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This article was published 5/6/2016 (1450 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Move over McDonald’s — some new competition is coming to town.
Jollibee, the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines, is planning to open two locations in Winnipeg.
Jonah Levine, sales representative in retail and investment at Cushman & Wakefield Winnipeg, confirmed the hugely popular restaurants will be located at 1400 Ellice Ave., and in Northgate Shopping Centre.
Earlier this week, leaked plans for a Jollibee restaurant on Ellice surfaced on social media. Since then, Winnipeggers have been tweeting excitedly about the welcome news.
Known as "the McDonald’s of the Philippines," Winnipeggers will be able to sink their teeth into a variety of dishes such as Chickenjoy fried chicken, plates of cheesy spaghetti and the Aloha Champ Burger — a bacon cheeseburger garnished with a pineapple ring.
Levine couldn’t confirm if the restaurant would have a special Canadian-style menu, "But I presume a lot of it is about bringing traditional Filipino Jollibee to Canada," he said.
"It’s like if you were a Canadian expat living in a different country, and a Tim Hortons opens across the street and you haven’t had a double-double in 10 years," said Levine. He added that like Tim Hortons, Jollibee is a "hub of social activity" and a place where families gather.
"It’s a very important brand in the Philippines," he said. "It’s a very exciting addition to the landscape in Winnipeg."
Levine said the locations were chosen for their visibility and accessibility for both the Filipino population and for Winnipeggers in general. "The Filipino population is highly focused in the northwest, and both of those locations provide excellent exposure and access."
Levine said the Ellice location will open later this year, while the Northgate location will open sometime in 2017.
As of 2015, Jollibee had 900 locations in the Philippines and more than 30 in the United States. A Toronto location was expected to open in 2015 but was delayed to 2017. The Winnipeg locations are believed to be the first in Canada.
Updated on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 9:34 PM CDT: Formatting; adds byline.