August 19, 2019

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P.F. Chang's Chinese-inspired restaurant chain headed to former Winnipeg Stadium site

One of the best known Asian-themed restaurant chains in the world may soon set up shop in Winnipeg near Polo Park, pending approval from the city.

The Assiniboia community committee will vote on plans for a proposed P.F. Chang’s Chinese-inspired restaurant at Monday's meeting. The chain has more than 300 locations around the globe.

The urban planning division has recommended the plans be approved, according to a report filed on the city's website. If given the green light, the building would go up at the southeast corner of a commercial lot at 865 St. James St., at St. Matthews Avenue, which is the site of the former Winnipeg Stadium.

P.F. Chang’s, which is headquartered in Arizona, was founded in 1993. Since then, its brand has spread to include more than 200 restaurants in the U.S., as well as more than 90 others in 25 international markets.

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One of the best known Asian-themed restaurant chains in the world may soon set up shop in Winnipeg near Polo Park, pending approval from the city.

The Assiniboia community committee will vote on plans for a proposed P.F. Chang’s Chinese-inspired restaurant at Monday's meeting. The chain has more than 300 locations around the globe.

The urban planning division has recommended the plans be approved, according to a report filed on the city's website. If given the green light, the building would go up at the southeast corner of a commercial lot at 865 St. James St., at St. Matthews Avenue, which is the site of the former Winnipeg Stadium.

Renderings of the proposed restaurant are seen in an administrative report being considered by a city committee next week. (City of Winnipeg)

Renderings of the proposed restaurant are seen in an administrative report being considered by a city committee next week. (City of Winnipeg)

P.F. Chang’s, which is headquartered in Arizona, was founded in 1993. Since then, its brand has spread to include more than 200 restaurants in the U.S., as well as more than 90 others in 25 international markets.

In 2012, the company announced it would bring its brand to Canada with two locations, one in Toronto and the other in Montreal. While the Toronto P.F. Chang’s appears to have shut down, the Montreal location remains in operation, along with a second restaurant in nearby Laval.

At the time, Michael Aronovici, president and CEO of Interaction (which was involved in the Canadian expansion), said in a news release that the brand felt confident it would find a footing north of the border.

"Many Canadians have expressed to us, both in person and over social media, how much they love P.F. Chang’s, and wished it was closer to home," he said.

The location of the proposed restaurant is at the site of the former Target store in the Polo Park area off Empress Street. (City of Winnipeg)

The location of the proposed restaurant is at the site of the former Target store in the Polo Park area off Empress Street. (City of Winnipeg)

"Given this existing fan base, a commitment to fresh, Chinese-fusion flavour combinations in a distinctive dining setting, we have no doubt that this bistro experience will resonate with Canada’s sophisticated dining population."

P.F. Chang's corporate office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Plans submitted to the city show the restaurant would be a one-storey, 6,200-square-foot building, with the brand’s distinctive horse statue stationed at the entrance.

The chain's website says P.F. Chang's was the first "multi-unit restaurant concept in the U.S. to honour and celebrate the 2,000-year-old tradition of wok cooking." Its menu offers cuisine inspired from five regions of China: Mongolia, Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai and Hunan.

No details on the expected opening date have been made public.

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

The building site for the proposed P.F. Chang's restaurant, south of 24-7 Intouch Winnipeg and Winners/Homesense. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

The building site for the proposed P.F. Chang's restaurant, south of 24-7 Intouch Winnipeg and Winners/Homesense. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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