Calgary

Cool Calgary: A bar in a Kensington alley

Calgary has a bar in an alleyway that serves drinks in coconuts and lets customers spin their own vinyl records.

Cam Dobranski says city rules unintentionally made Container Bar cool

Cam Dobranski, chef and restaurant owner, stands outside Container Bar in Calgary's Kensington. (Graeme Purdy/CBC)

Calgary has a bar in an alleyway that serves drinks in coconuts and lets customers spin their own vinyl records.

The Container Bar is located in the alley next to the Brasserie and Wine Bar in Kensington.

Cam Dobranski, chef and owner, said he wanted to find a way to use the empty space next to his restaurants. As the name suggests, there is an old shipping container at the heart of the project.

"The city made me do it," he said.

"I just wanted chairs and tables out here and just make it into a cool little alley kind of patio, but they required me to have a little bar out here, but thank God for all their stupid rules. What the city doesn't understand is they created the Container Bar, I didn't."

The tables are made out of pallets and the chairs are from schools, hospitals and churches. The menu includes coconut drinks.

"It's kind of a tiki bar, meets dive bar, meets good food," said Dobranski. "This doesn't exist in Calgary. It just reminds you a little that you are on vacation."

Dobranski added a record player and encourages people to bring their own vinyl.

"Usually, whoever sits beside the record player is the DJ. We make customers do our work for us."

The outdoor bar is only open in the summer months, but there has been talk about turning it into an "ice bar" and keeping it going through the winter.

This summer, the Calgary Eyeopener is featuring people contributing to the "cool factor" of our city. If you know someone who is making Calgary cool, send an email to eyeopener@cbc.ca 

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