— The Route —

Man About Downtown

Oliver apartment and beloved bike make Nana Kumi’s social life easy

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Spend enough time downtown and you’ll spot Nana Kumi, most likely on his road bike, a bright orange Masi Speciale covered in a collage of stickers from local businesses. But Kumi’s Oliver apartment is more than just a place for him to hang his signature commuter hats; it’s a way of life for the gregarious general manager and managing partner of Tres Carnales, one of Edmonton’s most beloved eateries. “I love everything about working in the restaurant, but downtown is who I am,” he says. “You can walk to where you need to, and no matter where you go, you will see a friend.” Here are a few of his favourite places along his four-minute ride.

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  1. Capital Plaza, 10800 97 Ave.

    The newly built pavilion outside of the provincial legislature is a preferred stop on Nana’s daily ride. “This is one of my favourite new additions to Edmonton,” he says of the concourse that sits just north of the grounds. Nana—a self-described people person—appreciates the daytime people watching and the expansive plaza’s vista. “Looking down 108th street is unreal. The view itself is worth everything.”

  2. Red Star Pub, 10534 Jasper Ave. 

    Nana and friends often find themselves descending the staircase of this watering hole.The long, international beer menu, eclectic DJs and gourmet pub-grub are reason enough to frequent Red Star, nominated by Air Canada’s magazine as one of Canada’s Favourite Bars. But for Nana, it’s the people inside bringing him back. “It’s just one of those places that you can go into and somebody you know will be there,” he says. “Kind of like Cheers.”

  3. Credo Coffee, 10134 104 St. 

    Being no stranger to the small business model, Nana appreciates the independent coffeeshop’s warmth and friendliness. It’s also family owned—and that’s one of the biggest factors for near daily visits from Nana, an ardent supporter of local business. Of course, the barista’s expertly crafted coffee certainly doesn’t hurt.

  4. Corso 32, 10345 Jasper Ave. 

    Working at a nationally acclaimed taqueria means Nana’s never far from a spectacular meal. But the artfully prepared modern Italian at Daniel Costa’s 34-seater is a regular indulgence for him. His penchant for pasta gravitates him to the cavatelli, whenever the sausage sugo is on the menu. “It’s my comfort food, especially on Sundays. If I need a really good day of eating, it’s there.”

  5. Rice Howard Way
    Before and after a shift at Tres Carnales, Nana likes to take in the restaurant’s surrounding area. He rides down the cobblestone roads, appreciating the architectural array of modernism and heritage buildings, as he savours the charms of Edmonton’s only official pedestrian street—meaning there’s no jaywalking tickets for the steady flow of foot traffic and the many friendly faces just outside his work’s front door.

Do you live and work in Central Edmonton? Tell us your favourite highlights in The Route. Email editor@theyardsyeg.ca.

This entry was posted in 2015 Fall, Columns, Issues, The Route.