The St. James Keg Steakhouse and Bar

October11

On the very first night that the Keg ‘n Cleaver opened on Garry St., I was one of those full-length dressed hostesses to greet you at the end of the line (which was down the sidewalk).  The Keg was my start in the hospitality business, as well as so many other successful Winnipeggers.  My family has been entwined in its history ever since that first night.    The story goes on and on, but let me fast forward to last evening.

We were invited to the preview party at the newly refurbished St.  James Keg.  Before I got caught up seeing many beloved friends, I managed to take some photos of the sleek and still cozy new interior.

How has a restaurant like The Keg managed to keep reinventing itself in new and fresh ways, when most of its competition from back when it first opened in Winnipeg, is long gone? I have two thoughts on this:

1) They have always been true to their hero product-beef.  I know how stead-fast this loyalty has been because I was one of their “smart-alec” Marketing Directors that declared that their menu would have to evolve to less red meat and items like pastas if they were going to survive (boy was I wrong).

2) The Keg’s focus has always remained on people.  Young people have been given the best hospitality training and have been taught the value of very hard work and have been richly rewarded for their perseverance and talent.  Most members of Winnipeg’s Senior Management Team started in the dish pit and behind broiler bars.  They are a “family” and therefore treat their guests as if they were being welcomed into their home.

And in the case of the St. James Keg, home is an elegant and uncluttered space.

Gone in all the Winnipeg Kegs are the rough cedar walls, the brick a brack, the huge vases full of silk flowers and the celebrity renditions on the walls.

Fireplaces have been retained and comfy booths, but everything else has been packed away with those full length hostess dresses.

Angela Chapdelaine is the General Manager of the St. James Keg.  She runs a tight ship and you always know where you stand with her.  She is a part of a Keg Family Legacy in Winnipeg.  She lost her much-loved Dad this summer.  He would have been so very proud of what she has built and achieved.

But what of the evening’s food and drink?  Yes, we were greeted by trays of well-selected wine and those amazing Keg Caesars. The array of appetizers were delectable but I kept my appetite for the teriyaki steak skewers and the prime rib sliders.  Ahh, the beef.

Kath’s quote: “Beef is the soul of cooking.”-Marie-Antoine Carême

Love-that is all.


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