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Uncertain future faced by Wabowden restaurant

A well-known landmark along Highway 6 is changing hands.

A well-known landmark along Highway 6 is changing hands.

My's Place, the combination restaurant, lounge, convenience store and gas bar at the Wabowden Junction, which opened in the summer of 2006 to much fanfare, has entered court-ordered receivership and is searching for a new owner.

"We are trying to sell it as a going concern," confirmed Collin LeGall of Winnipeg-based Lazer Grant Inc., the court-ordered receiver responsible for the property.

"The assets are being offered on an 'as is, where is' basis," added LeGall. "As is, where is" is a common receivership term, used to protect the receiver. It means that the property being offered - in this case, My's Place - is available in its current state, whatever that may be. This is to prevent the potential headache of a buyer claiming that they thought they were getting something other than the property as it currently is. LeGall likened the "as is, where is" clause to goods sold at auction, which usually include the same clause - a car is sold as it appears at the auction.

Larry Soldier, owner of the ARBOC smoke shop and gas bar on the Swan Lake First Nation, has been operating My's Place temporarily since it was placed into receivership in mid-July, and will continue to do so until a buyer is found.

"Our hope is to find somebody who wants to operate the business in the same spot," said LeGall, adding that "they may change some aspects of the business."

LeGall said that there has been interest in the property from multiple parties, and that he hopes a buyer will be selected after the Sept. 22 deadline for offers. He attributed the interest in part to the state of the facilities themselves. "It's a very nice building," he said, noting that the Google Street View website allows for a great look at My's Place.

Lazer Grant Inc. reserves the right to not accept the highest or even any bid, though LeGall explained that in the vast majority of cases, this clause never comes into play - again, it is simply to protect the receiver. The financiers of My's Place are looking to recoup as much money as possible, LeGall said, and as in any receivership case, the only reason the highest bid wouldn't be accepted would be if there were concerns about the bidder's ability to pay what had been indicated. "It's not often that that would happen," LeGall said. Possible reasons for not accepting the highest bid could be if a deposit wasn't included with the offer, or if the bidder was unable to land the financing for the deal.

The giant log structure was opened at the Wabowden Junction in 2006, with a grand opening on Aug. 19 of that year. Nathan and Caroline Sanoffsky were the original owners, and Caroline's brother Rick Hall headed the construction over a two-year period. The Sanoffskys already owned the gas station on the site, but believed there was business potential in expanding to include a restaurant and lounge.

Wabowden Mayor Reg Meade was on hand at the grand opening, calling it "a proud day for Wabowden." Congratulations were also given by Dave Moore, representing the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, and Tina Keeper, then the MP for Churchill.