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Saskatoon News

From Best to Bankruptcy; Weczeria Food and Wine closes doors

Fine-dining restaurant closes its doors on Broadway Avenue
Reported by Ashley Wills
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A popular fine-dining restaurant has closed its doors, despite winning the title of best restaurant in Saskatoon for three consecutive years.

Weczeria Food and Wine, located on Broadway Avenue, cited bankruptcy as the reason for the closure. According to its Facebook page, the last meals were served Nov. 2.

The stylish ambiance and fresh spin on French food, fueled by locally sourced ingredients garnered countless rave reviews from publications across the country. It was also known to be a choice spot for visiting celebrities to dine.

Broadway Business Improvement District spokesperson Sarah Marchildon said the closure can only be described as part of the natural ebb and flow of business. She said the loss of the restaurant, along with Lydia's Pub earlier this summer, has created a small hole in the fabric of the district.

"Weczeria and Lydia's are great businesses that I know the community is disappointed to lose," Marchildon said, pointing out the importance of supporting businesses you love.

"If you as a person choose to support online shopping, that is the business model that is going to survive."

However Marchildon said neighbouring businesses on the eclectic street are thriving and some are even undergoing renovations to become bigger and better.

As for the now-vacant Weczeria, all the physical restaurant components are built into the building.

"I would expect or guess that it will be most ideal fit to have a restaurant come and take its place,” Marchildon said.

The last Facebook post on Weczeria's page reads:
"It's Weczeria's last night. Thanks #yxe for your patronage & sharing of memories over the years. Chef Dan will be perusing new opportunities so stay tuned."

Well wishes and disappointment from dozens of fans followed in the comments below.

“Yes it's a sad evening. Not many restaurants in the city can boast the 'made from scratch with local ingredients philosophy' that Dan and his team strive for. It's a loss for the city's food scene,” Darren Craddock replied.

“Wish we could be there…Your contribution to Saskatoon is huge! Be proud…it's not an easy business -- in fact it's like the hardest, riskiest, most life-sucking stressful thing ever! Love you! Xoxo,” Megan Macdonald wrote.

“Dan you are a true maestro in the kitchen. I thank you for making me the best food I have ever eaten. I know you will excel at whatever you try. Thanks,” Sean McConnell posted.

Some people posted concerns about unused gift certificates. The restaurant's chef and owner, Dan Walker, said they will be honoured with their next project - but there is no word as to when or where the next project will take place.

"We would gladly have some of that caliber come down here," said Randy Pshebylo with the Riversdale Business Improvement District.

"Everyone’s been talking to Dan trying to get him to come down here."

Pshebylo said before Weczeria opened on Broadway Avenue, it was supposed to be located where Village Guitar and Amp is on 20th street. But perceptions of the street only a few years ago were not as vibrant as they are today, and Pshebylo said Walker decided to open on Broadway instead.

Efforts to reach Chef Dan Walker were unsuccessful.

awills@rawlco.com

Follow on Twitter @ashwillsee