Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/4/2010 (2585 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The buzz on Winnipeg's newest burger joint first originated in B.C.
Quadra Island, to be precise, between Vancouver Island and the mainland, where Tomas Sohlberg and his wife, Anneen DuPlessis, owners of the soon-to-be-open Boon Burger Café, first ventured into the vegetarian restaurant business with a place called Khameleon a couple years back.
"That was our first go at a vegetarian restaurant," Sohlberg, 38, said. "We had a full menu but people went crazy over a couple of our veggie burgers. They were addicted to them.
"We thought, 'Man, this could really fly if we took this idea of opening a veggie burger restaurant in the city.' That's how the idea for Boon started."
After looking into locations in and around Vancouver and Victoria, the couple decided to come back to the cheaper start-up options in Winnipeg, where they lived a decade ago. Securing a location on the eastern edge of Wolseley (at 79 Sherbrook St., formally the Common Ground Café), Sohlberg is in the process of remodelling the space into what's believed to be Winnipeg's first vegetarian burger joint.
The plan for Boon is simple: The menu will consist of eight to 10 unique burgers -- each themed in a special way. Among Sohlberg's ideas are a Mexican salsa burger and a Thanksgiving burger, a treat that will offer all the flavours of the fall holiday. Burger patties will vary between mushroom, chick pea, lentil, and tofu options.
"Everything is made from scratch," he said. "We're going to be gluten-free. And rather than just have a bunch of vegan items on the menu, we'll offer a choice. Everything can be vegan-ized."
Translation: If you'd rather pass on the mayo, no problem. Substitute homemade hummus instead.
Baked fries will be on the menu, as will various soups and salads. Thirsts can be quenched with fresh smoothies, homemade iced tea and loose-leaf teas.
And, of course, good coffee.
"Really good fair trade coffee," Sohlberg promised. "European-style, brewed per cup. Hot, fresh and strong."
Sohlberg is planning for some casual seating in the front of the space, but insists the spot will be more of a to-go place, complete with a walk-up window on the south side of the building. He expects to manage an initial staff of six or seven employees.
"We've learned that we don't want to bite off more than we can chew," he said. "We're going to be a small operation at first."
Until then, the word on the street about the place continues to grow.
"It's really unbelievable," laughed Sohlberg, who is originally from Norway. "We put the signs up and started a Facebook group, and it's been off the wall. People are stopping by and asking us when we're opening all the time. One person asked when we're planning on opening in Montreal.
"We haven't even opened here yet!"
Sohlberg expects to have Boon up and running in June.