Buttermilk Fine Waffles to close on 17th Avenue S.W.
Owner says increases in business tax and dwindling density forced closure, effective Jan. 1
Citing rising business taxes and dwindling density, the owner of a popular breakfast restaurant on 17th Avenue S.W. is closing its doors this weekend.
"It's pretty hurtful that I have to walk away from it at this moment in time, given we're a busy restaurant that is loved, but there's no economics in running it," Buttermilk Fine Waffles owner Sam Friley told CBC Calgary.
"It's painful but … we fought so hard to stay here for three-and-a-half years, and it's pushed us to be far more creative and innovative than we would have been if things had been easy."
Operating in the 300 block of 17th Avenue S.W. since May 2015, Friley says recent road construction and increased business taxes contributed to the closure.
"One of the main factors for us was certainly the road construction that stretched between 2017 and 2018," he said.
'That wiped about 50 per cent of our sales off the board. That same year, we had a property tax increase from $11,000 to $25,000. It was kind of like, you're on the ground and someone steps on your neck."
With 12 full-time staff members, Friley says rather than shutter his business entirely, he's looking to relocate.
"I think this business definitely needs to be in Calgary, it's a very fun, social, community-focused business that people love," he said.
"Unfortunately 17th Avenue [S.W.] is just not where we want to be right now, we have to move to somewhere where we've got higher density, whether that be farmer's markets or food halls, types of venues where you have a bit more density."
Sydney Redeker tried Buttermilk for the first time on Sunday.
"I'm really sad," she said. "I've heard about this place, it's really popular, I'm really sad it's not going to be here anymore. They're really great staff."
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Julie Van Rosendaal's top food trends of 2018
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | 100 years ago, a train carrying Spanish flu pulled into Calgary. Within weeks, Alberta was in crisis
- Read more articles by CBC Calgary, like us on Facebook for updates and subscribe to our CBC Calgary newsletter for the day's news at a glance
With files from Mike Symington