FENG SHUI; Talk about an unusual welcome wagon gift. Restaurateur Verna Judge of Step'n Out Sur le Boulevard at 157 Provencher paid a visit to the new kids on the block -- the 10 psychics across the street at the recently relocated Soul Medicine Psychic Shoppe. She soon returned with a feng shui book to help them bring in the moolah at their new spot. Judge and her partner Alan Shepard credit feng shui with helping keep the crowds coming to them for 16 years. In fact, the floor at the entrance of their Parisian-style restaurant has ancient Chinese coins hidden under them. They also have a mirror behind the cash register so it always looks like they are doubling their money. Shepard says anything that might help a Winnipeg business is worth a try: "When we started out we heard 80 per cent of restaurants go down in the first two years!" Their classy bistro is now in its 10th year on Provencher and had six successful years in the Exchange District at King and Bannatyne.
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INSIDER MUSIC BUZZ: There are still a few tickets for the Kenny Shields and Streetheart show Saturday at McPhillips Station Casino. Lead singer Shields' new album Letting Go is now out, and he and the band will be doing all the old Streetheart favourites such as What Kind of Love is This, Snow White, Tin Soldier and Under My Thumb. The band also includes Jeff Neill (guitar), Jake Jacobs (bass), Daryl Gutheil (keyboards) and Tim Sutton (drums). At 65, Shields says he's feeling really good these days "although I just got back from a gruelling week of giggin' in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Ontario," he said Thursday. "But I'm feeling fine after a few days home." Shields looks healthy although he's lost his mop of blond hair and he's not as, well, skinny. "I was undernourished and under-loved in the old days!" he laughs. Tickets are available online at the Casinos of Winnipeg website.
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BIG BITES IN APPLE: Burton Cummings has been wowing the sophisticated set in and around New York City. He recently played Massapoqua's Burns Park as part of the town of Oyster Bay's Music Under the Stars series with his band the Carpet Frogs, and the next night he played at Manhattan supper club City Winery. This week, Big Apple writer Bob Smith said of our hometown boy in New York's Good Times Magazine: "Take a dab of Jim Morrison, add a touch of Bobby Darin, sprinkle in some Robert Plant and put in a cupful of the Beatles and you get Burton Cummings... at 65, he continues to be one of the most gifted vocalists in pop music history."
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HARD DAY'S NIGHT: Ben Walker -- a title holder of Winnipeg's Funniest Person with a Day Job, hosted a full roster of comics at the Cheer on Wednesday night -- and it turns out just about everybody still has a day job to support the night job. Walker is a government worker by day. Comedian Bill Pats, who works at the airport Stella's, had just returned from performing his Winnipeg Fringe show I Hate Bill Pats Too in Saskatoon. Then Streetz 104 morning man Paul Rabliauskasas hit the stage after a long day with a dawn start... Some lucky people in the lineup were just doing the comedy thang these days. Chantal Morostica, who produces local comedy shows such as The Drunk Show at the Park, recently recorded a comedy CD. Chad Anderson -- who tours with veteran comic Don Burnstick -- did a set, and patrons applauded Jordan Wellwood, who's off to Toronto in September to compete in the Just for Laughs contest Canada's Next Top Comic.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6