Dhoom Indian restaurant at corner of Donald and York has been there for a while. A keen reader took a picture of the closed restaurant and discovered a sign promoting Spice Affair: Essence of India coming soon.
It is unknown how much construction and remodeling is taking place but there are a few new places to eat in the area. In its earliest incarnation the building housed a Pizza Hut for many years. In the last Dhoom was a sports bar and buffet.
The massive expansion of the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre across York Avenue and the large Chipman hotel office and condo/hotel project seems destined to draw far more people downtown. Both projects have taken up massive surface parking lots.
Sadly, Donald Street is one long stretch of parking lots and only a few places are actually street friendly in between. The Jets, Moose, concerts and conventions attract a steady crowd of people and some of the large apartments and offices nearby should provide clientele for the restaurant. However, the wasted space of surface parking lots is more pronounced than in many places.
Spice Affair and a number of other new restaurants, coffee places and bars are adding some life to the streets and hope this continues to be true.
It will take some time to fill in all the gaps in such an expansive city such as Winnipeg. It is good the people still want to build restaurants downtown but building a neighbourhood is slow and organic. Too many buildings are bunker-like and decidedly not friendly to the street.
Spice Affair could be a sign of more activity coming down Donald Street and for that, we can all be happy.