One of Calgary’s main arteries, Stephen Ave is always bustling with energy. Stroll through on a weekday lunch and feel like your part of the corporate world, moving with a mission and cutting cheques. Pop in mid-afternoon on a Tuesday and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with a community market with a hyperlocal vibe. Or swing by in the evenings or weekends to pop into one of the many iconic bars and restaurants. AND there’s boutique shopping, art installations and historic architecture. And Olympic Plaza, and, and, and! The list goes on and on, so we can hardly contain our excitement for our Stephen Avenue location!
It’s difficult to get us to stop talking about the newest hot spot in town, that just happens to be located directly across from us. It was love at first sight. Let’s start at the décor… loosely modeled after the hotel in the infamous Stephen King horror, The Shining, The Wednesday Room embodies retro chic (shout-out to McKinley Burkhart for creating another amazing space in Calgary). And the food! You know when you want to order everything because you can’t decide? This is one of those places, but, better yet, there’s an option to order ALL their appetizers so you don’t have to decide. Genius. If we aren’t at the shop, you can find us here.
Designed in Vancouver, these unique shoes make a big statement. The retro styles were once branded as “Brand new 50-year-old shoes”, with their vintage vibe evoking feelings of the lively decades that have passed. The Calgary location contains a Fluevog museum upstairs, showcasing the astonishing styles of past decades, a “beautiful, messy trove of hidden treasures”. In the basement, there is a rotating art gallery showcasing local talent, aptly titled “The Peanut Gallery”. Come for the shoes, stay for the art (and still obviously the shoes).
Arts Commons is the hub for local art in Calgary and is proud to present and promote creative collaboration within our city. Want to catch a play? Arts Commons. Watch a local dance group? Arts Commons. Have a bite to eat? Arts Commons. Arts Commons not only houses Calgary’s most innovative artistic companies and partners, but is also home to Workshop, an innovative restaurant who proclaims “infused through all we do is culture. Food and wine culture. A culture of excellence. Theatre and performing arts culture and our favorite culture – counterculture”. You’ll come out the Arts Commons a little more creative and inspired.
Serving up some delicious locally roasted coffee in a carefully curated space to showcase local artisans, we LOVE the Stephen Avenue location of Phil and Sebastian, located in the historic Hudson Block (really, we love them all. Coffee is the key to our hearts). Self-proclaimed “coffee nerds hell-bent on sourcing, roasting and serving the best coffee possible” have created a cult following here in Calgary. The lush greenery in this location is supplied by Calgary’s favourite plant shop, Plant, while the art and products on the wall showcase rotating Calgary artists from the treasured Market Collective. This location is the embodiment of local love.
The Art Vault in the ATB Building
Right next to Phil and Sebastian, in the lobby of the ATB building is a project started by the lovely and innovative folks at Art Vault as a means of showcasing local emerging talent. This is where ATB is transforming the banking experience for their customers, by supporting local artist and offering a modern interior space with Art Vault, filled with work by emerging artists from the Alberta College of Art + Design community.
While the Beatnik Bus is nomadic and can be found all around Calgary, you can likely find the ‘retro’fitted van on Stephen Avenue for the Tuesday afternoon markets. Inspired by the success of food trucks and mobile retail vendors, the mobile van sells a collection of vinyl records that appeal to all musical tastes.
Hands down, Calgary’s best patio in the summertime, with its welcoming hanging lights and upscale, backyard vibe. Float through on a weekend and play some cornhole or ping-pong or on a weekday to catch their stellar happy hour deals, like 25 cents/ounce draft on any of their beers. We love that they are committed to the YYC community, incorporating local craft spirits and food producers whenever they can.
Designed to reduce wind gusts between blocks, the Galleria trees have become one of the most iconic (and Instagrammable) installations in Calgary. The trees can be choreographed with lights and music to create a spectacular display. Downtown Calgary has partnered with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary International Film Festival and Honens to bring specially curated music to the Galleria trees.
The go-to spot at Christmas, and a wicked place to stop and eat your lunch in the summer, this year-round destination caters to the kid at heart. Our own little serene getaway in the centre of the city.