Downtown worker shortage means end of line for Winnipeg restaurant after more than 40 years – Winnipeg |

Another Winnipeg restaurant has long fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad, a downtown staple, will close for good at the end of this month after more than four decades in business.

The restaurant, located in the basement below the Fairmont Hotel and the Richardson Building, said much of its business comes from downtown workers, a group that hasn’t fully recovered since the pandemic began.

Brenlea Yamron, who runs Nathan Detroit’s with her sister Karen after taking over for their late father 20 years ago, told 680 CJOB’s The beginning that the outpouring of public support is making the difficult decision a little easier.

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“It’s tough, but we’re really enjoying everything Nathan’s has given our family,” Yamron said.

“We are so incredibly overwhelmed by the people out there. We are Winnipeg lovers, we are Winnipeg promoters, we have all raised our families in Winnipeg.

“Winnipeg…man, you’re making us proud right now.”

Yamron said that while the closure will give their mother, Fraydel, a chance to finally retire after more than 40 years, the future remains unwritten for the sisters.

“My sister and I are definitely too young to retire, so we’re going to look at something else,” he said.

“Whatever it is, we’ll get a little bit of time off and then we’ll start looking, but it’s definitely going to be Winnipeg.”

The restaurant will make an announcement in the near future about plans for the final days of Nathan Detroit.

The president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce says it’s a simple fact that businesses like Nathan Detroit need more people downtown to stay open, and that as more and more businesses take on debt to get by, many have come to its limit.

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Loren Remillard told 680 CJOB that she feels the government should look to ease debt conditions for small businesses.

“As far as some of the reimbursements for some of the programs that have been running during the pandemic, let’s take a look at how we can help those small businesses, maybe with a little bit of debt forgiveness, spreading out payments on the debt, zero interest,” he said.

“All of these measures that we can help bring some elasticity back to those small businesses.”

Remillard said statistics from Canadian chambers of commerce surveys show that more than half have no room to take on more debt.

“When you take that specifically for small businesses, that number jumps to 60 percent, they just don’t have any elasticity left.”

Click to play video: 'Downtown Winnipeg business owners look forward to seeing employees back in the office'

Downtown Winnipeg business owners look forward to seeing employees back in the office

Downtown Winnipeg business owners hoping to see employees back in the office: May 12, 2022

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