A Winnipeg coffee shop re-opens after an electrical explosion caused during Nuit Blanche

By: Kellen Taniguchi

Scorch marks left behind on a Winnipeg coffee shop – Miss Brown’s – after an electrical explosion caused during Nuit Blanche on Sept. 29./Kellen Taniguchi

Miss Brown’s, a popular coffee shop in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, is open again after an electrical explosion forced the business to close its doors for two days.

Sparks arched through the air behind Miss Brown’s coffee shop during Winnipeg’s all-night art festival – Nuit Blanche – on Sept. 29. The sparks were not an elaborate art display, rather they were the result of an electrical explosion.

Miss Brown’s owner Jenny Tyrrell said her business is still recovering after a Nuit Blanche participant climbed up the main hydro line to access the coffee shop’s roof. In the process, the line snapped out of place, resulting in a spray of electrical sparks and what Tyrrell described as a “massive explosion.”

Miss Brown’s is not typically open during the night but made an exception for Nuit Blanche. They were planning to stay open until 2 a.m. but had to close earlier than anticipated at 11 p.m.

“It’s very frustrating to say the least,” said Tyrrell. “It has been one massive headache and it is disappointing because it is a really fun night and we got cut off before it started to peak.”

Miss Brown’s shared a picture of the damage caused via Instagram. The photo shows a group of fire fighters standing in the back lane behind Miss Brown’s.

According to the city’s media inquiry line, there were electrical sparks from wires arching in the back lane of Miss Brown’s. Manitoba Hydro was advised and took over the scene from there on out.

The explosion forced the shop to close their doors for two full days. They reopened on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.

Little Brown Jug was crowded for most of the night with participants trying to get a closer look at the Muisiriún Illuminé, also known as the light up mushroom.

“We have only positive things to say about Nuit Blanche,” said Rebekah Grisim, general manager of Little Brown Jug Brewing Co. “We have sponsored Nuit Blanche for the last two years and had a fantastic event in our space. Overall it is a terrific festival that brings people downtown and connects them to this city.”

Although Miss Brown’s didn’t have the best Nuit Blanche experience, Tyrell said it won’t impact their decision of opening their doors again for next year’s event.

“This year was a miss for us” Tyrrell said. “I am hoping for a more successful Nuit Blanche next year.”

Tyrrell said she is also aware that the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is looking at increasing security, so events like this do not happen at future events.

Winnipeg coffee shop Miss Brown’s is open for business after an electrical explosion on Nuit Blanche forced the business to close it’s doors./Kellen Taniguchi