Feast Café Bistro, at 587 Ellice Avenue, hosted its grand opening celebration on December 10. Feast is the first of its kind in Winnipeg, a licensed First Nations café bistro. The grand opening ceremony ushered in a new era for the former Ellice Café and Theatre.
“We are so excited to finally have our doors open, to welcome in the community, and to start this new journey in the West End,” said Feast owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther.
The grand opening ceremony featured a traditional First Nations honour song to bless the building. It also included a Christian blessing ceremony and ribbon cutting. Live music played throughout the evening, with acoustic performances by local musician Rena Semenko. Following the formal program, Feast hosted a public open house where guests got to sample menu items, enter a draw, and meet Bruneau-Guenther and her staff.
Feast is 100% First Nations owned and operated, and is located in the same building as the Adam Beach Film Institute and Bandwidth Theatre. Bruneau-Guenther is co-owner of the entire building with Adam beach, Jim Compton and Jeremy Torrie. Beach, who is known for his roles in Hollywood, was among those in attendance at the opening.
The building owners are committed to carrying on the legacy of Ellice Café and Theatre owner Harry Lehotsky and New Life Ministries. Lehotsky opened the Ellice Café and Theatre in 2005, and died of cancer in 2006. His wife Virigina was there at the opening to help open the new venue. Feast intends to give back to their community with a special focus on youth, mental health and nutrition.
“The Ellice Café was a community meeting point, and we hope Feast can bring that sense of togetherness back while celebrating the great food and traditional culture of First Nations people,” says Bruneau-Guenther. “What’s more Canadian than food grown right here in this province for hundreds of years?”
Feast’s menu consists of familiar comfort food infused with traditional First Nation ingredients like wild rice, berries, wild game and bannock. Feast is open Monday to Thursday 8-4, Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and is closed on Sundays. Feast also plans to open for special events and private functions on weeknights.