Still breathing but barely

Sherbrook comes to life

lI love coming of age at the same time as a neighbourhood. Sherbrook’s renaissance has been pleasant for us all, and as someone who lives on the cusp of West Broadway and is also a bit of a premature grandma, I’ve particularly enjoyed being able to “go out” and “do cool things” while making minimal effort.

While I had a brief YOLO phase in my late teens/early 20s, it’s only been recently that I’ve embraced being somewhat bad (i.e., going out on weeknights-bad, dipping into my overdraft-bad. Real heavy stuff). I must say it’s extremely convenient to be going through such a phase with such fun going-out options so nearby.

Back when I was a scruffy 20-year-old, the only places to hang out on Sherbrook were Cousin’s and the Nook. You could try your luck at the Rose n Bee/Standard/Hooligan’s, or whichever beleaguered incarnation stood at 61 Sherbrook at the time. While Cousin’s and the Nook remain lovable stand-bys, the street has welcomed a plethora of shops and venues for the hip and disenfranchised. Now that I’m a scruffy 27-year-old with a tad more money to spend, it’s nice to know I can saunter down the street at pretty much any given time of day and find something to do and/or consume.

I’m still adjusting to seeing throngs of folks gathered outside the Handsome Daughter at all hours of the night. I’m used to crossing over the Maryland Bridge after a night on Osborne, among the crowds, and being welcomed back to sleepy Wolseley/West B. by a subdued Sherbrook Street. There may be scattered friendlies on the Cousin’s patio, but for the most part it was a quiet block. It was a nice way for me to transition from “going out/party time” mode, to “bed time/sleep forever” mode.

I’m not too much of a curmudgeon that I don’t welcome these crowds. A populated street is a safe one, and this will hopefully spill into less gentrified parts of the neighbourhood.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who welcomes these changes. The addition of the Handsome Daughter and its throngs of thirsty young clientele mean the proprietors of Tasty Bite Pizza must be thrilled.

For the morning after these wild nights, the Tallest Poppy now joins the ranks of Stella’s and the Nook for Sherbrook Street hangover cures. Or just grab a strong shot of caffeine at Thom Bargen and call it a day, if your stomach isn’t up to solid foodstuffs. The Poppy features amazing food, friendly service, and the likelihood of bumping into at least five people you know waiting in line for chicken and waffles. For a true Winnipeg experience, exit out the back door through the lounge of the Sherbrook Inn. The juxtaposition of new Sherbrook and old Sherbrook is something to be seen.

Winter approaches and nights are longer now. Good thing there are such nice indoor spaces to spend them. I’ll see you there.

Laina Hughes is a writer from Winnipeg. Pick up a copy of her book Wolseley Stories at McNally Robinson.

Published in Volume 69, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 12, 2014)

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