'It’s bittersweet': North End restaurant closing after near half-century run
Published Sunday, June 11, 2017 3:20PM CST Last Updated Sunday, June 11, 2017 6:39PM CST
It was an emotional goodbye on Sunday for the family-run Windmill Restaurant, which is closing after 47 years in business.
Angela Damianakos, the daughter of the original owner, moved back to Winnipeg from Toronto to help sell the restaurant after her father Gus passed away last summer. He had owned the Selkirk Avenue establishment since 1970.
“It’s bittersweet, it’s sad,” said Damianakos. “But the way I see it is this was my dad’s baby. He made the Windmill, it’s his legacy.”
Damianakos said she grew up at the restaurant with her brother.
“I used to run around here as a little girl, you know. Bug all the customers, pretend I was a waitress, until I actually became a waitress,” she laughed.
Damianakos said the Windmill attracts people from beyond Winnipeg’s North End.
“People from the West End, St. James, Maples,” she said. “We have people who live up north that fly in or drive in every month. So it’s not just the neighbourhood restaurant…I see it as a city, as a province, because that’s how well-known my father became within the community and outside the community.”
Damianakos said the new owner plans to keep the building as a restaurant and hire new staff.
She said it was important to close out the restaurant on behalf of her dad.
“To finish this off for him, I think he’s smiling, you know, saying ‘way to go kids, good job.’”