Do you remember the Shanghai Restaurant in Winnipeg’s “China Town”?

I do! It was called a Winnipeg Institution, and was one of the most well-known places to go for Chinese cuisine in our city. The end of an era came when the building was demolished in November, 2012. It was originally built in 1885 and once housed Winnipeg’s City Hall, but I remember it as a great place for lunch or dinner with family and friends.

I was so fond of all the memories made over the years at this great establishment that I contacted Henry to see what items I could purchase and keep as memorabilia from the restaurant.

 We are now the proud custodians of:

  • most of the wall murals from the Sai Woo Room.
  • take-out menus.
  • “Waiter 14’s” order / receipt book.
  • envelopes with the restaurant address.
  • two sets of postcards – postcards from a restaurant! Don’t see that often in Winnipeg.
  • gift certificates – not sure I can use those anywhere!
  • the Chargex receipt tray – Chargex, remember that?!
Men's Room sign from the Shanghai Restaurant

With all of these items though, I think my most prized possessions are the light fixture from the ceiling outside the men’s restroom, and the “Sai Woo” sign.

Regarding the Men’s room sign / light, well I have to be honest and admit I have not yet determined what to do with it. So it sits in the bottom of a desk drawer to be decided upon some day.

But the Sai Woo sign . . . . ahhhhhh, the Sai Woo sign. I am told Sai Woo means West Lake. So I had the sign repainted and hung on my restroom door at the office. It is actually a great conversation piece. The door remains closed so people see the sign and wonder just what the Sai Woo room is. Then we chat about my Sai Woo room, the Shanghai restaurant, and other great memories of developments that have come and gone in Winnipeg. If our meeting runs long, then I may excuse myself to use the Sai Woo room. If friends or family phone, my assistant can tell them I’m just in the Sai Woo room and will call back shortly! It makes things fun, and it’s good to have fun.

Now go have some fun of your own. Behave though, and if you’re really good maybe I’ll send you a postcard from the Shanghai, or perhaps even a gift certificate! It’s too bad the 102, 99, 131c and 45 are no longer available for its loyal following.

Sandy G. Shindleman, CCIM, SIOR, FRICS
President & CEO