Haynes Chicken Shack was a really good Winnipeg restaurant and night spot during my earlier years. Did you have one of these in your life?
So, I turned 70 this week. Happy birthday to me. A very low key celebration during COVID. You may be wondering, what on earth does that have to do with Haynes Chicken Shack?
Let me tell you.
As you get older, it seems, you spend more time thinking about your life. And I don’t mean this in any morbid sense. Just memories that flash across your eyes about people, events and adventures. While I have many fond recollections during my years in professional services and management consulting, perhaps the sweetest are from the 1970’s in Winnipeg.
Haynes Chicken Shack was perhaps my favorite Winnipeg restaurant and night spot. Percy Haynes and his wife Zena ran this wonderful night spot for decades, until they passed in the early 90’s. Located on Lulu Street near downtown, this was a great place for southern fried chicken. A great place to meet the local black community. And a great place for some live jazz.
Percy was an entrepreneur, athlete and musician, shown top right. For a few dollars you would get a good meal with good company and, eventually, some good jazz with Percy Haynes at the keyboard. Some nights, Zena would sing, as well. Occasionally, other black artists would sit in.
Haynes Chick Shack Introduction
So, who is the white guy in the top left above? Well that’s my friend Jim Coghill who introduced me to the fully integrated night life at Haynes Chicken Shack. Jim was a fellow broadcaster at CJOB, but I had been listening to him for years before at CKY. We shared a mutual interest in jazz music, as well as many friends in common.
Jim passed away sixteen years ago, but is often in my thoughts as a gentleman and the guy who introduced me to Drambuie.
So, next time you celebrate a birthday, pull out your old high school yearbooks and early career memorabilia. Fondly remember the wonderful guys, gals and places that made growing up so sweet.