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A clean slate and a clean plate at new restaurant
With Tubby’s Pizza gone, The Grove is new local recipe
Fancy a fresh sarnie with chips and curry sauce? What about some good old bangers and mash?
If this sounds like your cup of tea, it might be time to take a hike to The Grove Pub and Restaurant at 164 Stafford St. in Crescentwood.
The new English-style eatery recently opened its doors for business barely two months after the interior of the landmark location was ripped apart and refurbished.
For more than 40 years, and until this past April, the site was previously the home of Tubby’s Pizza and The Lounge of Charlie O & Friends, the locally famous haunt of Winnipeg musicians in the 1960s and ’70s.
Now, the building’s interior is barely recognizable, after an extensive facelift — "we were dealing with 45-year-old wood, says owner Miles Gould" — and the start of a new era.
"It’s been an incredible couple of weeks," Gould said, as he took a few minutes to sit down, take a breath and reflect on the busy start of his new venture.
"We’ve already had many local people come by and see us. The lunchtimes have been busy when we’ve shown the World Cup soccer and we sold out of every draft beer, bar one, during our first weekend of business."
Gould, 33, said that while the building’s décor is not quite finished — "We’re hoping to put up a few more pictures and such like" — he just couldn’t wait to get going.
"We just wanted to get the doors open, get on our feet and start ironing out the creases," said Gould, who lives in Riverview.
Gould has transformed the rustic atmosphere of Tubby’s Pizza into a bright and breezy open-plan restaurant. The bar is built with brick and accented with black wood, which is complemented by lime and mint green walls.
And despite his relatively young age, the Vincent Massey alumnus is not an overnight success.
Gould’s resume includes several years learning the ropes at a pub in Sheffield, England.
"Also, I was supervising my first restaurant in Grant Park at 20 and by 24, I was an assistant manager at a restaurant at The Forks," he said, noting his new Stafford Street Lager, brewed by Sleeman, has been well received. "Every place I’ve worked at, I’ve started at the bottom."
His current menu not only includes English favourites such as cottage pie and fish and chips, there’s also The Tubby — a tribute to the previous venue’s owner, Charlie Clements.
Despite Clements’ unlikely tenure of more than four decades, Gould — who said the support from his wife, Danielle, and infant daughter, Lyla, has been invaluable — is under no illusions about the hard work and long hours that lie ahead for The Grove to become established and successful.
In fact, some days he still pinches himself.
"When I first started dating my wife, when we both lived on McMillan Avenue, we used to come here quite a bit. I never dreamed then that one day I’d own this place."
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