Definitely ‘Must Be The Place’ to be

Vibey Village nightspot is open for business

Taiza Konrad is one of the co-owners and bartenders of Must Be The Place. March 11, 2024

Mike Thiessen

Four months ago, a new Osborne Village venue and bar quietly opened on Stradbrook Avenue.

Unobtrusively occupying the former Segovia Tapas Bar space, a single neon “open” sign serves as Must Be the Place (MBTP)’s primary identifier.

Owners Taiza Konrad and Colleen Ans prefer the low profile – at least for now.

“We’re just pretty old school in the fact that we don’t really like doing too much promotion,” Konrad says. She got her start as a dishwasher at Segovia, her sister Carolina’s former restaurant.

Ans, who partnered with Konrad two summers ago to develop the concept, finds it easier to work out the kinks of new ownership among supportive friends and family.

“Just opening our doors, I think, was the right call,” Ans says of foregoing a soft opening. “And the very second night, we had people in who saw that our sign was on.”

Now, the word is spreading, and neighbourhood establishments are excited about this new venture – particularly the Osborne Village BIZ.

Zohreh Gervais, executive director at the BIZ, says MBTP is exactly what the Village needs right now.

“It’s providing fresh faces in terms of the business community in the neighbourhood, and it’s also giving space to residents,” she says. “Everybody now has their own kind of place to go.”

With communal-focused activities like bring-your-own crafts night, karaoke, bring-your-own vinyl, local acoustic sets and, yes, Ska Sundays rolling out, the place is already a hit.

“Crafts night is such a beautiful addition to the Village. So many people are so creative here,” Konrad says.

An artist herself, Konrad designs the bar’s Instagram content, as well as distinctive touches around the interior.

“To have it my way, I would make art and cocktails for a living. And now I get to do that,” she says.

Gervais is excited to see two young women behind the venture, since that isn’t typical in the bar scene.

“Representation matters, and I am just so happy to see that,” she says, noting that The Toad Pub, a neighbourhood institution, is also now women-run.

Designed to be an inclusive space, MBTP serves inventive non-alcoholic cocktails, (ask Ans to whip one up) as well as alcoholic choices, and a food menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options.

“We have vegan honey dill,” Ans says, which goes great with their “authentic” smiley fries.

Designed initially by chef Keith Csabak (formerly of Sous Sol) and now steered by

Oliver Svenne and Drew Tyler, the menu is a quirky, nostalgia-inspired assortment of create-your-own sandwiches and nachos, corn dogs, wings and weekend specials.

Konrad and Ans also blended in “odes” to Segovia, such as their Spanish doors and glass, chandeliers, wallpaper and sangria recipe.

“Segovia was such an original thing,” Konrad says, noting that her sister loves MBTP. “We definitely wanted to do something completely different, because, in my eyes, it’s very hard to live up to that space.”

Ans agrees. “We still see (regulars of Segovia) come in here and love it for a whole different reason,” she says.

Gervais sees MBTP as a vital part of community revitalization and a welcome addition to its more seasoned establishments.

“It’s really cool to see the next evolution of Osborne,” she says.

Must Be The Place is open Wednesday to Sunday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Check out @mustbetheplacewpg on Instagram.

Published in Volume 78, Number 21 of The Uniter (March 14, 2024)

Related Reads