Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Wagon Wheel Memories, Part 1

When I first started this blog, I did a whole series of posts entitled "Nom Nom Nom in The Peg," reminiscing about some of my favourite restaurants back in Winnipeg. Here's a repeat of my January 2009 post concerning the Wagon Wheel Lunch --


Another Winnipeg eatery trapped in the past was the Wagon Wheel Lunch, just off Portage Avenue in the downtown. It was long and narrow, with a decor that favoured arborite, the colour orange and -- yes, you guessed it -- wooden wagon wheels. It had a lunch counter and an open grill where the short-order cooks worked their magic. And what magic it was! The Wagon Wheel Lunch might look to the uninitiated like a greasy spoon, but insiders knew that it served the best lunches in The Peg. I still dream of its clubhouse sandwiches. You had to get there early to eat, though, or you'd be stuck in the huge line-up that wound out the front door and down the street. Even in the winter!

This wonderful photo of the Wagon Wheel Lunch was taken by a photographer named Ikurnarsky. I found it posted on Flickr.

Tomorrow -- OMG, the Wagon Wheel has closed its doors forever!

29 comments:

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Oh gosh. I love the orange booths... the cafe I went to as a child had booths, but they were hard wooden ones. Still, this photo evokes childhood memories for me.. Love it!

laurie said...

oh no, another land mark bites the dust, so sad,

Barfly said...

Mmmm. Looks delicious. It's hard to beat old places like that. I wish I'd had a chance to try it, or for that matter, go to Winnipeg. I've only been to Victoria, BC and Thunder Bay, Ontario. I know.....why the hell Thunder Bay? Cause my grand parents lived 7 hours away in Minnesota, and I had this brilliant idea we should just hop up to Canada one day.

DEZMOND said...

seems like a nom nom place

M. D. Jackson said...

That's too bad. It looks like my kind of place. Had I ever lived in Winnipeg it would be the place I would go with a notebook or a sketchbook to sit and write or draw.

Lois said...

And I grew up with a Dairy Dell, at Jane and Annette in Toronto... The BEST grilled cheese, ever.

mxtodis123 said...

It's always so sad when that happens. Here in the city many of these famous landmark eateries are gone or on their way out.
Mary

turquoisemoon said...

Just hate it when these ole places bite the dust. Normally great food and normally real food...not McD's!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I love these old places. They bring me back to my childhood. It's really sad when they close down.

Snap said...

I love the old diner look ... Avalon being the one near me. Say it isn't so ... say YOURS hasn't closed!!!! ACK!

Robin Larkspur said...

These kinds of places serve up comfort food and sweet memories. Sorry to hear yet another one has closed.

Beatnheart said...

I with you... So miss these old mom and pop joints and just hate it when they don't survive... Sacred Institution swallowed up my yet another fast food soulless chain .

Suzie Ridler said...

Totally looks like a place I would have loved to check out. So sorry it's closing Debra! It's sad when that happens to places we love.

Linda Wildenstein said...

Love the whole vibe of this place. Excellent memory inducer for us who enjoyed....good diner food.
So sad that these places are being forced out of business because they are jewels.

Francie said...

Why do I want to sing a chorus of Red River Valley? I think it is the combination of wagon wheels and Winnipeg. Thanks Debra, one of my fav songs and I'll be humming it all day!

laughingwolf said...

sounds like my kinda place, deb :)

in my town, it was 'the purple dragon'; and later, 'the casa', it had booze, so we had to be 21, but i was more'n 6' so i started at 17! :O

funny thing, in buffalo, ny, drinking age was 19; i was asked for id at one place, when i was 21! lol

Jane said...

Wonderful memories. Locals always know where to find the best meal :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh bummer that it closed. we have tons of those places around here and i love them!

Wendy S. said...

We all need a "Wagon Wheel" in our lives! Maybe a new one will open that's similar but of course can never replace the original.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

It always makes me sad when a small little establishment closes! Looked like a pretty groovy place to hang.

Sulky Kitten said...

I love unpretentious looking places that serve up really good grub! I would have been a regular there myself!

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Having lived in The Peg forever, I have never, ever been to the Wagon Wheel (shame on me). However! My father, who was a police office in this fine city walked the beat for several years and he fondly remembers the Wagon Wheel and its fabulous clubhouses. Yes, sadly, it has closed its doors. If I am correct, for a parking lot to be erected.

Jeanne said...

I just LOVE diners! They always (mostly) serve the BEST food and the waitresses are always a wealth of local info and the best jokes! Sadly, diners seem to becoming a thing of the past. Oh what the younger generation is missing.....

Joyful Things said...

I worked at Eatons and went to the Wagon Wheel often. Are you sure we didn't see each other there?

Sarah Flight said...

I love old places like this where you can go in and forget about the outside for a while. I went for a pub lunch with my mum a couple of weeks back and the little pub and everything in it was so old, a nice little reminder of the not so distant past :)

Joyful Things said...

I hope I don't post this twice but honestly I can't remember hitting publish comment! But then I think I did, no, yes, no.... Is that a sign of OCD?

Anyway, what I said in my first comment post that has gone somewhere (or nowhere) I used to work at Eatons and went to the Wagon Wheel often. Maybe we were there at the same time!

Introverted Art said...

I love the orange booths and the old diner feel to it. The customer sitting there also adds a nostalgic feel to it. A shame they closed down though :(

Riot Kitty said...

That place closed? That sucks! Because based on your post, I totally wanted to go there.

Elsie said...

It's always so sad when a fantastic place has to close their doors....