It may be shocking for some to learn that Chris Graves, proud owner of Winnipeg’s beloved Kings Head, came to our city by mistake. Originally from the east coast, Chris Graves was relocating to Vancouver when his car broke down near Thunder Bay. “I stuck my hand out and hitchhiked to Winnipeg.”
“Winnipeg was a mistake, but a great one.” Chris immediately fell in love with the people and the fact that our city held the same intrinsic values as the Maritimes.
While working in sales, Chris often found himself parked at the Kings Head after long business trips. He fell in love so much, in fact, that he soon began to call it an extension of his living room. “One day after a few beverages I told the owner [Jay] to let me know if he ever wanted to sell the place.” Chris wanted to ensure that if it ever changed hands it would remain the same place that he knew and loved.
It seems as though Chris manifested his dreams as the previous owner took him up on his offer. He has since remained true to his goals of keeping the spirit of the Kings Head alive. “When you step into our English-style pub you have a feeling of comfort and home.”
“We are all family here. We are a bunch of misfits who somehow just figure it out.”
A hospitality industry vet, Chris notes that working in the industry is like no other. “It’s like university. You learn to multi-task, how to read people and how to handle stress.” This remains true for restaurants in the Exchange District, but one differing factor is that all of the restaurants support each other. “We are a family of locally-owned, diverse businesses.”
Chris is beyond thrilled to host an Exchange District Cooking Club session with his sous chef this month. They will have the opportunity to bring the Kings Head experience into their customers’ homes, all the while teaching them how to make their authentic butter chicken. “This is a big deal for us,” Chris explains. “We typically keep this recipe locked in a vault!”
To purchase tickets for the Kings Head cooking club session on Saturday, January 17th, click here.