipeggers will spend $85 to have dinner on the ice.

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press
Joe Kalturnyk (left) of the Raw: Gallery, and Mandel Hitzer of Deer + Almond, admit their pop-up eatery is a high-stakes roll of the dice, but want to embrace winter.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press Joe Kalturnyk (left) of the Raw: Gallery, and Mandel Hitzer of Deer + Almond, admit their pop-up eatery is a high-stakes roll of the dice, but want to embrace winter. Photo Store

The chi-chi concept is courtesy of art gallery director Joe Kalturnyk and city chef Mandel Hitzer.

Hitzer, 30, owner of restaurant Deer + Almond on Princess Street, and Kalturnyk, 33, director of the Raw: Gallery on McDermot Avenue, will open a pop-up restaurant later this month at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The restaurant's dining hall will be inside a steel and aluminum cone-shaped structure and its kitchen in a semi-attached cube.

Washrooms for the restaurant will be in heated trailers nearby, said Kalturnyk.

"People love food here," said Kalturnyk. "I think it's a food city. We're embracing winter. We're embracing the river."

He said the project is about "re-engaging the city" and "re-engaging how we use the city."

"You can feel it when you go to other cities that Winnipeg is a food city," he said.

The 20-seat restaurant -- called Raw: almond -- will be in business from Jan. 24 to Feb. 13.

It will have three sittings each night, and $85 covers the cost of a five-course tasting menu prepared by one of the city's most-hyped chefs. Drinks, tax and tip are more.

Hitzer will work with a rotating cast of chefs, who will each be at the restaurant for three-day shifts. There will also be breakfast and lunch available to order from the menu on weekends, by Talia Syrie of the Tallest Poppy on Main Street.

The pop-up restaurant doesn't come cheap. Kalturnyk said there's been at least $15,000 invested in the structure alone.

"The bills are still coming in, so I don't know," he said. "It's a lot for a couple guys (who are) on a wing and a prayer."

He said there's a "possibility" he could lose money on the project. "I would encourage people to come and try it... " he said.

"But a part of me is like, in a way, it's a no-brainer. It's an amazing experience and they're all really great chefs."

A Manitoba Health spokesman said its "health inspection unit is aware of this proposed restaurant."

"They have met with the proprietors, the proprietors have submitted a plan and that plan is currently under review," said the spokesman.

"The restaurant will have to meet all of the requirements for a temporary food establishment... if all conditions are met, they will receive a temporary food-service permit."

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 15, 2013 A3

History

Updated on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM CST: corrects typos, adds fact box

January 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM: Corrects number expected to attend; tweaks headline.

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