Hangout Handbook My Winnipeg

Hangout Handbook My Winnipeg
In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their hometowns. Here, Royal Canoe's Bucky Driedger outlines his picks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

What's your favourite breakfast/brunch spot?
The Tallest Poppy. It closed down a couple years ago, but is reopening this summer in the Sherbrook Inn (685 Westminster Ave.).

What's your favourite coffee/daytime hangout?
Parlour Coffee (468 Main St.), Thom Bargen (64 Sherbrook St.) and Little Sister (470 River Ave.) are all frequented by us, depending on what neighbourhood we are in. There's been a recent coffee resurgence in Winnipeg — people getting fed up with the brown Tim Horton's sludge.

Who serves the best fancy cocktails?
Deer + Almond (85 Princess St.) or the Peasant Cookery (283 Bannatyne Ave.). These almost next door neighbours have constantly evolving cocktail menus and are pushing themselves (and each other) further and further into really interesting territory.

Where's the best dive bar?
The Winnipeg Hotel (214 Main St.). The last time I was there I got punched in the head and called a "red-headed pirate spy" by a 60+ year-old lady.

What's your favourite diner?
The new Osborne Village Cafe (160 Osborne St.) is really great. It used to be the worst place on earth and then some new ownership took over. They have the best quinoa pancakes I've ever had.

Where do you go for a fancy dinner?
Enoteca (A-1670 Corydon Ave.) is a brand new restaurant opened by local favourite chef, Scott Bagshaw. An intimate setting with great aesthetic that boasts a fantastic wine list, and a small menu featuring several amazing dishes. The beef tartar is a highlight, along with special features and several other dishes that can accommodate vegetarians. A very nice addition to Winnipeg.

What's your favourite park?
Stephen Juba Park.

What's the best place to take a date?
Haven't had one in years.

Where's your favourite place to have indoor activities/sports?
Shuffleboard at the Legion in Osborne Village (426 Osborne St.). Don't bring your hat.

Where's the best movie theatre?
Towne 8 Cinema (301 Notre Dame Ave.). It's a really sketchy downtown place. Which makes it more conducive to a BYOB situation.

What's the signature annual event/festival/community gathering in your city?
Winnipeg Jazz Fest opening weekend. It usually kick starts the summer and the collective sigh of relief from the sweaty mass of party vibes is euphoric.

Where's your favourite stage?
The cube in Old Market Square when there's tons of people. (Worst Stage: The cube in Old Market Square when there's not tons of people).

Where's the best place to dance?
Union Sound Hall (110 Market Ave.). Opened up recently by some very nice people, that care a lot about music. Good for Winnipeg party vibes.

What's your favourite record store?
Music Trader (97 Osborne St.) or Into the Music (245 McDermot Ave.).

What's your favourite underground/out of the way bar/drinking establishment?
The Orphanage was someone's basement in Point Douglas. You had to know about it and it really only had an event once a month or so, but it was excellent. Bands would play in this tiny room and they served amazing cocktails. Dead Lobster was the next underground place. There you had to text someone's phone number and go down this long narrow corridor. But the cops caught wind of it and it's gone too. So I think for now it's back to king cans on the banks of the Assiniboine River.

Where's your favourite after-hours hangout spot?
By the Louis Riel statue at the legislative building. Riel presides over our late night riverside beer drinking.

Where's your favourite outdoor space?
There's this little place by the river that's really nice to sit on. It's by a sewage treatment plant underneath an above ground pipe and there's this cement support holding it up. There are two beams and this little spot to sit in between them. It's just south of Lipton Street in Wolseley.

What favourite hometown activity of yours would surprise people if they heard about it?
Every couple weeks in summer a bunch of the people who run Rainbow Trout Music Festival organize these enormous bike jams. Hundreds of people show up on bikes and cycle around in a huge pack, taking over the streets. There are usually a few bikes with strapped-down PA speakers attached and synced-up iPod playlists and the whole thing ends with a dance party. During the last jam we crossed a bridge over this massive train yard and I looked back and saw the whole swarm of bikers covering the bridge. It was a beautiful sight.