Tuesday, December 20

Vi-Ann nostalgia

Vi-Ann Restaurant was the first place I ever visited in Osborne Village.  What I now know as one of the trendiest and hippest parts of town, I then only knew as the site of one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in town.

As some of you may have already heard, both Movie Village and Vi-Ann Restaurant are being sought after by Shoppers Drug Mart in hopes of an expansion on the adjacent lots.  Tomorrow, the city's board of adjustment will decide whether or not the plan is a go.  (For more information, click here)

After reading the news, blog posts and tweets about the expansion plans, I decided to take a stroll down to Vi-Ann's myself.

After walking through their front door, I was surprised to see an influx of patrons in the vicinity.  The restaurant was bustling with customers, optimistically chowing down on tasty soups, noodles and rice platters.  The atmosphere exuded one thing: hope.

I picked up my regular order of vegetarian spring roll vermicelli (one of there reasons why I love this restaurant is because they have an extensive vegetarian menu), and proceeded to sign the petition form placed on one of the tables.

I personally have nothing against corporate expansion, nor do I have a nit to pick with Shoppers Drug Mart - I happily shop there on a regular basis.  However, I do feel strongly about supporting local business owners who have worked hard at making a name for themselves in this city.  Here's hoping.

Vi-Ann Restaurant owner Bac Bui originally immigrated to Winnipeg back in the 70's.  He worked as a labourer for 25 years until he decided to pave his own path by opening a business in 2001.  Vi-Ann's has since strived in Osborne Village and offers people a taste of genuine Vietnamese cuisine.

To read more about this story, the Winnipeg Free Press posted an article here and there is also a Facebook page here.  My friend Maria also blogged about Vi-Ann's here.

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