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Le renouveau des restaurants de la rive sud de Thunder Bay.

A new restaurant group in Thunder Bay is hoping to play a role in the revitalization of their childhood neighbourhood.

Although South May Street holds fond memories for Bannon and Lankinen, the neighbourhood has seen better days.
When developing their concept, Lankinen looked at the market and realized the south side of the city sees impressive daytime traffic.
“A good chunk of the menu has First Nations influence, but we also didn’t want to hang our hat on that,” Lankinen said.

Rounding out the menu is several pizzas, including the Norwegian, topped with smoked salmon, caramelized onions, capers with dill cream cheese and mozzarella, and the Hunter’s Pizza, topped with braised rabbit, roasted mushrooms and mint olive oil.
To build the restaurant, Lankinen and Bannon turned to repurposed and torched wood, completing much of the construction themselves.

“For the three to six months before opening, I was running around in my truck stealing every possible pallet board that was lying around for free,” Lankinen said.
Operating as Venys Hospitality Group, Bannon and Lankinen are now working on their second restaurant, a speakeasy-style bar in a century-old building on South May Street.
The bar’s theme will play off Thunder Bay’s history as a whiskey transportation hub during Prohibition.
It feels really weird, all these memories I had in this place and now I’m the one ripping out the walls,” Lankinen said, noting their second venture will open next spring.
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