Some of Calgary's oldest bars and the people who ran them
From a favourite watering hole of a former Alberta Premier to a club visited by Nirvana and The Tragically Hip
This story was originally published Jan. 17.
As part of our Calgary at a Crossroads series, we explored what your favourite local watering hole reveals about you, your friends and how you create your very own community.
Now it's time for a trip down memory lane for a glimpse at some of Calgary's oldest bars and the people who ran them, courtesy of the Glenbow Museum photo archives.
Some of these bars still stand today, while others only live on in our (sometimes blurry) memories. Feel free to reminisce and share yours below.
1. King Edward Hotel
Better known as the King Eddy, this bar was part of "whisky row," a strip of hotels along Ninth Avenue. In the '70s and '80s it became a blues bar where many musical legends performed including B.B. King and Buddy Guy.
The National Music Centre is undertaking a project to carefully reconstruct the King Eddy brick by brick to look exactly as it did in 1905.
2. Bar of Alberta Hotel
The photo probably doesn't do it justice, but this was known as the longest bar in Alberta. Here are bartenders George Claire, left, and Fred Adams posing circa 1900.
3. Wainwright Hotel
The hotel burned down in 1929, but a reconstruction is in Heritage Park and includes an authentic saloon and elegant dining room.
4. New Noble Motor Hotel
Here's one you can still find in the city, located at 119 12th Ave. S.W. It was renamed a couple of times — the Westward Inn and then the Holiday Inn — before finally becoming the Hotel Arts in 2008. Through the '80s and '90s, it was a hub for touring bands including Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Tragically Hip.
5. King George Hotel Bar
Located at 124 Ninth Ave. S.W., the hotel was later renamed the Carleton Hotel before it was demolished in 1978. In 1939, the basement of the hotel housed Boys Town, which became the Boys and Girls Club.
6. St. Louis Hotel
It was no secret that the St. Louis was former Alberta premier and Calgary mayor Ralph Klein's favourite bar. It's now undergoing major renovations to bring it in line with modern building codes.
Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?