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This article was published 17/9/2018 (1130 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The heat is on for a new steakhouse in Fort Garry.
Local restaurateurs Wayne Dang and George Khalaf recently opened Lot 88 Steakhouse and Bar in the former home of Barley Bros. at 2005 Pembina Highway.
The Winnipeg location is the first in western Canada for the Ontario-based brand. With two successful locations in Sudbury and North Bay, Dang said Lot 88 founder John Law wanted to extend the restaurant’s reach to Manitoba.
"He wanted to expand to Winnipeg and it’s just a good fit for us," Dang, who operates four Winnipeg Montana’s BBQ and Bar locations with Khalaf, said.
"It is very unique. It gives people a wow experience and it’s something Manitobans have never experienced before."
What separates Lot 88 from other steakhouses in the city are the scorching volcanic stones the slabs of meat are served on, Dang explained.
Cuts of AAA certified Angus beef from Alberta are seared in the kitchen and then brought to the table on a slab of stone heated to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
"You cut a slice and you let it rest on the rock until it’s prepared the way you like," Dang said. "So depending on how you eat your meat — if you want rare, very rare, medium rare, well done — you just let it rest for five seconds here, 15 seconds there, whatever you want.
"So there’s no way you will complain to us that your steak is not cooked the way you want it."
While conversations were underway for about a year to bring the steakhouse concept to Winnipeg, opening the city’s first Lot 88 has been a swift process. Barley Bros. vacated the location at the end of June and the Lot 88 partners took possession within a week’s time. The main dining room has been renovated to reflect a casual fine dining atmosphere with large plush booths, rustic pendant lighting, and slate stone accents. The restaurant will seat 100 in the dining room and 110 in the lounge.
Khalaf, who got his start in the hospitality industry over 20 years ago, said the partners aren’t worried about filling seats in the dining room.
"If you try it once you’re not going to go anywhere else," Khalaf said. "That’s how confident we are."
Khalaf and Dang are also counting on Lot 88 to become a destination for people living in the burgeoning neighbourhoods south of Bishop Grandin Boulevard in Waverley West and to the west in Tuxedo.
"This is good for business people. You can come in and sit down for an hour and a half and the steak is hot. You can talk and you don’t have to rush to eat," Khalaf said. "And the meat itself — it’s going to taste better, it’s bigger, it’s thicker."
Aside from steak, which ranges between $35 to $47 for a meal, Lot 88 also offers salmon, oysters, chicken, shrimp, salads, sandwiches, soup and a large selection of wines and 24 beers on tap. Lunch is served Monday to Friday and opens on weekends at 3 p.m.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.