South Osborne’s Luxalune Gastropub announces closure

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You can bet the farm that Canada’s first estate brewery will open in Neepawa after the doors close on Luxalune Gastropub in Winnipeg later this month.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/02/2016 (2440 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

You can bet the farm that Canada’s first estate brewery will open in Neepawa after the doors close on Luxalune Gastropub in Winnipeg later this month.

Brothers Lawrence and Chris Warwaruk, also the owners of Farmery Estate Brewery, officially announced the closing of their beloved South Osborne eatery at the 734 Osborne St. South location after 17 years in the restaurant business.

The announcement, made on Facebook Monday evening, named Feb. 13 as the last day of business for Luxalune as the building has been sold to “a young couple” who indicated plans to open a spot of their own this spring.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Luxalune owners Lawrence Warwaruk (front) and his brother Chris photographed in 2010.

“This puts our focus right on the brewery and it’s kind of bittersweet,” Chris said in a telephone interview. “Osborne Street felt like our home for the last 17 years, the people welcomed us into their neighbourhood. We just want to use these next two weeks to say how grateful and thankful we are for the home that we had and how Osborne Street and area opened themselves up to us. We couldn’t have done it without them, without their support.”

The Facebook announcement, posted by Chris, thanked staff, family and friends.

“We will remember all the smiles and laughs along the way… you always reminded us to be as proud of our accomplishments as you were! Thank-you! We want to thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts!” Chris stated in the post. “We will remain open till Sat Feb 13th, please come by so we can say thank-you in person!”

Chris and Lawrence said closing the eatery is the next step in establishing their estate brewery in Neepawa, where the ingredients for the beloved local beer are grown nearby on the family farm.

The farm is located at Arden Ridge, just outside Neepawa, and is where the hops and barley for the beer are grown.

Right now, the beer is brewed in Muskoka, Ont., but that’s going to change this spring when their own brewery opens in Neepawa. The brothers bought a former farm equipment dealership building in town last fall and are in the process of delivering, setting up and installing all the equipment.

Chris said customers can look forward to a drop in prices of Farmery beer, just in time for summer, once the Neepawa brewery is up and running.

“We moved the operations to Neepawa because when we brew locally, we bring our costs down. We don’t have to ship all the way out to Ontario and ship it back so we’re excited to pass on all those savings to consumers,” Chris said. “We recognize our beer has been a premium for the last four years but now we finally get to be in right ballpark as far as price range and all those customers are going to see some savings right away.”

Opening the brewery will bring the Warwaruks into the agri-tourism business. Customers will be able to tour the brewery and farmland to see an active hop yard and barley field.

“The buzzwords right now in the beer industry are the whole farm gate-to-keg concept,” Chris said. “The trend in 2016 throughout the United States is how close can the brewery get to the farm. We’re putting that into action and happy to be leaders of that trend (in Canada).”

Chris said Farmery beer is now being sold throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta with plans to expand sales to Ontario and B.C. later this year.

The brothers have been running the brewery’s business operations out of the same building as the restaurant. Chris said he and his family will remain in Winnipeg to run the Farmery Estate Brewery’s marketing and sales from a yet-to-be selected office space in the city while Lawrence and his family live in Neepawa to operate the farm. The whole family is involved in planting and harvesting the crops.

The Neepawa brewery will create eight to 10 full-time jobs and up to about 15 part-time positions. While the Lux Gastropub’s closing will see the end of 12 positions, Chris said some of those employees also work for Farmery so will remain employed.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Monday, February 1, 2016 9:04 PM CST: writethrough

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