Bidding farewell to Kelekis

Kelekis5Kelekis restaurant in Winnipeg’s North End announced last month it’s closing its doors after 81 years in operation.  Mary Kelekis who still runs the restaurant to this day, will turn 88 in January. The restaurant has been a staple sight on Main street since 1931, but most importantly a staple in the community’s restaurant scene. Its last day open will be January 30, 2013.

I went to bid it farewell, and although I don’t personally have memories from there, most of the people in the group I went with did. The lineup was steady and out the door at times. It was lunch time on a December Saturday so that was to be expected.

kelekis3The restaurant is known for its hot dogs, burgers and fries. I had one of each (just kidding, but I wanted to.) I ordered a Yaleburger (a cheeseburger with tomatoes and lettuce), a strawberry milkshake and stole a few fries from those sitting across and next to me.

One of the walls is packed with photos of celebrities who have visited the iconic restaurant.


The other wall is a mural representing Winnipeg’s history.


On my way out I had to pause and smile to watch Mary at work. What a gem, I can see why her passion will be missed.


Farewell Kelekis!