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New Life For Old Bar On Riverside Drive

Sunday May 24th, 2015, 11:30am


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The old R.J. Wrigley’s sports bar will be completely gutted and renovated to meet the needs of Visions of Canada

A long-time Windsor business is giving their brand a whole new look by breathing life into an old bar on Riverside Drive and Curry.

Visions of Canada co-owner and lead optician Paul Boyko is excited to stretch his legs at his brand new location, where renovations have the old R.J. Wrigley’s sports bar completely gutted and repurposed. Currently tucked away on the corner of Pelisser and Park, the business is looking to expand – over three times its current size.

The Riverside Drive building has been a number of bars and restaurants over the years, including Escape Cafe, but with this new vision taking over, Boyko has big hopes for the location.

“The downtown core is getting busy and it’s getting difficult for people to find parking,” said Boyko. “Going back six, seven years ago, I didn’t know if we would start seeing tumbleweeds coming through downtown Windsor. Now, it’s really the place where people want to be.”

The clustered feeling is one of the main reasons for Boyko’s move, but not the only one. Having started Visions of Canada in 1991, and going on 56 years of age, Boyko is also excited to be able to enjoy his next 10 to 15 years of practice on the waterfront before he settles into retirement. And of course, the parking issue is going to finally be solved.

“If I said to you, ‘let’s go to Erie street and let’s go have dinner tonight,’ the first thing you would say is ‘where are we going to park at?’” said Boyko. “There is parking around us but a lot of people don’t want to use the parking garages and they drive around in circles and use parking meters and then they come in here, instead of focusing on what they came to do, they have their watches set with the alarms on it to make sure they don’t get parking tickets.”

Boyko said as he’s begun to tell clients about the move, the most common question they ask is ‘will there be parking?’. Over the years, Visions of Canada has built up it’s clientele base to be what Boyko calls a destination business as opposed to an impulse business, with clients from as far as British Columbia coming to get his glasses.

While it is still nerve-wracking moving an entire business, Boyko is excited for the more than triple the space awaiting him, his staff and his clients at this new location.

“Our clients truly know that we care about what we do for them and I just believe that this is our opportunity to make life a lot easier for us to do our work and our passion for them because our clients are so important to us,” said Boyko. “When we take care of the people who come in to us, they are the most important thing when we’re dealing with them. We don’t do things to fool people to come in our doors…Our clients come into us looking for our knowledge, our service and our quality products.”

Getting ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Boyko said the goal is to move into the new location by September so when March 1st, 2016 comes around, he, his optometrists, staff and clients will all be settled in enough to have a great 25th birthday celebration.

“It’s the same company, the same people, just a new location,” said Boyko. “We’re just making it softer, easier, smoother for us to do our job and of course so that we can have our own parking lot to make it easier for our clients.”

Visions of Canada’s current location on Park Street West in Downtown Windsor

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