Diamond in the Rough

Come 'n Eat on UrbanspoonEvery city's got one. That dive bar with great nachos and live shows, the cute little bakery in a bad part of town: those places that you can't help but love in all their rough and tumble glory. Then there are the businesses that open their doors specifically to bring life to those down-and-out communities. Neechi Commons is that kind of place.

Last year, Neechi Commons opened its new location on north Main. Part grocery store, restaurant, artist's gallery and children's bookstore, this Aboriginal-owned-and-operated workers' cooperative is leading the charge in revitalizing Winnipeg's North End.

Neechi (Cree and Ojibwa for brother/sister/friend) first caught my eye on my morning commute a few months back with its neon "Don't Panic! We've got bannock!" sign. Since then, I've enjoyed a delicious breakfast there with friends more than once. The food is fantastic and well-priced. (Their bannock french toast is a special favourite of mine.)

With its airy and bright interior, it's a great spot to meet with friends over a leisurely brunch, browse the handmade Aboriginal art and pick up a few groceries before heading home.