Max’s Restaurant To Open in Winnipeg in Fall of 2018

Inspired by how locals responded with long lines in frigid temperatures for the opening of Jollibee last year, Max’s Restaurant, another Filipino restaurant is set to open in Winnipeg in 2018.

The 4,500-square-foot, full-service restaurant will be located in a commercial strip mall to be built at 1255 St. James St., south of the Costco store.

According to Winnipeg Free Press, the Alibin Group Inc, which won the chain’s master franchise rights for Manitoba, plans to open up two more Max’s locations in the city in the next five years.

The company, founded by five siblings who immigrated here with their parents in 1996, approached Max’s Group Inc., owner of the Max’s Restaurant chain about acquiring the franchise rights for Manitoba. They were convinced that an outlet in the city will be a hit with its over 80,000-member Filipino community.

“In 2012, I reached out to Max’s Group Inc. in Asia and said, ‘Listen, I love Max’s. I remember it growing up,” said Hipolito Alibin Jr., Alibin Group managing director and CEO.

“‘How about I bring home that fond memory I have to Winnipeg?’”

“It was a no-brainer. There is a market for Max’s to come here,” he said.

The go-ahead from Max’s Group Inc. wasn’t given until four years later as the company was in the process of introducing new outlets in other Canadian markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.

“Our tie-up with the Alibin Group will anchor the success of this endeavour,” MGI president and CEO Robert Trota said in announcing that Alibin Group had been awarded the Manitoba franchise rights.

“They are equipped with the necessary knowledge and business acumen to foster our shared vision.”

Citing Jollibee, which opened its first Winnipeg outlet at 1406 Ellice Ave. last year, Alibin noted Max’s serves a different segment of the market than Jollibee. The Winnipeg outlet will be considerably bigger than any of the other Filipino eateries in Winnipeg, he said.

Although Max’s specializes in Filipino food — rice dishes, egg rolls, noodles, fried chicken and pork bellies — Alibin thinks it will appeal to non-Filipino market.

“The vision has always been to become the company that brings all of these great Asian franchises to Manitoba,” he said.