End of an Era: Sals on North Main closes its doors for the last time

It’s the end of an era – after 60 years of serving up coffee, pancakes and, of course, plenty of Salisbury House Nips, an iconic restaurant on North Main has closed its doors for the last time.

“It is sad to see and we’re really going to miss the place to be honest,” said Mike Boyce, the manager of the Salisbury House on the corner of Main Street and Matheson Avenue.

The restaurant officially closed up shop on Monday after it was listed for sale in early February.

The restaurant was built in 1963. In the decades since, Boyce said this Sals location served everyone from politicians to sports figures and musicians such as Burton Cummings.

In 2016, the Guess Who singer posted on social media that he had spent countless nights in the Sals back when he was a member of the Winnipeg band, The Deverons. Cummings recalled it was his teenage ‘Diner’ just like the movies.

For long-time customer Martin Brudy, this Sals was a home away from home. He’s been coming to the restaurant to have meals and chat with family and friends for 40 years.

“We come here to solve the world’s problems,” he said. “They never get solved, but you know, we like to think we’re doing some good.”

Brudy said it’s a very sad day for him knowing he will now have to find a new place to go for breakfast.

“We’ll try the next Sals down the road on Leila and McPhillips, but It’s not the same.”

Employees at the iconic Salisbury House on the corner of Main Street and Matheson Avenue work in the kitchen during the restaurant’s last day. The location closed up shop on April 24, 2023. (Source: Jon Hendricks/CTV News Winnipeg)

The Main Street restaurant itself is the same as it was when it first opened.

“It’s the last location like this,” said Boyce. “This is the only one that still basically looks the same as it did in 1963. The only change is they put in carpet and they have updated the colour. But other than that it’s the exact same as it was 60 years ago.”

What isn’t the same is the volume of people coming into the restaurant. Boyce said the location lost many long-time customers during the pandemic, and they just haven’t returned.

“And just the age of the building, there was just too much to do,” he said.

Boyce said closing the location was just the most logical decision, but he says it’s a sad day for him, and for the many others who have sat down for a meal here. 

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