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No bones about it — pizza shop’s coming back
The Veggie Bone. The Knee Bone. The Collar Bone. The Wish Bone.
Those are just a few of the Classic "Combones" that will soon be available when Mr. Bones Pizza reopens its doors.
Founded in 1989, Mr. Bones Pizza expanded to a total of six restaurants in Winnipeg, plus another location in Regina. After 15 years of successful pizza-slinging, founder Harold Brazil shut the stores down and changed careers to become a nurse in northern Manitoba and Nunavut.
But within a month of closing the iconic eateries, Brazil was already craving a slice of the old pizza pizzazz.
"I missed it and kind of regretted it," he said. "I missed serving the public and the excitement of being in business."
In his efforts to rekindle his passion for pizza, Brazil recently quit his nursing job and bought a building to resurrect the famous Winnipeg restaurant at 1027 McPhillips St. Renovations are currently underway, and Brazil hopes to be back in business soon.
"The contractors are in there, but I can’t really set a date to open until we’re approved by the city," he said. "I should know better in about two or three weeks, at the latest."
Until then, mouth-watering momentum continues to mount.
"I’m getting the younger generation in their 20s saying ‘I grew up hearing about this from my parents’ or ‘I ordered it as a young kid. I can’t wait to order it again.’ I’m getting that nostalgia, and that’s what I was hoping for," Brazil said.
"I’ve already had offers to franchise. But like I’ve told everybody, let’s see how the first store does."
As a nod to that nostalgic notion, he will resurrect the well-loved Classic Combones that made him famous. Memorable menu items include The Skull, featuring pepperoni, seasoned beef, extra cheese and Italian sausage. He’ll also revive the Around the World Combones, with international options ranging from The Ukrainian to The Texas BBQ Turkey.
For Brazil, however, The Chinese pizza remains a taste-bud temptation.
"That’s one of my favourites. You get sweet-and-sour or honey-garlic sauce, chow mein noodles, turkey, green peppers, canned mushrooms and extra mozza," Brazil said. "That’s actually a really good pizza."
He’ll also offer a new thin crust that he’s been perfecting for the past decade.
"This is a whole new recipe. It’s a crispy texture," he said. "Everybody I’ve given it to in the last 10 years has given it rave reviews."
Once the renovations are complete and he receives the city’s stamp of approval, Brazil hopes to host a media day to raise funds for scholarships.
As well, he plans to organize an event for former employees.
"Before we open, we’re going to have a day for friends and family and old Bones members. There’s probably 1,000 out there," he said.
"There’s going to be a Bones day just for you to say ‘thanks for all the hard work you put in in the past.’"
Until then, former employees and other pizza fans can keep up to date through the Mr. Bones Pizza page on Facebook.
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