Mike Bhatnagar gives a tour of the mysterious tunnel under The Hat

What is the purpose behind the strange tunnel found under a restaurant in one of Edmonton's oldest areas? The owner has no idea, but he is eager to find out.

Owner found the tunnel in 103-year-old building while cleaning up

Mike Bhatnagar gives a tour of the mysterious tunnel he found underneath his Jasper Ave eatery. 1:18

Mike Bhatnagar has always had a fascination with history.

So when he discovered a strange tunnel underneath The Hat, the Jasper Avenue restaurant that he has owned since 2013, Bhatnagar immediately wanted to know where it led.

The tunnel itself doesn’t hold many answers. It’s narrow, crowded with old pipes and abandoned construction material. But Bhatnagar thinks he might be only seeing some of the passage — to him, it appears to be bricked off.

Where it used to lead, he can only speculate.

“Questions and questions and questions. What is it? Why is it there? When was it done. What was the purpose?” he asked.

Bhatnagar has been trying to find out more information about the tunnel and the 103-year-old building. So far, inquiries with historians and others have not turned up much information. The tunnel could have just been a convenient place to store beer, but Bhatnagar likes to consider more exciting possibilities.

“World War I was around that time. Prohibition also came around that time. Edmonton was a very different city as I read and hear,” he said.

“I'm not sure if they had any smuggling or whatever.”

Bhatnagar has put out an offer of free food and drink to those who can help him solve the mystery behind the tunnel.

Watch the video above to see some of the tunnel under the business.

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