Winnipeg restaurant reviving menu of long-shuttered Mexican eatery for Cinco de Mayo

A Winnipeg restaurateur is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by throwing back to a popular Mexican eatery that closed its doors years ago.

Chi-Chi’s was a chain restaurant — now defunct in Canada and the U.S. — that served Mexican dishes at two locations in Winnipeg, including a busy spot next to the since-demolished Winnipeg Arena and Winnipeg Stadium, where the Scotiabank Theatre now stands.

Alexander Svenne, a former employee at that Polo Park-area Chi-Chi’s, is now the owner of St. James restaurant Little Goat Food and Drink.

Svenne told 680 CJOB he’s bringing back some of the classic Chi-Chi’s dishes — the ones he remembers from his time working there — on Tuesday to recognize the Mexican holiday.

The response so far, he said, has been overwhelming, with a non-stop barrage of emails from Chi-Chi’s lovers looking for some nostalgic flavours.

“(Chi-Chi’s) was my first job and it was the busiest restaurant I’ve ever worked in since then,” said Svenne.

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“We had both the football stadium and the arena (next door) and whenever there was a show or a game, the place would fill up in about 15 minutes.”


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