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This article was published 12/5/2015 (2125 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Forks is about to embark on a $2.5-million overhaul of its food court in the hopes of bringing people – particularly young ones – in year-round.
Paul Jordan, CEO of Winnipeg’s hottest tourist spot, said it has about 3.5 million people walk through its doors every year but they’re concentrated in the summer months and January and February, after the river skating trail opens up.
Requests for proposal will go out today for new food operators and a committee will select the best ones. By the fall, five new vendors and a wine and craft beer kiosk, which will be run by The Forks, will be in place. It will be first major work done on the food hall since it opened in 1989.
Jordan said the hope is to attract some young restaurateurs by offering shorter leases.
"You’ll see constant refreshment and change in the food hall, which is really important to keep people’s interest," Jordan said.
At the heart of the refresh is a long continuous bank of tables that can be converted to become an 80 person harvest table. It’s being created by Wood Anchor, a Manitoba company who use reclaimed woods to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
The design philosophy will honour the roots of the buildings, combining rustic, rich handmade materials with a contemporary urban feeling.
To make sure it appeals to young consumers, Jordan said the building’s technology will also be updated so teenagers and would-be teenagers can recharge their phones at stand-up charging stations and at stations strategically located in seating and tables.