Heard On The Street – February 2021

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Heard On The Street – February 2021

After five years in the same Town of Tecumseh location (11962 Tecumseh Road East), Lisa Berbynuk is moving her Closet Cravings Upscale Consignment Boutique to 25 Amy Croft Drive, in a plaza next to Sobeys. “It’s a larger and much nicer space with ample parking,” says Berbynuk. “It’s a busy plaza and I’m looking forward to the change.” She expects to be open in early February and will be near The Hungry Wolf Express. As a result of COVID-19 shopping restrictions, Berbynuk has been offering curbside pickup services once customers have placed their orders and paid online. “It’s been awkward, but the online sales have kept us going and we’re just looking forward to coming out of this and getting back to normal,” adds Berbynuk. The store sells clothing, activewear, purses, footwear and jewellery.

Hakka Khazana, a new restaurant specializing in cuisine from India, China, and Nepal, has opened at 157 Wyandotte Street West (previously Jade Chinese Cuisine) in downtown Windsor. Curbside pickup and takeout is offered until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Owner Milan Kc says it’s disappointing to face these restrictions for a new business, but he knows everyone is in a similar situation. This is the third Hakka Khazana in Ontario with others located in Mississauga and Scarborough. “We wanted to expand and thought Windsor would be a good location because of the city’s ethnic diversity,” explains Kc. The restaurant serves vegetarian food, seafood and non-vegetarian appetizers, and main courses, as well as soups and stir fries. To view the menu, which offers a “Taste of Everest in Canada.”

Last issue we told you of Whamburg opening a ghost kitchen offering smash burgers, fries and malted milkshakes — now two more burger joints have opened in Windsor. But, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, they can only offer curbside pickup and takeout. The Burger Farm, featuring burgers, fried buttermilk chicken sandwiches, fries, shakes, poutine and a selection of local craft beers, opened at 300 Cabana Road East in south Windsor. It’s been in operation since the end of November 2020. And more recently, Brgr Boyz, also specializing in burgers, shakes and fries, has opened at 2212 Huron Church Road. For more information on either restaurant (each owned separately).

Princess Auto and Winners are close to opening their new stores on a heavily-travelled stretch of Walker Road, in a plaza anchored by the Real Canadian Superstore. A sign on the property (4347 Walker Road) indicates that Winners opens February 23, taking over the space previously occupied by Home Outfitters, while Princess Auto is slated to open in early spring in the old Designer Depot near Michaels. Princess Auto has another Windsor location at 3575 Forest Glade Drive. Winners also has stores at 2430 Dougall Avenue and 7201 Tecumseh Road East.

The Baby House Tavern, a long time staple on Windsor’s west side, at 1683 College Avenue, has been purchased from the City of Windsor by an undisclosed buyer. The property was vested to the city as the result of an unsuccessful property tax sale. Unpaid taxes on the property, which includes a bar on the main floor and rooms for rent above, exceeded $250,000. It was listed for sale on MLS in October 2020 for $249,000. The city’s real estate services department received eight offers with seven being above the list price. The new owner took possession of the property on January 22, 2021. Two adjacent properties on Campbell Avenue, owned by the same corporation, were also taken over by the city for unpaid taxes in excess of $70,000. It’s expected that the new owners will have to gut the building in order to prepare it for new purposes because of defects in the roof, windows, porch, skylights and foundation.

Despite construction slowdowns because of COVID-19 restrictions, the value of building permits issued by the city in 2020 fell only $27 million below 2019 levels. Permits issued last year totalled $392,635,699, compared to $419,631,180 in 2019. The only increase was recorded in the residential sector which showed a jump from $224 million to almost $254 million. Industrial fell from $30 million to $24 million, commercial fell from $55.9 million to $34 million and government and institutional dropped from $109.5 million to $80.6 million. The major projects listed at the end of last year included $21 million for renovations to the University of Windsor’s law building on Wyandotte Street West, $1.5 million for a construction project at St. Clair College and $899,000 for alterations to an office building at 525 Windsor Avenue.

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