Corydon Avenue, from Confusion Corner to Harrow Street, blooms like a garden in the summer. Everybody wants to enjoy the fun in patio land because we missed out on spring. Curious people from all over the city walk along Corydon, before or after drinks and eats, to see what has changed.
Businesses come and go, some of the latter include The Loft Gastropub, Orlando's Seafood Grill and Formosa Chicken.
Let's take a look at some lively offerings in the area such as Burrito Del Rio, Peepers Swimwear, Santa Lucia Pizza and City Haul.
BURRITO DEL RIO
MANAGERS Jordan Sawatsky and Shaun Ursell are both from the Bonfire Bistro gang. The owner is entrepreneur Duncan Grant, who brought us Winnipeg favourites such as Bonfire Bistro, Café Carlo and the first Burrito Del Rio, which is so popular in Osborne Village. This new Mexican restaurant is a colourful two-storey with outdoor patios.
"We have the best patio on the strip, because we have lots of plant life -- the sheltered side on the east and the sunny side in front, with some trees," said Sawatsky. "We play Mexican music inside, and we have patio speakers playing more outside. We also plan to have some live bands this summer."
Look for the alternating specials of the day such as Carna Asada, a grilled flank steak marinated in a chili-lime sauce, and the barbecue beef brisket with homemade sauce, slow roasted until it falls apart.
"Weather doesn't affect this restaurant as much as one might think," said Sawatsky. "We do 60 per cent takeout and 40 per cent dine-in. Our takeout is really convenient, because people can stop in and we can have it ready in five minutes."
THIS started off as a quiet little enterprise on Stafford Street, but the mouse has grown and roared. Co-owners Donna Anderson and Phil Marriott have gathered a huge inventory. Says Anderson, their motto is "a suit for every body."
Anderson adds people's bodies have changed significantly in recent years, and a lot of young women have larger breasts, but still have small backs. They are not the only ones who hate looking for bathing suits. Women with larger bodies are often so embarrassed and frustrated by previous attempts to buy swimwear, they have quit trying. They need to know attractive, beautiful swimwear is available in luxury sizes.
As a new addition to the shop, they sell the new standup paddleboards (laughingly called SUPs) made by Manitoba company Deadfish.
"People try them on a southern vacation, come back and say they're buying one," Marriott said. They're crafted by Jason MacInnes and cost $1,299. To see one, all you have to do is drive past the new shop with the big blue sign and the fancy board on display.
SANTA LUCIA PIZZA
THIS location on Corydon at Wentworth Street, which has housed several businesses since it was a pharmacy, is finally a going concern.
The Greek-Canadian family who moved from its small space on Waterloo Street in River Heights brought its faithful customers with it and has added them to the folks strolling along Corydon.
First, you have to check out the mural spanning the feature wall of the dining room, then take a peek and look up to see the many flags hanging (they're big soccer fans). Co-owners George Simeonidis and Stavros Athanasiadis say they are happy with the new spot. "By moving the location, we brought in a lot of new people," said Simeonidis.
The eatery features Greek-Italian cuisine with some Canadian entrées, such as the salmon dinner with wild rice and grilled veggies. "Our pasta salads are big (sellers) all the time, and then people love the pizzas -- the Santa Lucia special, meat lovers, Mediterranean, vegetarian and Greek.
MATTHEW Frost's alternative store stocks bongs, paraphernalia, Converse running shoes, Dr. Martens, games, the famous leg lamps, Superman lamps, large figures like Batman, Lone Ranger and the Beatles and lovable Ted the bear.
Then there's the large Green Lantern figure Frost likes to mess with for "pick" tures.
Electronic cigarettes are the new big thing at the store.
"It's the next way people are getting their nicotine -- a new cottage industry," Frost said.
City Haul keeps a low profile and this year, with major construction going on above their store, it's even harder to see where it is unless you're going into Café 22 next door. But, they have very loyal fans.
"We've been in business 15 years now," said Frost.
Maureen Scurfield is an explorer who wants to find out what's behind every interesting door in Winnipeg.