Freehouse no more

Advertisement

Advertise with us

Just arrived back in the office after a couple of days under the influence of cold medicine, only to find out that Osborne Village's trendy bar and eatery - The Freehouse - has closed.Gadzooks, could this be a harbinger of things to come in Manitoba's political economy?The Freehouse, as many politicos know, was the favorite hang out for Manitoba's New Democrats. Just about anyone in the Dipper ranks with something to celebrate — a farewell party, birthday party, (and up until recently) Stu Murray's still the leader of the official opposition party — congregated at the Freehouse on Osborne Street at Stradbrook Avenue. And with good reason.The Freehouse was established by a Saskatchewan consortium that includes several New Democrats, most notably MP Lorne Nystrom. The consortium has two successful locations in Regina and Saskatoon, but couldn't make it work here.Management said the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission was the culprit. Seems the MLCC changed the Freehouse liquor license so they could serve booze WITHOUT having to serve food as well.Say again?I have some friends in the hospitality industry and I've never heard them complain about NOT having to serve food with booze. Usually, the problem is that a whole portion of a restaurant or bar is, by license, MUST serve food WITH any alcohol.A senior NDP source assured me the Freehouse didn't fail for lack of trying on the part of his foot soldiers. But when it's all added up, it sure seems like the Dippers, faced with a free opportunity to drink without eating, couldn't meet the challenge. As a voter, I'd have to think twice about a party that can't hold its drink.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/02/2007 (5786 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Just arrived back in the office after a couple of days under the influence of cold medicine, only to find out that Osborne Village’s trendy bar and eatery – The Freehouse – has closed.Gadzooks, could this be a harbinger of things to come in Manitoba’s political economy?The Freehouse, as many politicos know, was the favorite hang out for Manitoba’s New Democrats. Just about anyone in the Dipper ranks with something to celebrate — a farewell party, birthday party, (and up until recently) Stu Murray’s still the leader of the official opposition party — congregated at the Freehouse on Osborne Street at Stradbrook Avenue. And with good reason.The Freehouse was established by a Saskatchewan consortium that includes several New Democrats, most notably MP Lorne Nystrom. The consortium has two successful locations in Regina and Saskatoon, but couldn’t make it work here.Management said the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission was the culprit. Seems the MLCC changed the Freehouse liquor license so they could serve booze WITHOUT having to serve food as well.Say again?I have some friends in the hospitality industry and I’ve never heard them complain about NOT having to serve food with booze. Usually, the problem is that a whole portion of a restaurant or bar is, by license, MUST serve food WITH any alcohol.A senior NDP source assured me the Freehouse didn’t fail for lack of trying on the part of his foot soldiers. But when it’s all added up, it sure seems like the Dippers, faced with a free opportunity to drink without eating, couldn’t meet the challenge. As a voter, I’d have to think twice about a party that can’t hold its drink.

Dan Lett

Dan Lett
Columnist

Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Blogs

LOAD MORE BLOGS