The hottest new spot for comedy in Winnipeg is within our local castle.
The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre expanded its offerings yet again in February, as downtown’s historic hotel welcomed Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club into its Club Room, located in the hotel's lower level.
This latest addition arrives on the heels of of many recent updates, including a celebrated restoration of the Oval Room Brasserie (formerly The Palm Lounge), the launch of The Sunset Terrace summer patio, the creation of a new gym and wellness offerings, and most recently, the opening of Glo Skin Bar+Dispensary on the 10th floor in Ten Spa.
You could say that when it comes to relaxing, spa-ing, wining and dining, stately architecture, a great night’s stay, and now some huge laughs–this castle is fortified.
Here’s just a few things to check out at The Fort Garry Hotel this season.
Yuk Yuk’s Winnipeg
Yuk Yuk’s Winnipeg now runs a side-splitter of a show every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, bringing in some of the hottest names in stand-up. It all started with Shaun Majumder of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame, who opened the venue from February 9-11, while this late-winter/spring you can catch:
Shannon Laverty (March 2-4)
Bryan O’Gorman (March 9-11)
Byron Bertram (March 30-April 1)
Ian Sirota (April 6-8; 13-15)
Ben Bankas (April 20-22; 27-29).
We saw Martha Chaves’ act this past Saturday (which you can see this week on February 23, 24 or 25)–and she slayed. Not only is she the “most famous LGBTQ-Nicaraguan-Canadian stand-up comic in the world,” a regular on CBC’s The Debaters, and the 2018 Canadian Comedy Award winner for Stand-up Comic of the Year, she also does the funniest bit on sticking to a name and had the whole audience roaring.
Seriously, having watched the last several Netflix stand-up specials, Chaves performance had us howling in comparison, while local comedian Dean Jenkinson (a writer for 22 Minutes who has also created material for Joan Rivers, The Muppets and Sarah Silverman) was in fine form as usual, with painfully funny material that will resonate with parents longer than stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night.
And the service, venue and culinary offerings!
The Club Room seems tailor-made for stand-up, with all 165 seats providing a great view of the stage. The ushers do an expert job of seating you and your crew, helping you find a comfortable spot to take in the three-act show. There’s no seating plan per se when you purchase your tickets, so if you have a group of four or more make sure someone from your party is there 20 minutes before the comedy starts if you want assigned seating, while you can also email in requests for groups.
You’ll want to arrive early anyways because the food and drink program is no joke.
The Club Cocktails list has all the craft classics, from margaritas shaken on the rocks, to a proper Old Fashioned, the hotel’s signature Caesar, classic or espresso martinis and a negroni, to a fine selection of local beers. Sommelier Christopher Sprague has a select number of wines and prosecco available by the glass to suit all tastes, and tableside service is offered throughout the evening.
The snacks menu has everything you are after too, from the veggies and green goddess dip and French onion dip with housemade chips we fell for on the Sunset Terrace patio this summer, to buttermilk-brined salt & pepper drumettes with ranch, nachos piled high served with pico de gallo and lime crema, and the crispiest FGH-seasoned fries. (Most of which are gluten-free too!)
Tickets can be purchased here, while hotel guest receive 20 per cent off on Yuk Yuk’s tickets too, so be sure to check the calendar before booking your stay.
Spring flings and spa days
The Fort Garry Hotel currently has a number of packages available this season to make your stay that much sweeter.
For couples, the Romance Package gets you sparkling wine when you check in, along with complimentary self-parking, breakfast for two in the morning, plus chocolate-covered strawberries at night. Gourmands will relish the Dine & Unwind package, which combines your stay with a $50 food and beverage credit to use at the Oval Room or within the hotel.
The hotel itself is located right downtown, just across the street from The Forks and Union Station, a few blocks south of Portage and Main and the Exchange (an eight-minute walk in fact, having timed it out), and a five-minute walk to Canada Life Place for all your concert and hockey needs.
And don’t forget about Ten Spa and Glo Skin Bar on the 10th floor!
If you’ll allow an anecdote, we were lunching last week with a friend who lives in Montreal (who grew up in Winnipeg), and we asked, “what’s the first thing you did after landing?” He replied, “oh, Ten Spa. Always. I book a treatment for as soon as I land, then I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon up there. It’s my favourite place in Winnipeg.. and you leave so relaxed.” For context, this is from a 40-year-old male who you wouldn’t count as your typical spa-enthusiast. Ten Spa is seriously that good, and with this many treatments, packages and services, you know you’re in for the best start of your vacation, staycation, or spa day.
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For bookings, deals, and more hotel info, go to www.fortgarryhotel.com
To purchase tickets to Yuk Yuk’s directly go here.
For the spa, head to www.tenspa.ca or book directly at 204.946.6520. For group bookings call 204.946.6529