WINNIPEG — Hundreds of people flocked to Kelekis Restaurant for one last time yesterday, as the owner of the 81-year-old Winnipeg mainstay prepared to close.
“Over the years so many wonderful people have passed through our restaurant,” reads an announcement on the restaurant’s website.
“Many people began their working careers with us as servers and bussers and have gone on to reach great things in their lives. So many friendships have been forged with customers that this is a very hard thing to contemplate. We will miss all the contacts and the conversations with all of you.”
The restaurant was founded in the 1930s by Chris Kelekis, who sold chips from the back of a Model T Ford. By the 1940s, the family opened two restaurants, one at Main St. and Selkirt Ave. and its present location at Main St. and Redwood Ave., where a menu of hotdogs, hamburgers and “Kelekis chips” were sold. Its present owner, Mary Kelekis, 88, is retiring.
The city of Winnipeg is paying tribute to the restaurant by naming the street, located between Redwood Avenue and Aberdeen Avenue, Kelekis Way.