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Memorable Manitobans: Marion Bodner Staff (1926-2004)

Restauranteur.

Upon the death of her husband, Daniel “Danny” Staff (1919-1971), and still having two of her four children at home to raise, she decided to go into the restaurant business. In 1971, she took over Alice’s Restaurant in Winnipeg’s North End and, in 1977, transformed it into a diner called Alycia’s, serving Ukrainian foods such as perogies, borscht, cabbage rolls, and kolbassa sausage.

In the early days, she and her employees produced 1,000 dozen perogies a day. In time, she built the restaurant into a highly successful business that became famous beyond the city and province. Tourists visiting Winnipeg were known to include a meal at Alycia’s on their to-do list, and actor John Candy was a fan of her signature perogies. She was known for her kindness, compassion, courage, and sense of humour.

She died at Winnipeg on 21 May 2004 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. In 2016, her grandson took over the business and moved it to Gimli. Alycia’s was relocated back to downtown Winnipeg in 2018 under new ownership but has since closed.

Sources:

Obituary [Daniel Staff], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 1971, page 25.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 2004.

Former iconic Ukrainian restaurant in North End finds new home in Gimli,” CBC News, 17 June 2016.

Alycia's Restaurant is coming back to Winnipeg,” CTV News, 4 February 2018.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 18 February 2021

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