Work begins on new Boston Pizza



Photo by Tony Eu. On Oct. 31, demolition of Evan’s Lanes and Mr. Ribs Restaurant began.  The site, at the corner of Highway 5 and Highway 16 in Neepawa, is the future home of a Boston Pizza restaurant and sports lounge. The owners hope that the restaurant will be open for the 2017 summer season.

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It’s official, a Boston Pizza will be coming to Neepawa some time next year. On Oct. 31, the Neepawa Boston Pizza Investment Group announced that a Boston Pizza Family Restaurant and Sports Lounge will be coming to the town in the near future.

The business group consists of local investors Andrew Dennis, Bruce and Sheila Bremner, Lyle Bremner, as well as Linda Dennis, who has recently returned from BC to Manitoba. The group is looking forward to serving the people of this rapidly growing community and surrounding area, and the traveling public.

Andrew Dennis, speaking on behalf of the group, said that after working with Vancouver-based Boston Pizza International for over 15 months, the group is very excited to be able to bring this concept to the town and surrounding area. 

The business will be located at the junction of Highway 16 and Highway 5, previously the home of the long-time businesses Evans Family Drive In Chalet Restaurant, fuel station and Evans Bowling Lanes. “We are very thankful for Mr. Larry Evans’ generosity in sharing the long history of his family’s sports associations, their businesses and the life and times of the era. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to serve the community from this historic location,” said Dennis.


Submitted photo. The site, which was formerly the home of Evan’s Lanes, has a long relationship with the local sports community.  This banner used to be in the bowling alley and celebrated the business’ 50th anniversary.

Demolition began Monday and once the site is cleaned up, they will immediately begin construction of the new building.  The owners are hoping to be open ahead of the 2017 summer season, however, the timeline will depend on the construction conditions this winter.

The new building will cover some 6,700 square feet and in addition to the features common to all Boston Pizza locations, there will also be some unique ones to add flexibility. The business will feature a large, south facing seasonal patio off the sports lounge. Also, in the restaurant area, glass panels will create a 26 to 30 person team room that will offers a more private family, sports group or business atmosphere. 

The total inside seating capacity for both venues will be in the 220 person range.

The building will feature a separate Take Out area to allow guests to pickup their online or telephone orders without having to enter the store. Delivery drivers will also enter and exit through this area. There will also be trees and green space on the lot. “Great family dining, relaxation, fun and customer experience are important aspects at Boston Pizza,” said Dennis. 

The sports lounge is an important part of the Boston Pizza concept and Dennis says that there will be many large screen TVs or projectors, especially on big game days.  He added that the promotion and support of local sports  groups and the community at large are important at BP as well. Some initiatives includes combining group dining  with a charity or sports promotion campaigns.

Dennis said that they are expecting to hire between 60 and 75 people, for both full and part time positions.  Their manager will be holding a job fair towards the end of the restaurant’s construction and hiring schedules will allow for training and dry runs before the grand opening.