Salt & Brick, a new Calgary restaurant and wine-forward lounge, is unique as a Kelowna implant with Calgary roots.
Casey Greabeiel, who owns Salt & Brick’s original Kelowna location, also owns Calgary’s Greta Bar and has the building next door. With many of his Kelowna clientele already based in Calgary, he realized there was a good chance a restaurant focused on fresh, ever-changing cuisine with an emphasis on Canadian (specifically Okanagan) small-batch wine could be popular here, too.
“I think the biggest thing was just the opportunity to truly be creative,” says Greabeiel. “But within that, recognizing your clientele … but also trying to push people outside their comfort zones.”
The inventiveness of the menu means you likely won’t see the same dish two weeks in a row (if ever again) or in the same format, which Greabeiel says is why chefs like Dave Bohati (formerly of Hawthorn and Teatro) and Alejandro Buzzalino (who prepares a daily fresh fish menu) joined the team.
“It’s like a daily black box challenge is kind of what the culinary team gets and I think that’s why chefs like Bohati and Buzzalino decided to come on board, is the fun, creative nature,” says Greabeiel.
Salt & Brick goes beyond a traditional dining room and is intentionally designed to be intimate but buzzy, keeping guests engaged and coming back whether that’s for more food, drinks or a variety of experiences under one roof. With 4,500 square feet and approximately 184 seats across two floors, the layout features clusters of intimate spaces that are distinct from one another. The goal is that guests don’t feel like they’re socializing or dining amongst hundreds of others, but rather with an intimate crowd.
On the main level, the lounge has a late-night vibe for drinks (before, after or even without dinner) and houses a bar with red neon lighting. The second level offers a private dining area on a balcony overlooking the lower level, as well as two small rows of tables and chairs, seating at the chef’s bar and an enclosed, main dining atrium at the back. There’s also Charlie’s Watch Repair, a hidden speakeasy with a password that changes weekly.
The restaurant is closed every Monday, which Greabeiel says is for the team to prepare for the new weekly menu, and every Tuesday, big announcements commence — the new menu is posted on Salt & Brick’s website and Instagram accounts, and the password to Charlie’s Watch Repair is posted on its Instagram stories.
“We truly want people to come away with a little bit more than just the food and beverage experience,” says Greabeiel.
[Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Casey Greabeiel is the current owner of Greta Bar.]
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