A New Watering Hole is Opening in South Osborne This Summer
Anyone familiar with Cheers has longed for that friendly neighbourhood bar where everybody knows your name.
Leopold’s Tavern, which will open in Winnipeg on July 27, hopes to be that bar for residents of South Osborne.
“Leo’s is all about being a great community bar. We want to get to know our patrons and pride ourselves on providing the best quality service, food and drink we can.” – Michael Ash, vice president of operations and marketing with Leo’s Hospitality Group
Leo’s, which burst onto the Regina food scene with its first restaurant in 2013 and has since opened a few other locations in Western Canada, will set up shop at 696 Osborne St., the former home of Deseo Bistro.
Ever since the closing of the ever-popular Luxalune in 2016 (which was located down the road at 734 Osborne St. and is now WPG Cycle), South Osborne has been waiting for its next go-to hot spot for cold drinks and good times. Being directly next door to The Park Theatre will also make it a popular spot to gather for pre- and post-show beverages.
“Being next to The Park Theatre is something that we found very special,” Ash says. “We know that Erick and the crew at The Park work very hard and bring in some amazing shows and events, and we feel that we can work together to create something even more special for the area.”
– Michael Ash
So they have a prime location and plenty of drink options, but let’s talk about the food for a minute.
With a focus on classic comfort food, Leo’s takes pub fare to the next level. While they offer up the standard selection of burgers, salads, rice bowls, sammies, wraps, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, fish and chips and more, what really sets Leo’s apart is that they bake all of their buns, hand-press all of their burgers, hand-cut all of their fries and pretty much do as much as they can in-house.
They also have some not-so-standard apps, like their Buffalo Chicken Taquitos, Basket O’ Perogies, Bucket O’ Bacon and more. And for all you breakfast lovers, Leo’s has you covered with their anytime brekkie dish (four slices of super thick-cut bacon with two fried eggs served with hashbrowns and your choice of white or marble rye toast).
They also have a Breakfast Club menu (weekends and Holiday Mondays only) that features the standard classics as well as goodies like Chicken & Waffles and The Hangover Cure (mixed cheese, bacon, sour cream, pico de gallo, jalapeno and a fried egg on a bed of fries).
But the star of the menu may just be their mind-blowing poutine selection (Pulled Pork, Montreal Smoked Meat and Buffalo Chicken Ranch to name but a few). On top of the regular poutine menu, they feature a new poutine creation every week. Follow their social media pages to keep updated each week!
And for all you deal-seekers (we’re Winnipeg – it’s in our blood), they also have happy hours and food specials, like all-day happy hour on Mondays, T & T (Taco and Tequila) Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays (they even have a veggie “wing” option) and more.
Drink and food aside, the best thing about Leo’s is the people behind it. While the brand has expanded to eight locations in four cities, the vibe has remained community-oriented and the focus for each location is very much local. In addition to sourcing as much food as they can from Manitoba, they’ve already been in talks to have most of the city’s craft brewers on tap.
“Community involvement is something we take very seriously. Each year around Christmastime, we donate a minimum of $5,000 per location to the local community around us. I’m proud to say that to date we have donated in excess of $100,000. If we can help out in our community and it fits with our brand parameters, we will make every effort to do so.”
– Michael Ash
They also plan to decorate the space with iconic Winnipeg decor and will happily hang memorabilia and photos donated by members of the community. And even though Leo’s hasn’t even opened yet, they’ve begun enamouring themselves to Winnipeg with some social media love for the Jets.
“Our main goal is to build an amazing bar in an amazing community like Osborne. Be great neighbours in the community and provide amazing service, food and drink, and the rest will take care of itself.” – Michael Ash