17th Avenue S.W. may be filled with construction right now, but that hasn’t stopped four new eateries from opening up along the popular dining strip in the past few weeks. You can also venture beyond to check out a new brewery, Italian restaurant and ice cream shop. Here’s what you need to know about the latest food-related openings, news and events in Calgary.
The humble sandwich is taken to new heights at the newly opened Alumni Sandwich & Liquor Bar on 17 Avenue S.W. Ironically, the licensed sandwich shop took over the space of a former Subway location, though you wouldn’t know it looking at it now. Designed by Sarah Ward Interiors, Alumni’s 45-seat space now features a cool diner-inspired look. Grab a seat at one of the tables or at the bar to try one of Alumni’s 12 sandwiches, which include a hot chicken sandwich, a Reuben, a turkey club, a Mexican torta sandwich, a chicken parmesan sandwich and more. If you’re hungry enough, there are also snacks like the crispy mozzarella, charred onion dip and bowls of tomato soup or sides like parmesan fries, charred broccoli and house made potato chips. The majority of the menu is gluten-free or can be made gluten-free upon request. The well-priced drink list is worth checking out too. The 16 cocktail options range from only $7 to $11 and include pisco sours, gin fizzes, Manhattans, margaritas and sangria. There’s also a largely local and Canadian selection of draft and bottled beer, a handful of wines and a few non-alcoholic drinks. Stop by for a casual lunch or dinner and drinks with a few friends.
725 17 Ave. S.W., alumnisandwiches.com
This new brewery in southeast Calgary celebrated its grand opening at the beginning of June. The front of the brewery has a garage door that opens up, letting in natural light while you sip on brews like The Blonde I Never Had, It’s a Kolsch, English Smash and Guns Out Stout. Order a flight if you want to try them all. If you like what you taste, you can get a howler or growler for home. Born Colorado also offers a few snacks like beef jerky, beer nuts and items from Made Foods.
414 36 Ave. S.E., borncoloradobrewing.com
Scopa may have recently closed its doors, but the restaurant space in Tuxedo Park didn’t stay empty for long. Cibo, another local Italian restaurant from the same restaurant group, opened its second location in Scopa’s former space on June 6th. The space was given a refreshed look for Cibo, which has 96 interior seats and a 50-seat outdoor patio. Like the original 17 Ave. S.W. location, Cibo’s new Tuxdeo Park restaurant has a $5 pizza happy hour (though it runs Monday to Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at this location) and a late night happy hour (Monday to Saturday from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. at this location). The menu of scodellina, pasta, pizza and meaty dishes is largely the same at both locations, though you can only get items like whipped ricotta, veal and pork meatballs, pancetta pizza and cannelloni pasta at the new Tuxedo Park location.
2220 Centre St. N.E., 403-276-2030, cibocalgary.com
Donna Mac is ready to be your new summer hang-out spot. Not only did the local restaurant just introduce a new daily happy hour deal from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., but they also have a new west-facing patio you can enjoy it on. During happy hour, you can now order cocktails, wine and beer for half the usual price. Try cocktails like the Doctor B (with Alberta Premium, apple cider vinegar, bee pollen, honey, cinnamon and an apple ice cube) and the Pink Lemonade (with Beefeater, Campari, lemon, lavender and orange bitters).
1002 9 St. S.W., 403-719-3622, donnamacyyc.ca
Hoku Poke Bar and Sweet Tooth Ice Cream open on 17 Avenue S.E.
You can get dinner and dessert all in one stop at one of the newest additions to 17th Avenue S.E. This space is shared by the new Hoku Poke Bar and Sweet Tooth Ice Cream’s second location, which are both owned by the team behind Sweet Tooth. On one side of the eatery, Hoku offers four signature poke bowls and create-your-own-bowl options that blend Hawaiian and Canadian flavours. On the other side, you can treat yourself to a cup of rolled ice cream at Sweet Tooth, which offers flavours like s’mores, matcha, espresso and more.
A self-proclaimed “bar room and divery,” One Night Stan’s recently opened in Ming Asian Bistro and Bar’s former space on 17 Avenue S.W. It’s a fun, casual space where the music is turned up loud, there are games to play and it’s easy to wander around and mingle. The food menu is full of bar staples like deep fried mozza, street tacos, chili cheese fries, potato skins, chili chicken wontons, burgers, hot dogs and more. You can wash it all down with one of its two-ounce $10 cocktails, a beer (most of them are around $7) or some wine. But one of the biggest things One Night Stan’s has going for it? It’s home to one of the few dog-friendly patios in the city.
520 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-4407, onenightstans.ca
In the spring of 2017, Cindy and David Nguyen opened one of Calgary’s first dedicated poke spots, Po-ke, in Crescent Heights. They opened a second Po-ke shop in Kensington by the end of the year, and now, the team is expanding its reach with a new food venture that specializes in decorative soft serve. Sweet Haven Ice Cream is located next door to Po-ke’s Crescent Heights location. Using its own soft serve recipe, the shop creates tall swirls of soft serve topped with marshmallows, cookie crumbs, marshmallows, cereal and more. This won’t be the only Sweet Haven location for long though – keep an eye out for a combined Po-ke and Sweet Haven eatery coming to 17 Avenue S.W. soon.
918 Centre St. N., facebook.com
Calling all vegans – VegFest returns for its second year on June 16th. This festival is a great opportunity to learn more about the vegan lifestyle. There will be cooking demonstrations, more than 40 exhibitors to check out and talks by speakers like dietitian Ginny Messina, vegan activist Genesis Butler and former NHL player Georges Laraque. Be sure to check out Cold Garden‘s beer garden while you’re there too.
Millennium Park, vegfestcalgary.com