Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (O&B) and Ink Entertainment are planning a new food and lounge concept and large-scale event venue at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s (HBC) Calgary Downtown flagship store. It will open in two phases in 2014.
“We are extremely excited about the new hospitality offerings planned for our Calgary Downtown location, living up to our promise to bring new, high quality brands and experiences to Hudson’s Bay,” says Bonnie Brooks, president, HBC. “At 100 years, our Calgary Downtown location is one of the most recognized landmarks in the city. We want to build on that legacy by showcasing this beautiful and historic building, as well as Hudson’s bay’s forward-thinking approach to the lifestyles of our shoppers.”
Phase one of the project is the creation of the 7,500-sq.-ft. restaurant and 4,000-sq.-ft. lounge. They will be located in the southwest corner of the store, which is housed in an Edwardian classical style building on the corner of 1st Street SW and Stephen Avenue SW in the downtown Calgary. The design firm Munge Leung has been charged with ensuring the venue maintains the architecture’s original historical features, representative of HBC’s deep Canadian roots, while incorporating a fresh, modern flair.
Phase two—a flexible, contemporary, loft-style event venue—is scheduled to open in fall 2014. Located on the sixth floor of the heritage building, it will initially measure 20,000 square feet, with plans to later expand to include the entire floor, effectively doubling its size. Like the restaurant and lounge, its design will combine the building’s “historic grandeur” with “new, urban accents.”
Oliver & Bonacini principle Michael Bonacini and corporate executive chef Anthony Walsh are teaming up to forge the new venture’s culinary vision, which will incorporate simple, traditional cooking methods and modern dishes inspired by native Alberta ingredients.
Oliver & Bonacini is one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant and event companies. Ink Entertainment is one of the country’s leading lifestyle and entertainment companies. Oliver & Bonacini partnered with HBC in 2011 and completed their first project at the Toronto Queen St store in spring 2012. It included the launch of a new restaurant (Bannock); an in-house bakery and confections studio (O&B Artisan); a stylish event space (Arcadian Loft); and the renovation and re-launch of the historic Arcadian Court.