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Heard on the Street June 2021
Attracting more residential units to Windsor’s downtown has long been seen as a key component in transforming the city core into a thriving commercial centre. And it seems to be happening with a roster of residential units in the construction process of becoming reality. Joe Passa of Passa Associates Architects says his company is working on a number of downtown projects. “We’re in the process of developing 477 Pelissier Street into a 13-unit building, as well as 10 floors of the Security Building at 267 Pelissier, which will have 40-some units,” says Passa. He’s also working on turning 880 Ouellette Avenue into a residential building with 64 units. “It’s been over-the-top crazy for well over a year and everyone seems to want it done right away,” says Passa. “It’s great news for us and hopefully it all has the impact of recreating downtown.” Passa’s firm is also working with the University of Windsor in renovating classrooms, common areas and entrances before students return to in-person learning in the fall, as long as existing COVID-19 related restrictions are eased.
At least a half-dozen new restaurants are in the works for Windsor’s downtown including a Taco Bell in the former Starbucks space at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue West. As well the owners of two Tecumseh businesses, the Indian restaurant India 47 and Royal 47 golf course, have taken over Grill Twenty at 20 University Avenue East. They’ve renamed it Indiamo’s Grill 20 and plan to serve a regular breakfast menu in the mornings before switching over to Indian/Italian food for lunch and dinner. Also a Royal Paan Indian restaurant at 255 Ouellette will occupy the space previously home to Chanoso’s and the Downtown Pizza Co. Royal Paan, which is based in Brampton and has more than 30 locations across Canada and the U.S., specializes in Indian street food and Indian-style sandwiches. The menu includes Paneer burgers, thick vegetarian curry, potato fritters, vegetarian chutney sandwiches, grilled vegetable sandwiches, seasoned potato patties in Paratha bread, and a variety of milkshakes. Elsewhere downtown, the sale of The City Grill property at 375 Ouellette Avenue is expected to close by mid-June with another restaurant reportedly planned for that site. Other new eateries include Chatham Street Diner, Cookie Bar, Sweet Tooth Ice Cream Shop, Ghost Windsor Pizza Kitchen and Syd’s Sandwich Shop, which was featured in the March issue of Biz X.
Havana Castle Cigars is planning its 14th Ontario store at 331 Ouellette Avenue in the old Mandarin House restaurant site, downtown Windsor. The company was established in 1998 when brothers Andy and Alex Razek opened their first store in Oakville. “We’re hoping to open by the end of June,’ says Andy. “It’s a great location and we’re expecting it to be as successful as our other stores.” The chain also has locations in Collingwood, Burlington, Etobicoke, Meadowvale, Mississauga, North York, Toronto, Richmond Hill, East York, London, and two in Woodbridge. The company features cigars from Cuba, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Honduras as well as a house blend.
Dr. Lisa Rino is moving her Cabana Chiropractic and Health Centre to a newly-constructed building at 255 Cabana Road East where it will eventually share space with a new Penalty Box restaurant. The practice also includes two registered massage therapists, an osteopathic manual practitioner, and a chiropractic assistant. There are plans in the future to hire another chiropractor plus a naturopathic doctor. In addition to being a Doctor of Chiropractic, Rino has a clinical acupuncture certification from the Canadian Academy of Clinical Acupuncture.
Troy Maleyko and Neviana Nedeltchev, owners of Carrots N’ Dates, have opened a new spot at Urban Surf at 55 East Pike Creek Road, Tecumseh, under the name, Maverick’s by Carrots N’ Dates. “Our businesses are pretty similar in that we promote healthy living, outdoor activities and clean eating,” says Maleyko of the partnership with the water sports equipment rental company. Their new spot is offering a sampler of Carrots N’ Dates’ main menu, focusing on cold items such as sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Carrots N’ Dates is located at 1125 Lesperance Road in Tecumseh with another one planned for Cornwall in September.
Another step in the ongoing commercial growth of downtown Amherstburg is expected to be taken by the end of July, when The Panetteria, a European-style bakery, opens at 248 Ramsay Street in a space previously occupied by a hair salon. Owners of the bakery are Anna Marano and partner Simon Briggs, but it’s part of an initiative launched by Richard and Colleen Peddie. The Peddies opened the River Bookshop in Amherstburg last year and in addition to the Ramsay Street building, they recently bought two more properties on Richmond Street adjacent to their bookshop. “We were not having much luck finding our own space for a bakery and when we heard the Peddies were thinking of doing something, we got in touch and here we are,” explains Briggs. Marano and Briggs have worked for other bakery owners in the past and decided they wanted to try something on their own. “I didn’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life,” Briggs expresses. The bakery will feature sourdough and French-style breads, croissants, fine French tarts, pies, and take-out sandwiches made in-house. An exact opening date is up in the air at the time of writing, says Briggs because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.